Meet Sarah Holcombe

Dignified Pet Services presents 'People in the Neighborhood'

On the job and off, this woman is on the move — gardening, skydiving, serving shelter pets, and being mom to an equally adventurous English Bulldog who "doesn't know she can't swim" are just a few of her favorite things.

"Gracie loves the Sellwood dog park, and water — which is craziness because English Bulldogs can't swim," Sarah giggles. "She has a life jacket to keep her afloat.”

Growing up with dogs, then in college without one, “I realized how important they were," she says. "I got my first very own two years ago, sweet Gracie … who is often referred to as Pig, even though she’s not chunky."

A year after adopting Gracie, a position at a shelter opened up. "It felt like a dream," Sarah says happily. "I went to school for public relations, I've always been an animal lover, and I couldn't dream of a better position to be in. Every day is a little different."

Fundraising and volunteer coordinator for Clackamas County Dog Services, Sarah also works for The Clackamas Dogs Foundation, a nonprofit that fundraises for the shelter.

"Our first fundraiser in May was a great success — we raised $6000!" Sarah also recruits and manages volunteers and event appearances to promote shelter awareness.

When not working, a guilty pleasure for this fit chic is …"Salt and vinegar chips — have to buy the small bags,” she says. Any bigger and “they're gone!" When it comes to real food, her favorite is "Dad's enchiladas — can't get enough of those! He wants me to learn to make them, but he does it best!”

While the PR profession includes the art of “spin,” those who know Sarah best know, "I'm a VERY honest person — you can tell by my face. Friends take me shopping because I can't lie," she laughs.

Formerly a summer girl, "I recently got into snowboarding and I'm obsessed! So though I'm on the river and enjoying summer SO much, I'm looking forward to winter. I went snowboarding once a week during the whole season last year."

For entertainment Sarah’s go-tos include Garth Brooks and country music, and actor Paul Rudd. She says she can watch I Love You, Man endlessly, “because Jason Segel is so fun.”

But her favorite star may be her mom. "She's been such a great role model my whole life — I'd be a very different person without her. She still acts like she's 23. She's always taught me to stay young at heart, and that life goes on."

Bend – natch! — snowboarding! — is one place she'd choose if she could have two homes. The other: Australia, thanks to great college memories from down unda.

And what does this stylish PR babe say is the shoe that is so her? "Flat black Levi vans — they're good for camping, and I can still wear them to work!”

Not a real homebody, Sarah says "Gracie is the reason I come home." But more often than not, the two are out adventuring. Ready for anything, “Gracie has a winter coat and a life jacket … and some t-shirts. Okay, and a few holiday scarves. I guess I do dress her up a bit," she laughs.

Happy endings and togetherness make her heart swell. Like seeing shelter pets adopted. "I can't believe how emotional it makes me," she says. "The dogs and their people are so happy."

She also melts over "seeing older happy couples — 80s and older. I just love that."

#1 on her bucket list is a trip to Ireland, and if she hit the lottery? She would "travel for a year or so.”

With Gracie, of course.

About our Sponsor

Dignified Pet Services has served the Portland-area community for 13 years.  In addition to their core business of cremation and memorial services, Dignified co-sponsors the beloved annual Service of Remembrance at The Old Church in downtown Portland, as well as serving as wonderful supporters and friends of pets and those working in animal welfare.  Proprietors Michael, Randy and Hunter live in Sherwood. 

Christy Caballero lives a few deer trails off the beaten path. Her two semi-feral kitties rule the outdoors, while indoors, her three big RagaMuffin purr-kids and aging sugar-faced Mojo, a retired racer Greyhound, OCCASIONALLY let her squeeze onto the sofa. Writing typically happens over the top of, around the edge of, or between the legs of a draping cat.