The Good Sam Club has elected its first ever “Good Sam RVer of the Year,” an honor that will become an annual club event. Beginning in 2009, club members will have the opportunity to nominate and vote for deserving individuals as well.
This year’s inaugural RVer of the Year honoree is RVing dog rescuer Richard Daniels of Waynesboro, Georgia. Daniels’ inspiring story began in 2005, when he and his wife, Sue, spotted an old stray dog at a South Carolina campground. He asked park management about the thin, skittish labrador retriever mix and learned that the dog, a stray, had been living at the park for three years, dependent on the kindness of park guests for scraps of food to get by. Haunted by the plight of the homeless animal, Daniels returned to the campground and adopted the dog, whom he named Old Fella. Encouraged by the response he received on the Good Sam Web site, Daniels began to blog regularly about Old Fella and his adjustment to his new life. Soon Daniels and Old Fella became Good Sam Club favorites, particularly after Daniels was inspired to found a network of foster homes for abandoned and stray animals. Daniels also used the Good Sam forums to facilitate rescues and adoptions across the country. At every step of the way, forum participants offered encouragement, advice and donations — some even adopted pets of their own.
Three years later, the state-licensed Old Fella Burke County Animal Rescue Center — Daniels’ labor of love, inspired by his beloved pet — has helped find homes for scores of canines and cats, helped in no small part by the Good Sam Club forum’s highly active Old Fella thread, which can be accessed on the Good Sam Club Web Site.
Daniels will be honored at Affinity Group, Inc.’s upcoming Rally in Albuquerque, New Mexico in April 2009. For Daniels, the honor is bittersweet: Old Fella passed away in June, 2008, though Daniels is committed to keeping his memory alive. And he hasn’t stopped with just one rescue dog — Daniels and his wife have recently adopted two more, Peaches and Suzie, pictured above. Most of all, he feels rewarded by the love and devotion he receives from his rescued pets. “Rescue dogs, particularly old dogs, always know when they’ve been rescued,” he says.
Find out more about the Old Fella Burke County Animal Rescue Center by clicking here.