Helping Works

Fallen Treasure Valley soldier’s dog needs new home

Barbie Goodman, who died of combat injuries, was devoted to her dog Piggy, saved in a war zone. Now Goodman’s mother is hoping to find a good home for the hound.
Barbie Goodman, who died of combat injuries, was devoted to her dog Piggy, saved in a war zone. Now Goodman’s mother is hoping to find a good home for the hound. Provided by Julie Jones

The Statesman newsroom is one of the more animal-friendly — particularly dog-friendly — workplaces in town. But for the most part, besides publishing the Pet of the Week column and videos of pets in local shelters, we leave the animal adoption quests to those shelters and their staffers who go above and beyond for animals in need. Sometimes, though, there’s a special case. We recently heard from Julie Jones and her efforts to find a new home for Piggy, her daughter’s dog.

Jones’ daughter, Barbie Goodman, served in the U.S. Army as a combat medic from 2007 to 2015. She sustained a traumatic brain injury while serving in Kuwait. Goodman died from her injury in 2015.

“Barbie was amazing. I could easily go on and on about her,” said Jones. “She was an incredible soldier, a complete and total badass. She fought for what was right.”

While serving in Afghanistan, Goodman was on a mission when she came upon a group of children throwing a puppy against a wall. Goodman traded a bottle of water for the puppy and took it back to her base. She kept the puppy, Piggy, for as long as she could, eventually sending the dog home to the U.S.

“My daughter totally adored Piggy and her little idiosycracies and they thrived together,” said Jones.

After Goodman’s death, Jones inherited Piggy. While Piggy is “lovable and sweet” with people, said Jones, she doesn’t get along with other animals, specifically Jones’ own dog and cats. So Jones is looking for someone who is willing to give Piggy a good home. Piggy hobbles because of the injuries she received when she was a puppy and can’t walk long distances.

“But I totally believe she would be the perfect companion for the right person,” said Jones.

Considering her daughter’s many years of service and Piggy’s rescue from a war zone, Jones hopes a veteran might step forward to adopt the dog.

“She deserves somebody who will love her and she will love them,” said Jones.

Jones also wants people to know that Goodman continued to help people even after her death. Goodman was an organ donor.

“Someone has her heart, her liver. Two people have her lungs and kidneys. Two different people can see now (because of her eyes), a cancer patient has a beautiful head of hair and countless people have her bones, tendons and tissue. Because God is so good and allowed Barbie to continue doing for others,” said Jones.

To learn more about adopting Piggy, email Jones at

Whittier first grader chalks up the miles

Chris Honcik, a parent volunteer at Whittier Elementary School in Boise, sent us a note about a notable young athlete in our midst. Like many schools in districts across the Treasure Valley, Whittier has a popular running club. Kids run during recess and get rewards along the way to the ultimate goal of running 100 miles by the end of the school year. Just a handful of kids at Whittier has met the goal since the club started six years ago, said Honcik.

But this year, a first-grader named Noah Meyring, 7, has “blown past” previous records, said Honcik. Noah has already run more than 300 miles.

“I am just in awe,” said Honcik. “As an adult, I run some, but for a 7-year-old to show that kind of dedication is amazing and inspiring.”

Noah’s mom, Monica Meyring, who is also a runner, said Noah has been running every school day at recess. His tips for beginning runners include: “No talking while doing your miles. That way you run faster.” Good advice for all kinds of tasks, we’re thinking.

If you know of fantastic young runners in other local school programs — and we know they’re out there — post the news in the comments below. Include your own tips for beginning runners of all ages.

Here’s a video about another Treasure Valley school’s running group:

Boise State cancer research project: blood donors needed

Biology professor Cheryl Jorcyk is looking for volunteers willing to donate blood for a special project on campus. Researchers will compare imflammatory protein levels in the serum of healthy people with protein levels in the serum of people who have breast and prostate cancer.

If you are an adult between 18 and 80 who has never been diagnosed with cancer, who weighs at least 110 pounds, is not pregnant and wants to help with this research by having a small amount of your blood drawn by an experienced phlebotomist, the university invites you to participate.

Phlebotomists will draw blood from 5 to 7 p.m. May 26, 27, 31 and June 1, 2, 3 in Boise State Science Building (SCNC) Room 200; on the second floor in the Jorcyk Lab.

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute is funding the project. Have questions? Contact Hannah Scott at 208-426-4805,, or Cheryl Jorcyk at 208-426-4287,

Take a stand for Table Rock

A number of local organizations have been working together to improve, repair and preserve Table Rock, the beloved iconic site that has often been the victim of vandalism and overuse. On June 11, several of those groups, Forge Your Potential, the city of Boise, the Idaho State Historical Society and the East Boise Rotary Club are hosting Stand for Table Rock, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Organizers hope lovers of Table Rock will show up in force to clean up the site and its surrounding trails. They’re setting up stations, one near the trail head next to the Old Pen, one at the top of Table Rock, where volunteers can pick up gloves, bags, and other tools to help with the task. Bring your friends, bring your family, enjoy the view and make a difference.

Oasis Summer Feeding program

As it’s done for many years, the Oasis Summer Feeding program will partner with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to provide free healthy meals to children, ages 1 to 18, no questions asked. The program, headed by Oasis Worship and Food Center, will operate 55 sites in six cities, Caldwell, Nampa, Middleton, Emmett, Wilder and Parma. Sites, which operate rain or shine, are mostly located in parks, schools, and other central locations. The program runs Mondays through Fridays from May through August. Exact dates vary by site. Find a map and full details online at There are no income requirements nor registration. For more information, contact 208-459-6000.

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