Dedicated to the men and women of dog rescue
I am your mother, your father, your brother, sister, friend, neighbor, co-worker.
There are some who view me as odd because, I am not consumed by career building, mate finding, or what new thing I want to buy with my next paycheck. I have a different passion and a lifetime of experience and knowledge that I want to put to good use, in a way that brings me the satisfaction of having made a difference in some way and, if fortunate, to have left an imprint on the world around me. So, I’ve embraced animal welfare as a cause that gives me the opportunity to do that, while giving back to my community and its discarded, abused and neglected animals.
There are many who think that these are “just dogs”. But, I see them as lives that would have been lost. I know I can’t save every dog in need, and I wish from the bottom of my heart that there might come a time when shelters and rescues are no longer needed. But, that’s not something I’ll see during the remainder of my lifetime. So, I do what I can for those that have run out of options. It allows me to use what I’ve learned in my life, about caring for another living creature, protecting it from harm, comforting it when sick or injured, giving it a chance to be happy and well-adjusted. To have a life. It’s a lot like raising a family and a gratifying way to spend my time.
I have my own dogs, too, of course, and anyone who knows me realizes that I don’t have them for the sake of filling some empty space in my heart; although, that is a pleasant by-product of having these “furry kids”. I love each of these dogs for their unique personalities and will grieve for them when their lives reach an end. The same way I would for any good, trusted, loyal friend.
No one is asking you to love these dogs or even like them. No one is asking anybody to follow in my footsteps and become an animal advocate or rescuer. Everyone is free to follow their own path, including me. Yet, part of me knows this is something I am proud to be a part of.
I will say this, though. I feel sorry for those who think these are “just dogs”. And, why someone would feel uncomfortable around them or choose to ignore them, suggests a narcissism I can’t understand or relate to. Because, they are not just dogs, they are truly the gifts that keep on giving. But, that’s just how I feel about it.
I have aged and I have changed. Yet, the most important change is that I’ve found a focus, a passion and a purpose that makes me feel more alive and enthused than I have in many years.
The simple truth is that I love dogs. Specifically, I love these dogs that I’ve been able to save. And, my heart hurts for the hundreds of dogs each year that suffer and die in this town, because of some ignorant, mean, selfish and careless human being. I wish I could save them all, but I can’t. But, I can help with the saving and the healing, and put to good use the things I’ve learned throughout my life about caring, nurturing and loving unconditionally.
I see the result of abuse and am angry. I see neglect and want to comfort. I see a wrong that must be righted. I see a broken body and I weep.
There are those who think I should be like others and indulge myself with expensive trips, fancy clothes and cars, eating out and other forms of self-indulgence. That’s not who I am. I cannot, for a moment, turn my back on so much need that must be attended. So, I’ll make the sacrifices necessary for these helpless creatures. I’ll nurture and console, love and care for them so that they can enjoy as good of a life as I’m capable of giving.
I don’t ask for glory nor do I wish for reward. I simply pray that these defenseless, helpless creatures will no longer suffer at the hands of humans. I have my human friends to share my sorrows, my frustrations and my joys but, they know that if forced to choose, I prefer the company of these dogs, for there I find the pure love and loyalty that feeds my soul.
I am a dog rescuer and will be until they all have a home.
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