Darla Kimes has a big, kind heart, and she uses that trait to crusade for local dogs and cats who need help.
The 56-year-old Reno, Nevada, native is a full-blown dog lover. She treats her two dogs — Champ and Minnie — to the good life, making their comfort much more important then her own.
Kimes says there are two types of people in this world — dog lovers and people who haven’t become dog lovers yet.
“They just have yet to realize it doesn’t matter whose dog they are or what they look like; once you’re a dog lover, you understand that all dogs are uniquely lovable and worthy of your time and adoration,” said the 1981 Pillow Academy graduate.
Her husband of 28 years, Kirk Kimes, a Greenwood business owner and entrepreneur, knows his place in their home now that both of their children are grown and have left the nest — behind both dogs when it comes to eating and being pampered.
“Oh, yeah, the dogs eat before I do for sure,” he said with a laugh. “But I am good with that. Our dogs are truly an integral part of our family.”
No matter what sort of a day you’ve had, coming home to a welcome from a dog is only going to improve it, Darla said, because they’re just “so doggone” excited to see you.
The couple may be soon adding a third dog to the household. Darla recently captured a stray dog that was spending time around Planters Bank and Trust Co. on West Park Avenue.
“I tried to set a trap for it because it was going to get run over sooner or later, and that didn’t work, so I had to just earn her trust over time,” she said. “The dog is at our (veterinarian) right now. We will see what happens next.”
Darla and Kirk say non-dog lovers may not quite understand the lengths they go to keep their pets happy, but she said there is still hope for those as the holiday season arrives. “I couldn’t think of a better Christmas gift than a loving puppy who needs a home,” Darla said.
When she isn’t chasing dogs, she is getting her feet wet at her new job. She brings 33 years of experience as a registered dental hygienist to Greenwood’s Family Dental Associates, PLLC.
“I am very excited about this new journey because Dr. Perry Whites and Dr. Adam Hodges really take pride on great dental care while still offering a small-town feel,” she said. “They have the same approach as myself by treating patients like family.”
Longtime friend Catherine Dunn of Greenwood admires the way Darla Kimes does her job and how she treats others, especially animals.
“Darla treats every patient and animal as if it were her own mother or child,” said Dunn, director of the Mississippi Delta Community College dental hygiene program. “My good friend Darla is a true friend to every patient or animal she encounters.”
•Contact Bill Burrus at 581-7237 or email@example.com.