SCOTTSDALE - A Scottsdale woman is turning pain into purpose two years after her dog, Oakley, died in their pool after a tragic accident.
When roofers came to work on Julie Kessler's Scottsdale home, she had no idea that her dog's life would be put in danger.
"I let my dogs out, all three of them, just to go to the bathroom and they never showed any interest in our pool, I brought them outside and then I heard some barking," Kessler said.
The roofers had covered their pool with a tarp, which she says she didn't know would happen.
"So I ran outside, got two of my dogs and Oakley was missing," Kessler said. "I was looking for him and I saw him in the pool."
She tried to save the 15-year-old dog, but it was too late.
"I felt responsible because I'm the one who let him out even though we always did," she said. "He had a heart of gold, and he had a special place in a lot of people's hearts - sweet and caring and meant a lot to our family."
But now she and her family are turning that pain into purpose by starting a mission called "Oakley's Oath."
They're educating others on how to "sniff out danger" when workers come to the house. That includes asking crews to keep doors closed, locking all doggy doors, and checking if any chemicals will be used or if tarps will be covering the pool.
"I would love for companies and contractors to be Oakley's Oath certified to make sure they're keeping children and dogs safe," Kessler said.
And while nothing will ever bring Oakley back, their hope is that Oakley's Oath will help to save other lives.
"We actually had a person call and say we saved her dog's life, she had the same thing happen," she said. "Workers there, [dog] fell in the pool, and she saved the dog.
"She said ‘I was extra vigilant because I heard your story,’" Kessler continued. "Since we couldn't save our dog, I'm just trying to save lives. That's all I'm trying to do."
More info: https://oakleysoath.com/