The minute Enid Traisman opens the door of her Laurelhurst autumn-hued home you know you’ve about to make a new friend. Smiling warmly, she introduces Trixie, an adorable Yorkie-Poo cradled in her arms. Moving inside, introductions continue. Jasmine, an elegant Collie-Shepherd mix, watches carefully to make sure mom’s visitor is okay. From the back of the couch, Collage, a geriatric feline, surveys the scene with classic cat aloofness. A second cat, “Little Bits of Love,” skips the meeting entirely. Behind the open front door sits a very large kennel from which comes low rumbling growls of what — the family grizzly? More about these ominous sounds later.
In addition to meeting Enid’s family, described as, “Three dogs, two cats and one hubby — with the hubby noted last,” Spot chatted about her work at DoveLewis Emergency Animal Hospital, where she created and leads award-winning grief-related programs.
Enid founded a Memorial Art Therapy Workshop and Grief Support programs through DoveLewis in 1986, and remains happily at the helm 27 years later. The free monthly support group support folks who have or are anticipating the loss of a beloved pet. Through stories, photos and yes, tears, the human-animal bond is supported and celebrated — with the understanding that grief is a given when one loses a best friend.
When asked what one thing about her might surprise many to learn, Enid pondered sharing the story of her 2011 bout with breast cancer — and how she is now a survivor — a little surprise for her was the curly hair she emerged with post-chemo (it’s beautiful).
But, smiling, Enid decided she’d rather share the story of how she and her husband met — way, way back. In kindergarten. Yup, kindergarten! Over the years since naps and cookies they’ve built a loving life of friends, family and beloved animals.
Which brings us to those growls from the kennel behind the door. When opened, out bounded not a grizzly bear, but T-Bone, all velvet-skin, wet kisses and slobbery licks. An American Staffordshire Terrier, aka Pit Bull, T-Bone is soft to the touch—and to the heart — and just another treasured member of this loving family.
About our Sponsor
Dignified Pet Services has served the Portland-area community for 13 years. In addition to their core business of cremation and memorial services, Dignified co-sponsors the beloved annual Service of Remembrance, this year Dec. 9th at The Old Church in downtown Portland, as well as serving as wonderful supporters and friends of pets and those working in animal welfare. Proprietors Michael, Randy and Avani live in Sherwood.
Marty Davis is a Portland writer and event photographer. She live in North Portland where is she closely watched over by Shasta, a bossy Aussie Shepherd. She is herded on a daily basis.