A Love Letter

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To our clients and friends, my co-workers and business partners—

Today is a big day for Scout’s House.

It was ten years ago this day that we opened our doors, hung out our shingle, and told the world we could help dogs and cats feel better, move better, maybe even live longer.  And even though most of us were new to this rehab stuff, we had the confidence of a great idea: that rehabilitation therapy could improve an animal’s quality of life just as physical therapy improves a human’s.  Together, we knew we could make a lot of dogs and cats strong again.

And we were right.

But did I think, ten years ago, that we’d be here today, celebrating our first decade?  Absolutely.  I had no doubt about it.  (There were plenty of times in the ensuing years when I wasn’t so sure, but ten years ago, it was a foregone conclusion!)

It hasn’t been an easy ride with Scout’s House.  Oh, we were right—our idea was a great one, as evidenced by the 2,130 animals we’ve helped along the way—but I was a green, untested CEO with a prickly personality and an aversion to working with teams, and as such, I made more mistakes than any of us can count or remember.

The good news is I’ve learned a lot since that first day, lessons that have enriched me, humbled me, astounded me, and aged me.  And I am grateful for each and every one that’s come my way.

From our patients I’ve learned what it means to go at life with everything you’ve got—and always with equanimity—no matter what life throws at you.  I am constantly amazed by the dogs and cats we see, by the graciousness they exhibit in the face of pain, disability, even paralysis.  They never complain, they never act like life isn’t worth living, they never feel sorry for themselves.  They just keep on loving us, ready to do whatever we ask of them simply because we ask it.

From our clients I’ve learned the true meaning of devotion.  Each and every one of you should be granted a gold crown in your heaven for all the things you’ve done to help your pets.  Your love for your animals is beautiful and each one of us at Scout’s House loves you all the more for it.  In you we’ve found our tribe.

From our investors I’ve learned what it means to believe in something—and someone—so much that you’re willing to risk your hard-earned money to make a dream a reality.  As an investment, Scout’s House offers no promise of a return, but our investors stay the course, knowing that success isn’t always defined by how much money you make but sometimes by how much good you do in the world.

And from my coworkers I’ve learned humility, patience, and the true meaning of family.  I started this business telling people how we were going to realize my dream, but along the way I learned that the dream we were trying to achieve wasn’t mine at all, it was all of ours.  I have been remarkably blessed by the people I work with: to a woman, they are brilliant, innovative, outspoken, insightful, and downright hilarious, each one in her own special and unique way.  And while we may all be coworkers, I have such love in my heart for them, I think of them now as my family.  I miss them when I don’t talk to them, I crave their company when I’m away, and I revel in their warmth and affection when I’m with them.

These last ten years have been extraordinary, affording the kind of adventure that most people don’t get to enjoy in their careers.  And I am grateful to all of you—clients, investors, coworkers, friends—for making it the most challenging, electrifying, and above all, rewarding experience of my life.

Thank you.  And here’s to the next ten years.

With love,

Lisa

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