Dixie’s Group: A support system for pet loss

Dixie’s Group will meet Tuesday, July 15 at 5:30 p.m. at Homewood Library. Please e-mail Mary-Grace to register at mawilson@gbhs.org.*

Dixie's Group Logo

If you’ve struggled with losing a pet in the past year, we invite you to join Dixie’s Group. This is a weekly meeting program dedicated to helping people through the process of losing a beloved pet.

The group will be lead by Dr. Larry Michael, an experienced grief coach who understands the impact of loss. He served as a pastor for over thirty years, and more recently served as director of a local grief agency. In addition to helping individuals who have lost loved ones, he is a pet lover and has a desire to help those who are grieving the loss of a pet.

Dixie’s group will be a six-week program that meets on Tuesday nights from 5:30 p.m.-7:00 p.m., at the Homewood Library. The group is open to those who have lost a pet in the past year. While there is no charge for being a part of Dixie’s Group, donations will be accepted for Dr. Michael’s time and commitment.

To register, e-mail Mary-Grace at mawilson@gbhs.org. In order to properly serve attendees, space is limited to 20 participants at this time.

Why “Dixie’s Group?”

I received a phone call from Randy a few weeks ago. He said his sweet yellow lab, Dixie, had recently passed away. He searched the area for a grief support group, and when he couldn’t find anything in Greater Birmingham, he contacted us and volunteered to help get the ball rolling. In loving memory of the pet who inspired this program, we have named it Dixie’s Group.

Quick Facts

  • What: Dixie’s Group, a pet loss support group
  • When: Tuesdays, 5:30 p.m.-7:00 p.m.
  • Where: Homewood Library
  • Who: Up to 20 participants and Dr. Larry Michael
  • How: E-mail Mary-Grace at mawilson@gbhs.org

Operation Silent Night: Not a creature was stirring

Operation Silent Night aimed to find an adoptive or foster home for every adoptable pet at the GBHS by Christmas Eve.

Operation Silent Night aimed to find an adoptive or foster home for every adoptable pet at the GBHS by Christmas Eve.

By Mary-Grace Wilson, Volunteer Coordinator |

There are lots of sounds around the holidays that warm your heart during these cold months, but at Greater Birmingham Humane Society, the greatest sound of all was, in fact, the lack there of.  An inspired mission that began in November came to a fruition on Christmas Eve, with each and every one of our adoptable pets finding temporary refuge in a loving home for the night – something that many of them hadn’t been able to do for months, if ever.

Potential adopters wait outside for the GBHS to open on Christmas Eve.

Potential adopters wait outside for the GBHS to open on Christmas Eve.

Over 50 volunteer foster families offered to open their hearts and homes to the GBHS cats and dogs and after an incredible day of adoptions that started with a line of families waiting at the door before we opened,  the remaining 21 available dogs and cats who hadn’t found a forever home were picked up from the center and taken home for a mini-vacation.

The stories came pouring in, as these incredible foster parents doted and loved on our sweet dogs and cats – with several ending in very happy adoptions! Our biggest thanks to the families who were willing to drive all the way here from Birmingham and beyond, interrupting their holiday, so that a pet could have some Christmas cheer. Their open hearts and open homes were inspiring — an incredible way to bring in a new year!

If you have a story you’d like to share from Operation Silent Night, please feel free to leave a comment here or on our Facebook Page.