Hank’s Very Favorite Person rode north to hear The Humane Society of the United States President/CEO Wayne Pacelle speak (woof!) today and sign copies of his book, The Bond. Hank’s a big fan of HSUS/HSI and the grueling advocacy work they do on behalf of critters here and around the world.
Hank was otherwise engaged this morning so his VFP went in his stead. In addition to the book signing, the notion of having his iconic photo autographed by Mr. Pacelle was bandied about—a rather cat lady thing to do for sure, but Hank can live with that. Nevertheless, Hank would soon come to remember why sometimes to get a thing done right you need to do it yourself.
Not surprisingly, Mr. Pacelle spoke eloquently about the human-animal bond and our call to and our responsibility for caring for our fellow creatures. He noted that like so many other points in our history when we’ve come to understand that something we do as a society is unacceptable—owning slaves, denying women the right to vote, putting children in factories—folks have worked really hard to put a stop to it and we’ve all been healthier and happier for doing so. The treatment of animals in our care is no less important.
What was a bit surprising about his talk was is how down-to-earth and real he seemed—no small thing given how many times he has traveled the country, spoken the words, and shaken the hands (good boy!) in addition to his day job. Which must really bite sometimes, if you think about it.
At the end of his talk and Q&A, Hank’s VFP found herself near the head of the book-signing line and, not at all used to being in the front of the line for anything, was soon up next and on the spot. Blammo.
Who could have foreseen Mr. Pacelle totally rocking the brown loafers and button-down shirt thing? Who could have foreseen such cuteness in one who probably sleeps in his suit and actually likes D.C.? Who indeed? In what can only be described as some sort of freakish 1980’s flashback/Port Canvas moment, she got out a quick, “Thanks for all the tough work you do!” followed by “HALE BOPP!” or “YEEL!“ or something equally insightful and then fled.
No autographed photo of Hank, no heartwarming story, no biscuit. Doh!
Mr. Pacelle, on the other hand, was composed and the consummate professional, signing Hank’s book as the spectacle played out in front of him.
Which is why he’s the head of the HSUS. Which is why he’s the one to testify before Congress. Which is why ties don’t terrify him. Which is probably healthy.
Thank you, Mr. Pacelle. That was nice.
Hank will be representing himself next time.
Seriously, though folks. Take a look at this book. It’s tough stuff—HSUS tackles much of the ugliest of human behavior day in and day out but they keep at it because we are all better off when we are all better off.
On a slightly less starstruck and more dignified note, Hank’s favorite photo from a recent White River Valley Museum exhibit, “Best Friends”: