There are nurtures among us. Trained, amateur, working or retired, their hearts are the same. They have a genuine interest in others; empower and uplift them. Kathy Allen is one of these people. Julian Allen must have sensed this early on too. They met while attending the University of Mississippi during golf class and she caught his eye. She drove a 1966 Yellow Buick Skylark with the black vinyl top, also a head turner. A girl interested in golf and hot cars was not something Julian encountered everyday in his home town of Indianola, MS.
They married the year they graduated and recently celebrated their 42nd wedding anniversary. Julian has always been an entrepreneur and has owned and grown many successful businesses throughout his career. It comes as no surprise that Kathy was a teacher early on but with the birth of three daughters, she had a full time job as a mother. During those early years of marriage they moved quite a bit finally settling in Indianola, MS from 1975-2002.
As often occurs, Kathy inherited two dogs from her daughters! Shelby, a sheltie “rescued” from a pet store sick with parvo-virus and Guffie, a feisty little Bichon. Kathy’s had quite the menagerie to tend to; kids, dogs and all that comes with “living in the country”. One summer, Shelby was stolen right from their front yard, but it didn’t take long before Kathy spread the word and Shelby was returned. She has certainly had lots of opportunities to hone her skills as a nurturer!
In recent years the Allens moved back to Oxford, to be closer to two of their daughters, Karen and Katherine. Homeward Bound has had the privilege of caring for both of these pups over the last 3 years. But sadly, Shelby passed this year at the age of 15. By my count, we have completed upwards of 200 pet nanny visits with Shelby and Guffie. But some of my fondest memories have occurred during our monthly grooming sessions. Kathy is typically home when we groom Guffie so we have the opportunity to visit a bit. Last summer, my father passed unexpectedly and I was truly touched by her compassion. Kathy has lost both of her parents, her brother and more recently her constant companion Shelby, so it is an experience she knows all to well. She didn’t just express her condolences; she shared her experience, thoughts and emotions so that it might help me heal. Her sincerity and openness gave me a small peak into her strength and authenticity. That nurturing spirit within her. Julian has been surrounded by a household of ladies these past 42 years, but with Kathy at the helm, he must rest assured all will be cared for.
Dedicated to the memory of Shelby, 1997-2012.