A young birder comforts dogs with stories about birds and discovers another need

We never know what little ray of hope may show up at our booth when we participate in an outdoor nature event.   Recently at Riley Park in Orange County, California one appeared in the eager, smiling face of Lara, a 5th grader.  She’s kept in touch ever since.  Here’s a photo of her in our woodpecker costume!

Turns out Lara knows a great deal about birds.  Her knowledge has come from summer camps and field trips provided by Sea and Sage Audubon and from her love of reading.  We were further impressed to learn that Lara has used her love for reading about birds to help orphaned dogs in shelters.  Lara says, “The doggies usually are so excited to see people coming in. They bark and jump in their cages. When I read books to them they stop barking and listen to me, sometimes even falling asleep. It seems like they really like listening to people talk to them.  The vet said they must really trust me to lie down and even fall asleep.”

While at the animal shelter Lara discovered another need. “I found about rescued dogs without legs and birds without beaks.  The substitute beaks and legs from the vets are very expensive, so many shelters can’t afford them. I want to design the beaks and legs using 3-D printing so that it won’t cost that much so the dogs and birds can have those substitute beaks and legs.  I took classes for while and I hope I can do something for these cute friends.”

We are proud to spotlight Lara and her supportive parents.  We admire their appreciation of nature, compassion for animals and generous spirit, and we hope to follow this bright sunbeam they have cast our way.

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