I recently received an utterly pure expression of gratitude and kindness from a listener that caused me to stop and reflect on the comfort and joy her words gave me, but also to recognize how inspiring and satisfying it is for me, selfishly, to produce and record my radio shows.
It’s a funny business I’m in: all alone I am creating shows, deciding on guests and topics and putting them out into the universe without ever truly knowing who is listening, how they respond to the material and whether I am making a positive difference. It’s as if I undertake a series of blind faith expeditions – hoping that people are joining me at some point on the journey and coming away enriched.
When I had my live, call-in show CAT CHAT on Sirius/XM on the Martha Stewart channel every Wednesday night for 7 ½ years I had a better sense of connectivity with my audience. So many of them called in – and common wisdom was that for every person who called in there were hundreds listening quietly.
The following note from April reminded me there are many people are out there who care tremendously about their pets and embrace the intention of my shows: to offer advice, information and inspiration to improve their lives and that of their four-legged family members.
I just wanted to let you know that being able to listen to so many of your radio shows at my convenience is wonderful. The information shared can bring joy, laughter and help educate me too. Even in times of sadness, I receive comfort, understanding, elder care, ideas of what I can do in one’s memory and appreciation for all the years of time I was able to share with my service dogs. Your shows are a blessing…many ways, I just wanted to say THANK YOU. I wish you continued success with your radio shows, and all the other many animal events that you are involved with all the time.
As we slide into the New Year I realize that creating the Radio Pet Lady Network is a labor of love that sustains and uplifts me as much as it does April and anyone who shares her generous spirit about my work. It reminds me of that phrase “Who Rescued Whom?” – the idea that our pets choose us and give us back every bit as much love, comfort and joy as we offer them.
I’d like to say that I am just as much the blessed one as those who listen. I have the privilege of making my radio shows – with the steadfast support of my sponsors whose respect and trust in me is humbling – which allows me to learn and expand my outlook and knowledge right along with my audience.
From my heart I want to thank April for reaching out so that I, in turn, can reach out to all of you and say: Thank you one and all. Thank you for listening, for taking my advice and that of my co-hosts, and for trying the products and services of my sponsors, in whom I have confidence and who believe in me and my mission. If it wasn’t for all of you, I would not have the challenge and honor of building all these shows, inspired by the devotion of many other people to their own animals and to the bigger picture of animal welfare.
It is very much a two-way street and the gratitude flows in both directions. Let’s make 2016 a year to remember in continuing to advance knowledge and compassion not just for animals, but for our fellow humans, too, struggling in a complicated and often harsh world.
Tracie Hotchner is the author of THE DOG BIBLE: Everything Your Dog Wants You to Know and THE CAT BIBLE: Everything Your Cat Expects You to Know.
She is also a renowned pet radio host and producer, having spent 7 years on the Martha Stewart Channel of Sirius/XM with CAT CHAT® and even longer with her award-winning NPR radio show DOG TALK® (and Kitties, Too!) that continues to broadcast in the Hamptons and the Berkshires. Her most recent accomplishment is the pet talk radio network she has created on the Internet called The Radio Pet Lady Network.