The title of this post pretty much sums up my brain at this point. I’m sitting here working the “real job,” perplexed at an issue I’m dealing with (you just have to love “upgrades”), so I decided to take a short break and think about something else. The plan was to hopefully distract the complex aggravation, relax my head a bit, and then allow me to go back and miraculously solve the problem. Unfortunately, my plan only sent me straight into the thoughts of rescue…and that hasn’t calmed my brain down in the slightest. Instead, it revved it up even more. Be forewarned that this post may be written similar to my thought process vs. a well versed essay. 😉
The phone calls persist, and emails of dogs in need flood my Inbox. As I look at them I know there are thousands more where those came from…I’ve just not seen them because the sender doesn’t know me or my email address. I look at the incredible sweethearts that surround my desk, curled up as close to mommy as they can get, sandwiched in this one room vs. sprawled out in the rest of the house…and I am confused as to why in the world they’ve all been with me six months to a year and a half (minus two). Well, part of me is aware that many people do not want to go through my rigid adoption process, and part of me knows that dogs this size just move a little slower. I also am aware of the decline in economy, but I think that excuse is used a lot on animals simply because people don’t feel like having them around. I’m certainly not discarding the fact that people are, indeed, having a difficult time – it’s, unfortunately, quite true, even in my own full time job. It’s been treacherous and heartbreaking for many, and I continue to pray that something will change so that unemployment and debt will vanish. So please know I am not oblivious or negating the current state of affairs. My goodness, though…these are good, good dogs. Loving dogs. Beautiful dogs. Kind dogs (as well as the cats). Dogs to be cherished.
My amazing small group of volunteers works with me to come up with ideas for the checkbook. Donations are pretty much obsolete, and while our fundraisers have helped, we’ve not brought in enough to last more than a day or two. We’re working hard, however, to come up with new ideas for funding, as well as some exposure for the rescue. We have some neat plans and hopefully they will open the doors. We must get out of the double digits in dollars. God bless my amazing veterinarians for helping me despite.
In addition to adoptions and money, I dwell on what I want to pursue in rescue, getting excited at the thought of accomplishing my goals. Each day I see animals that are consistently overlooked…they’re too big, too sick, too old, not pretty enough, have funny ears, or are just a plain brown or black. Can you imagine being killed because you were a sort of muted brown color, had long, gangily legs, short hair, a pointy nose and a big head? Or because you were tubby or the color black? Or what about because somewhere on your walk down the road someone bigger was mean to you and left a scab or scar on your nose? There’s a dog that often haunts me…he’s on my website on the “Who Dies the Most” page. He’s simple, scarred up, has squinty eyes and is a plain rust color. Nothing fancy like a Great Pyrenees or Bernese Mountain Dog, just a plain ole Joe. He was a happy and incredibly sweet dog. I see his face a lot, remembering how he really struck me when I visited his pound because I knew he’d never get out. I remember thinking…”Can I do it??” I thought hard about it, but there was just no means. I took his picture, and I’ve looked at it often. Each time I think to myself, “I want people to see dogs like him and fall in love.”
I’ve heard people say “That dog’s ugly” as it wagged it’s tail and smiled, overlooked despite it’s kind heart. While I know not all dogs can look majestic or be show dog material, it upsets me to hear such a statement. It’s been preached to us all about humans…”Don’t judge a book by it’s cover,” “Beauty is only skin deep,” “Don’t put someone down for their looks…get to know them and you may fall in love, thinking they are incredibly beautiful.” We forget about these teachings in the human race. We don’t even consider them applicable to animals.
I talk about this because while you know I love the Pyrs, as well as the others I focus on, I also want to promote the underdogs and show their beauty. Let me rephrase that…I want to have a big enough rescue so that I can do my current focus of Pyrs, extra large dogs, seniors and special needs and add the boring, scarred up, big headed, squinty eyed, rust colored dogs to my plans. I also want to rid that knot in my stomach because I can’t take the hundreds, and I do mean hundreds, of Pyrenees in the shelters (a once rare breed). I want to devote a part of rescue to seniors and show the world that older is wiser and beautiful, not less and a liability. I want to encourage the beauty of a special needs dog. I want to teach the beauty of an animal’s heart and soul so that people can wake up! I really, really want to go after my dream.
It’s sad, you know, this whole world of pounds, strays, overbreeding and abuse. When you genuinely stop to think about all of the things you never see…things that would devastate you if you knew about them …the things I and other rescuers see on a daily basis (as well as those that don’t reach us)…if you even think for a moment about them, it’s sad. If you did see them and had only an ounce of love in your heart, you’d cry. I can tell you that regardless of what you think you know, if you don’t work in this field, you couldn’t begin to even touch the surface. It’s that bad.
So those of us who are…crazy?…continue to read the emails, look at the photos, and dig deeper into the trenches. Sometimes it’s just too much. Other times we smile.
I type this while hearing in the back of my mind, “I want to push harder and do more…I just have to find a way.” Mind you the other day I was close to throwing in the towel after finding yet another disaster when I came home. I stopped and looked at how much I had to clean, on top of what I already had to clean, and I was overwhelmed. I looked at the lack of “home” in my house, the hair and the mess, and I just dropped my head. It was then that I realized I can’t imagine not doing rescue and working hard for these animals. Nothing makes me happier. I just want to do it better. Better not only for me and my household, but for the animals.
So, that’s my new goal. Better. Once it’s better it will be bigger…and even better still. I know it can be…I know it can.
I still remain sad when I see it all on Facebook, my Inbox, hear it on the phone, etc. It haunts me, it hurts me, and it makes me angry. I know that the rule of thumb remains to be that “You can’t do it all” and “Don’t wear yourself out.” There’s no need to remind me of it all. I mean let’s face it…I’d not listen anyway, right? So, I’ll just continue to walk my baby steps, get knocked down repeatedly and get back up.
I’ll also ask something from you…Believe. Believe that I can do these things…then say a few prayers for me and the gang.
And…next time you or a friend are considering a dog, look at one that you’d never look at before…one that isn’t quite so “magazine cover” or one that’s curled up and afraid in the back of the kennel at the pound. Maybe even one that has mange or a scarred up face. Think about going for a big dog. Consider that plain ole boring black or brown dog…even a Pit or Pit mix that’s wagging it’s tail and kissing you through the kennel door. If you see a dog and think “I bet Alli would take that dog, despite…” then think about taking it yourself. Take a chance. Devote yourself when nobody else would and encourage your friends to do the same. Just go for it…You’ll be glad you did.