Shelly Kennedy – 2015-2016 Essay

Gay Hockey is Like the Unconditional Love I Get from My Dogs

By Shelly Kennedy

Ok, first of all I am not a comfortable writer or orator for that matter, I prefer working with numbers, formulas and tables rather than letters and words. So the idea of an essay on anything is not particularly an attractive task to perform. And while I have a hard time articulating my thoughts about things that are not rooted in analytics, I have taken the challenge of communicating what Gay Hockey means to me, so bear with me here… I love animals, always have. There has been at least one dog living with me most of my life.

They have been my comfort, humor, constant, friends – never judging, always caring, providing unconditional love and companionship. Sam, Sugar, Koty, Miko, Ailey, Benny, Murphy…. all they ever want(ed) to do is support me, have fun and welcome friends. To me, MGHA is much the same.

When I walk into Hartmeyer on Sundays I witness so many hugs, smiles and “hellos” akin to a tail-wagging dog welcoming & greeting their person.

When I suit up in the locker room, I hear conversations about both struggles and triumphs and am encouraged by the support and empathy I witness, not unlike the unwavering effort of one’s dog to comfort their owner in difficult times or wiggle with excitement in good times.

When I was paired with a new player as a mentor and spent time getting to know them I developed a respect and friendship I know will last, just like what I have (had) with all my dogs.

When we play hockey there is a ‘have fun’ atmosphere, not unlike what a dog encourages when they get the chance.

Gay Hockey in the MGHA is a welcoming, supportive, unconditionally loving community that I am happy and proud to be a part of. It’s like…the unconditional love one gets from their dog. ☺