Friday, May 20th, 2022

P Shopper Columns


A Vision of Youth and Paws a Moment have been part of my life for the past decade. I can still remember sitting on our pool deck one hot summer afternoon, talking to my mom about starting this column. I had always loved writing stories. Writing articles would present a different challenge, and the opportunity appealed to me. It was a chance to elevate my writing; to use my craft to encourage, inform, and inspire.

As a young writer, I didn’t always know what I wanted to write about, but my intentions remained clear. The more I experienced, the more I could dissect and examine those experiences through writing. Now I feel it is time to continue growing-to step back from the page for a while, to observe and absorb new things.  With this final article, I wish to express deep gratitude to my readers. I will never forget those moments when I was recognized by a stranger or approached by a friend to be told an article of mine moved them in some way. And while most of my readers remain unknown to me, I have been honored to share time with them here.

The support system behind this column made it so much more than I ever could have made it on my own. I’m so grateful to my grandmother, Jean-Loxley Barnard, for inspiring me with her voice, believing in mine, and encouraging me to speak. Much love to the Shopper family for breathing life into such an incredible magazine; to my parents for their insight and guidance; and especially to my mother, for being every article’s harshest critic, most brilliant editor, and biggest fan.

Each of us has the power
to change the world around us,
to nudge it in whichever direction we choose.

The truth is, we are all authors. Our actions paint the stories of our lives. Each of us has the power to change the world around us, to nudge it in whichever direction we choose. If enough of us nudge hard enough, the world will move. In animal rescue, there is a common saying: "One by one, until there are none." This statement acknowledges how insurmountable it feels to fight against companion animal overpopulation. It also defies that sentiment by declaring that we will persist . . . even if we help but one creature at a time. For all the tolls of working in such a disheartening environment, there is great reward in striving towards that change. Each of us has the power to improve the lives of other living beings. In our own way, following our own passions with our unique voice, we can sculpt this world into a better place. So let us pause a moment . . . and imagine a vision of . . . the world we will build together.

Breonna Loxley is an animal care technician at an animal shelter. She is an avid artist, writer, and animal-lover. She lives with her parents, a younger brother, two cats, and one dog.