Bailey’s Grace- tips for a nonprofit starter?

Lisa has been one of my most loyal readers and supporters since I started pawcurious. We bonded last year over the losses that ripped out our hearts- my Emmett and her Bailey. Read on to find out what amazing idea has come out of her grief and sadness.

You remember Bailey and Lisa, right? I bet you do. Here’s what she wrote me:


The first thing I did after Bailey left was to get a tattoo — a heart with a pawprint on it, later with her name added. Then, a couple of weeks later, I attended the Humane Society’s Taking Action for Animals conference. I was already scheduled to attend, but I thought about passing it up since I was so very sad about Bailey. But it was because of Bailey that I wanted to find my way to help animals in a broader sense, and I am so happy I went.

There’s nothing to soothe you in your grief like being surrounded by a thousand animal lovers who understand your pain and take time to offer comfort. I learned so much at that conference (and became a vegetarian as a result!), but I was still searching for my own path to helping animals.

I began a Graduate Certificate in Animal Studies at Humane Society University last fall and, while doing class research on animal loss, I found my answer. I am planning to open a senior dog sanctuary and hospice, and I am calling it Bailey’s Grace. My love for her opened my heart to love more animals (not that I didn’t already, but it got a little more tangible) and when I hit on this idea after much searching, it just felt like the heavens had opened.

I was lucky during Bailey’s last week of life, because I had a job in which I could call my boss and say “Bailey’s really sick and I’m not coming in” and his reply was “Let me know what I can do. You just take care of yourself and Bailey.” I know that not everyone has that luxury. And it breaks my heart. So I want a place where seniors have a wonderful place to live out their last months/years, and where sick dogs (and their families when possible) have a peaceful place to spend their last days, surrounded by comfort and love.


I love that Lisa is doing this and I can’t wait to see how she grows this into something beautiful. A senior dog sanctuary and hospice? That is incredible. Just amazing.

In the meantime, she asked if anyone out there has pointers for her or experience with starting a website and a blog. I know how to write a blog- well, kind of- but the logistics of one designed to support a nonprofit is a foreign concept to me. Anyone reading who has already walked this path and is willing to share their wisdom? I can help out with guest posts, eating garbage live, etc….

Filed: Be The Change, Blogathon, Blogathon 2010 Tagged:
  • Tonya

    No experience/advice, but I just want to say that I think this is such a wonderful idea! What a great way to pay tribute to Bailey!

  • Lisa W

    Thanks Dr. V! You always come through with flying colors!

    • *slaps head* Of course! Heather reminded me, you should check out the Helen Woodward ACES program.

  • Heather M.

    I’m so happy to hear Lisa has found a place to channel all the love she has for Bailey and to pay it forward. I just attended the Companion Animal Welface Conference and had the pleasure of hearing Mike Arms speak again- and of course bring me to tears. He has fantastic recommendations for starting non-profits as well as how to successfully market and fund such organizations.
    Good Luck Lisa! Look forward to hearing of your success!

    • You were in Prague? I want to hear all about it!

  • Let me know what I can do to help. I too lost my Bailey almost a year ago.

    I have started blogs and websites but am by no means an expert. But I work for free and love the idea.

  • I’ve been planning on starting a pet food bank. 2010 hasn’t been good for me budget-wise to file the necessary paperwork, but 2011 is looking better so I am hoping to get it opened hopefully February or March. In my excitement, I did start a website using WordPress and the Atahualpa theme (I have no HTML or CSS experience, but you don’t need it with this). Since the organization isn’t functioning yet, I won’t post the URL here, but if she would like to email me I will pass it on for her to look at if it would help.

  • Lisa, thats so wonderful. Anything I can do to volunteer or help you in an adminstrative capacity or otherwise. Sign me up. Contact me through twitter if your on there 🙂

  • I love this Lisa! What a wonderful tribute to your Bailey! Dr. V KIND OF knows how to run a website/blog?? She is – as you well know – a much bigger resource and source of wisdom than she is saying 😉 You will do great.

  • Amy

    Lisa, I think Bailey’s Grace is a wonderful idea. Grief transformed into helping others is a blessing. Tears still come, but smiles do as well. Good luck with your project, and let me know if I can help.

  • Chile

    Bailey’s Grace is an amazing idea and much needed. I’m so glad that Lisa was able to find a way to honor Bailey and help heal her heart. I’m also heartened to see a kindred spirit who also decide to memorialize and pay tribute to their canine soulmate with a tattoo. If I can do anything to help, please let me know (I’m not a blogger or purge all my website design knowledge but can help in other ways)