Our rescue was founded in February, 2014, by Kim McMahon. If not for Kim, our rescue would literally not be here today. She had been a rescuer for many years prior to starting FFFR. She had the knowledge and good judgment to make it a viable, ongoing organization. She had the wisdom to know what was possible and what was impossible. She had the vision of what we could become, the passion for rescue and the determination needed to persevere when things weren’t easy, and an innate ability to teach people what she knew. If not for Kim, none of us would be able to do what we do – she taught us all how to do it!
On March 25, 2016, Kim died, suddenly and unexpectedly, leaving us all reeling personally – we were all close friends as well as fellow rescuers. All of us, individually, were grief-stricken. We felt shell shocked. Often, we still do. Through our grief, however, there was one thing that we knew with a certainty – giving up was no more an option for us than it had been for her. Both because rescue is OUR passion, and because we knew that Kim would want it to happen, we determined that the best memorial we could give her was to continue HER legacy – this amazing rescue organization that she had built!
For the better part of a month – in addition to going through the process of death that those who are left behind must experience – the grief that hits you at unexpected moments, the raw emotion of the memorial service, the intense feeling that suddenly the phone will ring and it will be her on the other end – we spent time restructuring, reorganizing, doing the necessary paperwork – and then, taking a communal deep breath, we started rescuing again!
When she died, this was part of the eulogy we posted – and read at her memorial service:
“KIM: Every time we save a dog, we will think of you. Every time we see joy in the eyes of a dog for the first time, we will think of you. Every time we take a dog on a freedom ride, we will think of you. Every time we see a dog in foster show trust for the first time, we will think of you. Every time we see a dog - finally - enjoying life in a wonderful forever home - we will think of you. We will never forget you ... EVER!
Today, there is a brand new star twinkling. Today, at Rainbow Bridge, all of the dogs have gained a very special, new best friend. We know she already loves them, and that they love her ... how could they not? Heaven's newest angel, after all, is all about the dogs!
We love you, Kim. We miss you badly. There will always be a hole in our hearts. We are grief-stricken and heartbroken and don't understand why or how you have been taken from us. The pain may fade with time, but will never disappear.
Rest in peace, dear friend. ”
Kim is still with us. When we are dealing with a hard situation, we ask ourselves “What would Kim do?” and we always get an answer. When we save a dog, we see her smiling. She will be with us, in our hearts, and minds, and souls … always!
Our Treasurer, Cathy Foster, created this amazing tribute to Kim – it tells about her life as a rescuer far better than any words!