I have written many times in anger about the abuse of a dog or other animal. I’ve written in mourning about the passing of one of our clients. I’ve pleaded for donations, and I’ve reported on our successes. All of those are difficult to write in their own ways.
Today, I write of the passing of a dear friend to Animals Without Limits. One who, though we never met, had helped us not only monetarily, but with kindness and wisdom, concern and humor. And love.
Louis Charles “Chuck” Kleber is one very special man. AWL and I will dearly miss getting warm, interesting emails from him. He always made me smile, and even brought joy to my children. You could tell he loved life, and shared that love of life with all he met.
In my opinion, he was a great thinker, and full of knowledge which he imparted with very well written correspondence. He shared his memories from different countries and different experiences. His enormous heart for animals was evident from his lovely support to our organization, Animals Without Limits.
I loved how he shared his own memories in his messages. Sharing. It meant so much to be able to take part in a person’s interesting life, and his certainly had been (and was) interesting. He gave dog food to shelters through us. It was such a great Halloween gift! He helped fund our hospice operations. One of his most touching donations was to fund “Vinnie’s Rescue Van”. You see, Vinnie had been a special dog to his son Craig and daughter-n-law Tracey, and had also touched Chuck’s life. Chuck wanted Vinnie’s spirit to live on in a tangible way helping others less fortunate.
I loved his positive spirit, so wise and so calm. He had a way of being able to see the light in many dark things. He taught me that not knowing each other doesn’t mean kindness cannot be shared. My children received postcards from him with wild animals pictures, and he always took the time to write some words about the animals. He was educating in an interesting, engaging way a couple kids he had never met.
He was a funny, serious, loving, interesting man who probably is laughing right now, saying to his new angel friends, “this is not so bad up here.”
He was a great storyteller, and I am so thankful to have received some of his stories.
One of his favorite quotes;
The Scottish veterinarian and writer, James Herriot (1916-1995), said
"If having a soul means being able to feel love and loyalty and gratitude,
then animals are better off than a lot of humans."
Godspeed, distant Animal friend. You will be greatly missed.
Animals Without Limits
Mia Mattsson Mercer with AWL TEAM ITALY