Yesterday, one of my dreams was doused. As I watched Oprah’s last show, I selfishly mourned that I could no longer envision my book being chosen for Oprah’s book club nor see myself intimately discussing it with her so the world could learn more about puppy mill survivors and their adopters.  So many of us writers had that dream; so few saw it realized. And now we never will. Oprah’s impact was huge. Will there be anyone coming along to fill that void?  Can someone else pick up the ball so that we can resume the reverie?

I actually never had the time to be a regular viewer but occasionally tuned in if Oprah had an interesting topic. I particularly liked her inspirational guests: Mattie Stepanek, Iyanla Vanzant, Maya Angelou, and others who may be called New Agers. Whatever your spiritual beliefs, Oprah undeniably introduced us to many important universal concepts, ones that have shaped my life since I changed careers and decided to work for the animals. I may not have been able to persevere without having learned about believing in the soft whispers from my soul.

During her final show yesterday, Oprah reminded us of a few of those principles. First and foremost, Oprah reinforced that we all have a spark, a passion, a mission in our lives. It doesn’t have to be a huge endeavor – improving the life of just one person can make a difference.  We all can’t be and don’t need to be Oprahs. But we’re all capable of being educators and helpers. She also said something that rang true for me: We’re all looking for validation; to be recognized and heard. Amen to that. And her other reminder: We all are worthy and deserving.

If I truly buy into the teachings that came from Oprah’s couch, I can achieve my dreams without her, without her book club. I can be the voice for the dogs still suffering in puppy mills, I can be an effective advocate for animal welfare and I can be the educator who explains the interwoven and intricate relationships with our pets.

What will you miss about Oprah’s show and do you think she’ll reinvent herself with another venture to help us with our lives?

Yes, Oprah, we will miss you. We thank you for all you have given us. But you have empowered us with the information to carry the ball ourselves.  There may not be someone else to come along to take your place.  Maybe we are finally on our own to realize our individual potentials.