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Boulder artist helps families honor pets killed in Marshall Fire

"The thing about animals is they love you so perfectly and they love you just the way you are," artist Dana Birke said.

BOULDER, Colo. — Dana Birke stood with a hammer in her hand. She gave her three cats fair warning and began to slam the tool onto a small charm.

"Alright, that looks pretty good," she said confidently as she sat down at a desk and got to work. 

The Boulder resident is a jewelry maker. She uses art when she knows words aren't enough. 

"Brighten the corner where you are, I like to think," she said as she held a small charm in between her fingers. "So, it’s what I can do today."

On Tuesday, Birke channeled her love for animals and her pain for the families that lost a pet during the Marshall Fire. 

"I hope they feel thought-of. That somebody was just sending them love," Birke said as her eyes glistened. "Just to be reminded of their little pet because it's so hard to lose one."

With a hammer, Birke beats through that agony. The artist is creating free customized charms for the families who lost a pet that once gave them unconditional love.

"The thing about animals is they love you so perfectly and they love you just the way you are," she said. "And you love them so perfectly, sort of like you get to be your best self with your animals."

Eighteen orders in, and Birke is starting to see how much pain Boulder County is in. Many of the orders are for families that lost multiple pets. She hopes this gesture can make even a small difference in these families' hearts. 

"Sometimes I think it's upon us, the people that have been spared, this go around anyhow, to just do whatever little thing or big thing that comes to mind, to help a neighbor in this situation or really any time," she said. 

If you lost a pet during the Marshall Fire and want a free customized charm, contact Dana Birke at danabirkedesigns@gmail.com.

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