Article Submitted by Rebecca Hardin
could list the beautiful areas from the hills and mountain views. I could describe the sound of rain as it falls on the surface of the creeks and streams during a fishing trip, or an afternoon hike.
I could even describe the feeling when I walk along Main Street. As I look at storefronts and people in modern style and vibrant colors, I think of old photographs of my parents and grandparents. Tattered and faded photographs of a time when people were more courteous and doctor's offices were upstairs along Main Street. My mom would tell me about the narrow stairway she would walk with her mom to go see the doctor or dentist, and how the stores along their walk to that stairway were a welcome distraction from her worry of the upcoming doctor visit. When I walk along Main Street, I imagine walking the same paths my grandmother would have walked. Cancer took my grandmother before I could meet her, but Dalton was her home and my connection to her memory.
There are so many things I could write about. So many positive things that would convey how wonderful Dalton really is. But instead of writing about the face of our beautiful home, I would rather write about the heart. Dalton's heart is in its people and in their character. Those who stop to talk to old friends and who stop to talk to strangers who eventually become old friends. The ones who smile as they pass you by and who drop change in the Christmas Salvation Army bucket as they walk into a store. The smiling faces who line up along Main Street to see parades and to participate in the Autumn Festival around Rock Bridge.
I have worked at Dalton Animal Care for over 10 years, and I have had the amazing opportunity to see those people, the truest heart of Dalton, walk into our clinic. When I wanted to host a blood drive at our clinic, Dr. Crawford and Dr. Stearns were quick to help me plan it out. The Blood Assurance van would come and our staff, clients, and families would come to donate blood. We've set up boxes for pet food drives and I have been overwhelmed at the amount of pet food donated to help those in need. So many clients come in and share stories of their Blessings. They tell us about miracles that happen in their lives. We get to share tears from heartaches at home and tears from the happy times too. We get to have a connection with people that we would've missed had we met anywhere else. And I get to meet people who are lifelong residents of Dalton and can share memories of my grandmother, helping to make me feel as if I got to know her as more than still photographs and accidental combinations of shared DNA.
I appreciate the history of our town. I appreciate the stories and the emotions that connect them together, each story, woven together to create a beautiful story of us. I am thankful for the everyday extraordinary meetings I have with people in our community. For me, Dalton Animal Care is my Dalton Love Story.