Having to cope with the loss of my Golden Retriever, Tiger was one of the hardest things I ever had to go through. He was a fluffy and happy eleven-year old pup that loved to grab the morning newspaper and sit right smack in the middle of all the excitement during the opening of presents every Christmas morning.

When my father called me to tell me that Tiger had passed away from cancer, I wasn’t sure what I was going to do. I was left sitting idle, staring at a blank wall through tears of uncontrollable grief.  To some, a dog is just a dog.  To others, they’re our family, and I felt Tiger’s loss deeply. I wasn’t sure who to turn to or even how I would cope with the grief I felt.

It was my manager, Sherry, who suggested that I not only acknowledge my grief, but give myself permission to express it as well. What a relief it was to have a manager who understood how much I was hurting! She thought that taking time to visit a nearby animal shelter would help me to channel my feelings, and immediately I fell in love with the idea of honoring Tiger’s memory by giving back to animals that are also seeking comfort.

Sherry’s compassion and care for me really helped me get through this moment in my life. So, it was a plan! I was going to head over to the Silicon Valley Humane Society and help animals in need, but…I knew I didn’t want to face this chapter alone. The solution here was easy – I sought out the help and aid of my Cisco FES-IT Team.

Cisconians are always up for supporting each other, and giving back – this was no different as everyone rallied around me and came together.

We were busy cleaning windows and completing loads of laundry – but we even made these chores fun, and got to make toys for the animals as well. We received a tour of the humane society’s facilities and were able to spend an hour with the many dogs seeking new homes, each little furry face had their own personality – and really tried to work their magic on becoming the next Cisco pup. When all was said and done, we left with big smiles and warm hearts, and I honestly feel like spending time with the animals was more therapeutic for our team than for the residents of the Silicon Valley Humane Society!

The past few months have been incredibly difficult for me, as losing my lifelong friend in Tiger made me feel a bit lost. However, it has helped me find solace and comfort in knowing that I have an incredibly supportive and giving team who not only came together for the animals of the Humane Society, but me as well.

I’m not sure if I would’ve had the courage to do this on my own, and I’m really happy to know that I have a family here at Cisco that not only advises me when things are tough but encourages and motivates me to empower myself.

Want to join a company that cares? We’re hiring!







Madi Vastare

Project Lead- Travel IT

Employee Financial Services