Dignified Pet Services presents 'People in the Neighborhood'
As Senior Manager of Best Friends Animal Society’s National Events Team, Julie Honse is always on the go, finding ways to rescue and improve the lives of animals. Organizing and executing annual Strut Your Mutt fundraising events held across the country as well as assisting in the planning of Super Adoption Weekends held twice yearly in LA, NYC and Salt Lake City. It is a big job — but just the tip of the iceberg of this dynamo’s world.
“The Super Adoption Weekends are amazing, as they allow anywhere from 400 to 600 animals to be adopted and find permanent homes,” Julie enthuses.
A Portland native and Wilson High grad, Julie is the proud mom of five dogs, two cats (all adopted rescues), and two chickens. Happily there’s plenty of room for them to roam at her home in Eastmoreland.
“I love being able to walk my dogs in such a beautiful neighborhood,” she says. “Portland is a pet utopia.”
Julie attended U of O as a journalism major. “I wanted to be a war correspondent and travel the world reporting. I got a dog and took in a stray cat and realized I could never leave them. When I adopted my cat I had never been to a shelter before. I signed up to volunteer at the Oregon Humane Society, and found myself becoming more and more involved,” she shares.
Julie’s been an active volunteer at OHS for more than 17 years — these days teaching classes on dog handling and safety and helping run dog playgroups. Recognized for her contributions, OHS honored Julie with the Volunteer of the Year Award in 1999, Rescue Ranger (with Brian Behrens) in 2009, and Lifetime Achievement in 2012. She also shares her expertise with Born Again Pit Bull Rescue (BAPBR) as an advisory board member.
“I work remotely from my home office, travel often, and have a packed schedule. I am very social too, and love having friends over and entertaining.”
She also loves cooking and gardening. “We have a huge garden and I love to grow as much food as our yard can produce,” says Julie. “I’m vegan, and I love experimenting with recipes. My latest thing is vegan cheese. I make smoked Gouda and dilled Havarti with some of the ingredients sourced right from my yard. I also like spicy foods and will try anything,” she smiles.
While all these interests would fill most peoples’ days, Julie somehow packs in more. She’s a member in two book clubs, and runs and plays tennis — every day.
”I also run marathons,” she adds. “I guess you could say I am very efficient with my time. I am positive and energetic and always try to see the bright side of things. I like to laugh and hang out with friends whenever I can--their humor and support keeps me fueled.”
Asked if anything about her would surprise people, Julie says, “I guess to know that I am very musical. I sing, play drums, and love music. I have a professional karaoke set and love to throw parties. I like ‘80s, new wave and alternative rock. A few of my friends like to come over and sing with me, which is always fun and welcome,” she laughs.
Julie is as focused about her bucket list as her life. “My bucket list consists of four things, really. One I have done but would love to do again. We vacationed in Africa. Because I’d been fascinated with gorillas ever since I saw Gorillas in the Mist as a kid, we went into the mountains in Uganda and spent an hour with the gorillas. It was an amazing experience and I can’t wait to go back. That’s the first thing,” she shares.
“Next is that my boyfriend and I are huge cycling fans. We are glued to the TV during the Tour de France. I would like to rent an RV and follow the Tour in France.”
“Next, I want to adopt a pig. I love pigs. They are my favorite animal as they are very smart, have huge personalities, and are much cleaner than people think.”
“The last thing is to have a swimming pool. I’ve always wanted one as I like to swim, and would love my dogs to have a pool to swim in. “Hey, you gotta dream big—right?,” she laughs.
This gal’s got it all, including a guilty pleasure. “My subscription to US Magazine,” she laughs. “I spend what little down time I have reading a magazine. It feels like a luxury . . . to read a magazine,” she sighs.
And the shoe that is “so Julie”?
“Tom’s, of course. They support the Rhino Conservation Project, and they are covered with bright blue and bright orange rhinos. They are casual and they support something that is important to me.”
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 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.
Melinda Thompson is a freelance writer with a degree in Speech Communications and a coveted "Ducktorate" from the Walt Disney World Company. She has been featured in many local magazines and newspapers. She lives in Vancouver USA with her husband, son and daughter.