Dawn Darga

Growing up as an only child tended to be lonely. When I was seven, my mom decided to finally let me get my first big dog, Missy. Missy was a Saint Bernard and instantly became my best friend overnight. The first night at our house, I expected her to sleep with me in my room, not realizing how small our home really was. My dad had built a doghouse for her to sleep in outside, which was devastating. From that moment on, I have allowed all my pets to live inside with me and be treated like family as they deserve.

Since we work long hours at Designs Group, all our pets come to the office with us every day. This began when my rabbit, Thumper, developed a serious case of arthritis and could no longer hop on our hardwood floor at home. Thumper became our first beloved office pet, hopping everywhere imaginable within our workspace. After Thumper’s passing, this inspired us to bring our future office dogs in with us.

I have had my Saint Bernard, Wilbur, for nine years now. My husband Doug was at Lowe’s one afternoon when he spotted a man carrying a puppy in his coat pocket. He proceeded to ask him about the dog, and the man said he was willing to give him away to a loving home. Doug called me and began to ask if I still wanted to have a dog and then continued to beat around the bush. When I got home from work, my son called me over to the stairway. He and Doug surprised me, and Wilbur was sitting at the top of the staircase with them. Ever since this day, Wilbur has been my best friend and protector, and we spend every moment of each day together.

Without my pets, life would not be the same. Every animal is entitled to live a life full of love; we impact them as much as they impact us.

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