Celebrating The Bond

What do you say to someone who tells you they’re going to die?

January 5th marked the one full year that I received a call from a friend who told me she was going to die. Obviously, we will all die one day – but some of us, I guess, have a better idea of when that will happen. Amanda was one of those people.

I met Amanda on September 17, 2018 at the first Parma City Council meeting where we began to organize an effort to repeal their long-standing pit bull ban (originally passed in 1987). Amanda was a resident of Parma, and had at least one dog that could be negatively impacted by the city ordinance if someone in a position of power wanted to vaguely enforce their ‘pit bull’ law…In my time in advocacy, I’ve seen worse visual identifications before.

For the next several months we arrived in numbers, attending all subsequent bi-monthly city council meetings through the end of the year and into 2019, until the Mayor decided to put the issue on the ballot for the residents to vote on during Ohio’s May 7th primary election that year. We took it further than any prior attempt had achieved, but unfortunately, our initiative fell just 14 votes short.

Amanda and I continued to stay in contact as she began to get more involved in her city – running for city council in the 2019 general election with the intent, if elected, change the law from the inside, but her campaign also fell short of that goal.

She checked in with me from time to time when my soulmate dog, Preston, began having seizures in his elderly years, which coincidentally occurred during the time we were challenging Parma’s pit bull law in early 2019, often stopping to drop off some fresh fruit for Preston, my girls – Era and Fergie, and I, because she knew how much we loved our fruit snacks periodically throughout the day.

She received some bad news with a breast cancer diagnosis, and for a bit it appeared that she was going to beat it, but it came back with a vengeance and spread. During that final phone call she struggled to talk, but was able to muster up enough energy to tell me she loved me and everything I represent in attempting to make this world a little less socially and politically divided.

When she told me she was still fighting, and hopes to live for at least another ten years, I could tell in her voice that she didn’t believe it. Through tears I told her – “…this sounds like you are saying goodbye.” What do you say to someone who tells you they are going to die? You tell them you love them. Sadly, she passed away the following day at the young age of 39.


About a month prior to her passing, she purchased a PETUMENTARY – the short documentary service offered through River Fire Films which allows people to tell the story of their beloved pet(s). She asked me to give hers to a worthy person deserving of this unique service which gives families a lasting momento that can forever be cherished.

I struggled with who to give it to and the criteria to base my decision on, so I am opening it up for public submissions and will give one PETUMENTARY Lite (total runtime: 2-3 minutes) away each year in Amanda’s name and honor – to celebrate these incredible bonds between human and animal, and how our pets actually help to promote dialogue and bring us together. If we let them.

Registration is free and currently open for submissions. The tentative cutoff date is March 31. 2023 at 11:59pm EST. The winner will be notified via email. Use the form below:

Registration Form

Published by PrestonsPerch

“Preston’s Perch” is a blog that began in 2011 as a way to express observations about dog-related issues. The name came to me after observing my dog, Preston, perching himself atop the back of the couch to be able to see out the window. So fittingly, this blog is the perch - a secure, elevated vantage point, that serves the purpose to get a better view of the complexity life offers.

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