Debra Jo Chiapuzio / President
Emma Zen Foundation
I remember being at a pet expo volunteering my time in our booth. I was answering questions on pet oxygen mask to a couple when a woman came and stood nearby. I gave her eye contact and told her I would be right with her. As the seconds turned into minutes I could tell the lady was getting anxious so I found a break in my conversation to address her. It had only been about two minutes and by now she was in tears, she looked at me visibly shaken and said, "My son lost his house. We lost it all. I just don't know what to do other than to thank you for making it possible for the fire department to save our dog. Thank you. Bless you. He is all we have left." I stood there in shock, tears now running in my eyes too as I watched her walk away. It was my first encounter with the emotion of survival. I will never stop doing what we do.
Debra Jo Chiapuzio / President
Emma Zen Foundation
June 21st 2012 was my 5th birthday and on that day one of our local city fire departments gave someone the life of two dogs and two cats! Read the story at the link below. It is the best gift I could have ever imagined! http://www.ocregister.com/articles/fire-360033-firefighters-house.html
Did you ever wonder; Who Homer is?
I live in Anaheim Ca and like many people am a fan of Home Depot. Our favorite local store is located at 435 W. Katella Ave, in the City of Orange. It's a fun store to visit and as is with any company it is employees themselves that make the visits.
Today my friend and I were being helped by a long term associated Scott. We were chatting away when "Homer" appeared! He told us how Homer was born here and he has been feeding him and he now sort of lives in the Nursery department. He told us about the resent management visit and how they approved Homer! Scott said, "he his the most gentle laid back cat and he loves everyone but he's not going to like me so much next week." Why is that I asked, "well I'm going to take him to the cat clinic where I take my cat to and get him some shots and see about getting him fixed." I was so touched by the character of this man, to assume proper responsibility for this little soul. I suggested he get a cat collar and he was afraid it would get stuck on something, so we told him how cat collars snap apart if they are tugged on too tightly. Then I asked "who is paying for his services?" And he said proudly, "I am. I don't want to ask or wait to see if Home Depot will help or not and I want to do the right thing. So I am going to pay for it and if they want to help later or not they can." I smiled, gathered our purchases and walked away.
Affected by his kindness towards this little creature the smile that I wore seem to settle somewhere deep inside me. Mary, my friend and I couldn't shake the feeling. He didn't deliberately attempt to brighten my day but he did. And then an idea overcame me.
We drove back home got a checkbook, drove to the cat clinic waited in line to purchase a $100.00 gift certificate, drove to the pet store to get a cat collar and name tag delicately in scripted "Homer" "Home Depot" and then drove home again because we forgot the camera and then showed up an hour in half later again at Home Depot.
When we arrived we asked to speak with the manager and was introduced to Pedro. We shared with him our experiences. We stood in front of the Nursery and Pedro asked someone to "step in" for Scott. (In the middle of a transaction.) I don't know about you but the only time my boss use to call me like that was when there was a problem! Scott may have felt a little unease but he came over with same warm smile he was wearing when we spoke earlier. And then I began...
"Scott, I know you know my name because I have heard you use it more than once. But what you don't know is who I am. I am the president of a non profit organization on Pet Safety. And while we donate Pet Oxygen Masks to Fire Departments 99.9% of the time it is within our bi-laws that we can assist in other areas that better a pets life. So my friend and I went out and got this collar and tag for Homer." Simplicity is beautiful, for he was so touched and moved by this alone. "And the Emma Zen Foundation would also like to give you this $100.00 certificate from the cat clinic to help you get him neutered." I looked at the over whelmed man and said, "I was just so touched by your kind heart and it's what we can do."
You know that point when your not crying but your eyes swell up with water? That is the face that now looked back at us and like a true pet lover would answer he said in a trembling voice, "Homer thanks you so so much." :-)
I have felt so good all day!!! Not because of what we did, but what he gave to us!
Slow down. Give of yourself. And visit Orange Home Depot on Katella Ave and say "Hi" to Homer!!!!
"Hey there. Thank you for what you do.
I am a firefighter in Ferndale, Washington. We do not have these masks. Can we get some some how ? As a firefighter, it would kill me if I could not save my own pets life let alone any others, for lack of this uniqe apparatus.
Yes your pet can start a home fire! We advocate for "no dogs in the kitchen" it is said that more household fires originate from the kitchen than any other room in the house, that being true then why would I want my dog in there? In San Diego at a dog friendly event a lady was introduced to us in order to tell us her story. Her dog had jumped up on the stove where something was cooking while she was "in disposed" (going potty) by the time she came back the kitchen was a blaze! She lost half of her home, and the dog who started the fire. She told us how bad and responsible she felt, her sadness overwhelmed us. Then a twist to the story we didn't expect. She said the only thing that got her through it all was her cat Ruffles who the fire department was able to save with Pet Oxygen Masks! Bitter sweet this story is, everything we here at the Emma Zen Foundation is all about rolled into one story. Emergency Preparedness, Disaster Comprehension and Public Awareness. The moral of this story is to "stand by your pan" and make sure "your" fire department carries pet oxygen masks!
Debra Jo Chiapuzio President Emma Zen Foundation