In rescue we are privileged to meet many kind people who show us support by donations, kind words, passing along information, etc. These individuals are appreciated tremendously, as their encouragement reminds us that there are, indeed, warm hearts that truly do care about the welfare of the animals, and that simply put, what we do is not in vain.
In truth, while we love, cherish, and devote ourselves to these animals, and are dedicated to the work we do, there are times when it feels that it’s pointless, too hard, that nobody cares, and that we’re accomplishing little. There’s not a rescuer out there that hasn’t broken down and wanted to give up at one time or another as a result of a slew of behaviors, a dying animal, or a mess that never gets cleaned. This is trying, exhausting, and often menial work as we clean up accidents, dust up the dog hair, clean crates and kennels, “scoop,” and never wear anything but old t-shirts and jeans. Yet because we love the animals (and are possibly a bit nuts), we continue on with our efforts.
During times like these, I’ve found that somehow or another the good Lord always supplies me with a dose of love and a dash of strength through others…and this time was no exception. You see, last night we made only $5 at our Barnes and Noble fundraiser. While I couldn’t help but laugh, I also felt very defeated. My fundraising efforts have amounted to very little, regardless of what I do to make them prosper. So, while I shrugged my shoulders and blew it off to Murphy’s Law, deep down my heart ached a little.
Today, however, I was reminded of the goodness in young hearts. This afternoon I received a small yellow manila envelope in the mail, a little puffy yet lightweight, with no apparent parcel enclosed. When I opened it up I found several sheets of paper folded and tucked neatly inside. I pulled them out, opened the first page, smiled, and began reading each sheet one by one aloud to my mother….
Back in early November, I first heard about Nadia because of a 4th grade teacher named Kelly who’d seen her at the SPCA. An animal lover, she’d taken her students on a field trip to the SPCA’s shelter where they initially learned of Nadia (aka: “Tessa” at the shelter) while visiting. Kelly contacted me and asked if I could help, stating the children had raised money for her heartworm test, and they would also raise funds for her heartworm treatment if her results were positive. She talked of Nadia’s gentle nature and beauty, and pleaded with me for assistance in saving her from euthanasia.
When I received her email, I thought of how kind she was to want to help this Pyr puppy in the local shelter, and how amazing the children were to work hard and raise the funds for her heartworm test. I knew that regardless of what the “books” showed, there was no way I could turn away such a selfless act. I agreed to take Nadia, and as you know, she now rests in her crate, still recovering and awaiting a return veterinary visit tomorrow.
…but this evening, as I sat at the table and began to read, my heart was warmed by the soulful and compassionate letters before me. You see, each child in Kelly’s class had personally written me a “Thank You” letter. Some were just a few words, others a little longer in length, a few had drawings of a dog, and others had more detailed art. Each were beautiful. I read them all to mother with tears in my eyes and sometimes a quiver in my voice. Such good will from such innocence, speaking to me from their hearts in such a “grown up” way. It would make even the coldest of hearts feel love.
They gave me the lift I needed today, along with the reminder that I can go on, and I should never feel alone. How fantastic these children are to one, reach out and help others, and two, express wholesome gratitude at such a young age. It’s humbling.
I had to share with you the lovely letters from these wonderful children. May it touch your heart as it did mine.
(Hover over the bottom of the display screen with your mouse and hit the arrows to move ahead or back, as well as the two lines in the middle of the arrows to pause)