From Healing Hearts to Inspiring Minds: A Motivational Speaker’s Journey with Their Beloved Dog

motivational speaker experience with a dog

Zack Keithy, our author, is a certified veterinarian technician (UC Blue Ash) for over 6 years (contact him here). The articles written here are based on his expertise and experience, combined with a review by our expert vet reviewers including Dr M. Tarantino. Learn more about us here.

Since her recovery from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Caroline Rose dedicates her life to sharing her story through motivational speaking.

Throughout her battle with cancer, Rose found unexpected solace in her four-legged friend, Riley.

A common theme among all of her speaking events is her extraordinary bond with Riley, who serves as proof of the impact dogs have on the human spirit.

A Healing Bond

“I’ve had animals my whole life and have gravitated towards them and as the years passed, I realized that it wasn’t just that I loved them,” Rose said. “It was that they’re so healing.”

Rose was a student at the McCombs School of Business in 1996, and while she did not graduate from UT, she recently spoke at TEDxUTAustin.

There, she conveyed messages of hope and love. Paige Nolan, a close friend of Rose, said she admires the authenticity of Rose’s story.

Inspiring Authenticity

“How honestly she shares her story can be emotional to hear because it’s about a life and death situation,” Nolan said. “I think the best speakers do this — they open your heart. That feels really tender to be so open.”

Embracing Resilience

Rose said she first began public speaking while receiving cancer treatments.

She met with the head of the Speaker’s Bureau, where she got the opportunity to talk to donors.

“I realized quickly my favorite part of (public speaking) was talking to people afterward because, without fail, I’d have people come up and give me a part of their story,” Rose said. “No matter what they’re going through, they felt hopeful, and that gave me confidence to then go deeper into the story.”

A Source of Hope

Jenna Warnicke, a close friend since childhood, said she admires Rose’s resilience.

Warnicke, who works as an oncology nurse, said Rose is the strongest person she knows who embraces all aspects of life. She said Rose’s story inspires many people to hold on to hope.

“She is going to be able to give people so much hope because they can see pictures and hear stories about where she was and what she walked through,” Warnicke said. “I see patients that are suffering going through chemo and I’m thinking, ‘Why would anybody do this?’ and then I think about Caroline.”

Sharing Through Writing

Along with speaking, Rose plans to publish a book called “Dear Riley Rose” around summertime. Rose said the idea for the book about Riley’s companionship throughout her cancer journey started as a letter to Riley’s shelter.

“I wrote a letter to the head of the dog rescue just to thank (them),” Rose said. “Riley and I found each other and that letter started circulating around, and it became the basis for the story — this love story between Riley and me.”

Nolan, who helps Rose with the book, said Rose possesses unconditional love for her dog.

A Story of Unconditional Love

“You don’t have to love dogs, but it’s going to be a wonderful story for people who wish to honor the people, the animals and the experiences in their life that helped them to heal,” Nolan said. “This book that Caroline has written about the gift of Riley’s presence and Riley’s unconditional love (is) a reminder that love is the answer for everything.”

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Zack Keithy
Zack Keithy

Hey, I'm Zack, the Chief Editor here. I was formerly a Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT) for a good 6 years before moving on to greener pastures. Right now, I am still heavily involved in dog parenting duties, and it is my desire to share all our knowledge with fellow dog owners out there! Connect with me on LinkedIn, or read more about Canine Care Central!

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