To the Editor:
I have struggled with writing this letter to everyone for lots of reasons. Many of you have become my friends over the 16 years that I have been an owner of the Loose Caboose. You are the ones I want to reflect on and thank the most.
There are funny stories I could share with you about some of my favorite people. The ones that spent the most time with me were usually members of the Boca Grande Fire Department and our Lee County officers. Every one of you brings a smile to my face. I will miss you most of all. I will never forget how many times you have helped me with wildlife rescues on the island. I still remember the baby armadillo one of you brought to me for transport from Arcadia. The way you all help is so wonderful. You all are the heart of this community. I will remember you fondly.
For those of you that visited the restaurant, I love that I met many of you over ice cream! I could remember your favorite flavors before I could remember your name. Now you email or Facebook message me to let me know when you’re coming to town so I can make Butterfinger or Orange Pineapple Ice Cream.
Some of you vacationed every winter on island and always had a treat bag for the dogs at Christmas and some Chocolates for me. It was so nice to be thought of at the holidays and the dogs loved the cookies.
Another very special person on the island contributed to my most recent foster puppies vet bills. She also assisted with unexpected repairs needed at the rescue.
Some of you live on the island and help with donations of blankets, towels, and sheets for the rescues. You always greet me with a smile and I make sure that these much needed supplies go where they are needed most.
There is one member of a family that does a sizable donation to the rescue at the end of the year. It always gives me a moment to breathe and is truly a blessing. The residents at Tank’s Legacy all thank you too.
One of my favorite places to visit is the historic society. I will miss visiting with everyone there. Rick from Island TV and Nancy have been wonderful as well.
There are other people who work and live on the island that have hearts and souls like mine. We are sisters of the heart and each do what we can. Thank you for being there when I needed a hand or an ear.
Now my time on the island is at an end, and I worry. Not about the restaurant because it is in wonderful hands. I worry about the wild animals that no longer have someone to help them. I worry that they will suffer because no one is willing to actually pick them up and help them. I have tried for quite some time to get someone to step up but it is always short-lived.
After 16 years of helping with all the organizations and fundraisers on the island, I ask that you please do this for me. If you see an animal in distress, don’t call someone and walk away. Instead be a part of the solution. If it’s an injured animal that doesn’t pose a danger, drive it to the Wildlife Center of SW Florida or Peace River Wildlife Center. Show your children through example, what it is to be a good steward of the Earth. Show them compassion and caring. Transport them so they receive necessary care. Help the voiceless. Show compassion; it’s something that is needed more now than ever.