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balance

Wilma Melville Wilma Melville pilot. search dog handler. grandmother.

A retired PE instructor, grandmother of four, and passionate flyer, Wilma Melville founded the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation to address a gap in our nation's disaster response network. [www.searchdogfoundation.org]

wilma_melville_feature

There’s a group of things that give my life meaning. Keeping them in balance is the challenge. To help me do that I’ve written them down. It so happens that they all begin with the letter F: foundation, family, friends, fun, flying, and fitness.

An important thing in my life is the National Disaster and Search Dog Foundation, which I founded to help with finding live people after disasters like earthquakes and tornados. Right now, we’re in a time of tremendous activity because we’ve deployed six dogs and their handlers to Japan.

Other important things for me are family, a sprinkling of good friends, and seeing to it that there’s fun in my life – just having a good time, whether that means relaxing, doing something, or going somewhere.

I’m a pilot and I enjoy flying. It’s important to me. I live in an airport – that’s obvious to whoever’s talking with me on the phone. Flying is challenging and involves continual learning.

Fitness also matters to me, so I make sure I set aside time for a good workout several times a week.

My task in life is to keep those important things in balance. In order to do the flying and the Foundation work, I need to remain fit. I very much like to spend time with my family and friends. I also need to make sure that there’s just plain fun in there, too. Knowing what I want to do is easy – it falls within those six categories – but balancing them is tricky. For example, if there’s a deployment of dogs for the Foundation, there’s nothing to do but let the other things slide for a while. When the deployment and the interviews are over and the bulk of the work slows down, I make sure I get back in balance again with those six things that are most important to me.

– Wilma Melville

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