It’s been nearly three years since the Kessler family’s beloved Shih Tzu Oakley died in an accidental drowning in the family pool.
Roof construction work was underway and unbeknownst to the Kesslers, a plastic cover was placed over the pool, attracting Oakley’s attention.
“It just takes one time where there isn’t any communication.” Julie Kessler said, a self-proclaimed helicopter mom. “It just came to me like, ‘I can’t let this happen to another family,’ so I thought of Oakley’s Oath right away.”
Now a 501c(3) nonprofit organization that seeks to create a secure environment for pets by providing contractors and homeowners with common sense safety guidelines, Oakley’s Oath is teaming up for its second charity event with Pampr’d Soul Nail Salon & Spa where the community is invited to enjoy a day of pampering for their furry friends.
The event includes raffle prizes, a live DJ, pet nail trimming, a treat sampling station, pet adoption opportunities and more. Attendees can also enjoy 10% off any Pampr’d Soul nail service (for humans) for appointments booked on the day of the event.
The ticket price is $10 and goes toward continued marketing efforts, improving advocacy and awareness and partnership support.
Since Oakley’s passing, the community has shown an outpouring of support for the family and their endeavor to keep loved ones safe. In April of last year, Mayor David Ortega proclaimed April 14 as Oakley’s Oath Day: a day to “recognize and remember the importance of taking extra precautions in the home to protect the safety of children and pets,” a release read.
During ASU’s spring semester last year, Kessler was tapped by the Public Relations Lab at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication to help share Oakley’s story while giving students real-world experience creating strategies and campaigns for clients.
Kessler has built partnerships with contractors, installers and other professionals who have taken Oakley’s Oath to keep children and pets safe. She is actively recruiting more partners to take the oath.
“It was our goal to make a difference,” Kessler said. “I’m turning my pain into a purpose.”
Oakley was just shy of 15 when he passed and his brother Specs was put down two months later. Panda, 11, the last of the Shih Tzu clan, is an ever-present source of happiness for the Kesslers. The family is toying with the idea of getting Panda a new friend when the time is right.
“I have total mixed emotions about it,” Kessler said. “But dogs save lives.”
The fundraiser is Saturday, Jan. 27, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Pampr’d Soul Nail Salon & Spa, 7337 E. Shea Blvd., Suite 120 in Scottsdale. For more information or to donate or volunteer for Oakley’s Oath, visit oakleysoath.com.
We invite our readers to submit their civil comments on this issue. Email AZOpinions@iniusa.org. Cyrus Guccione can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.