You know…there are times in rescue that are purely emotional. All of your “rules” go out the window, and you just do it.
The first email I received about Grace reached out to me simply with a photo. She was obviously a senior, and she had this forelorn look on her face. Then I read she was 12yrs old, that it was a heartbreaking surrender for her elderly parent, and she had a super temperament…it was a given that I ached for her. Of course I gave myself the “you’re still recovering” speech and said to myself, “surely someone will get her – how can you resist that face?” The second email with her photos and story stated that she had until the next day…less than 24hrs. I felt anxious. The third email was from a fellow rescuer, also trying to find her some help. It included a statement from the shelter employee saying Grace had rested next to her all day and was a complete joy. That really dug deep into me b/c the attached photos showed the sadness in her eyes, the loss of hope, and her heartbreak. My mind raced.
A little while later, “Grace” sent an email to God with her prayer. She asked for his help, and pleaded for him to find a family to love her. She remained humble, however, and said that if it was her time, she’d understand. Needless to say it was a huge stab in the heart and brought tears to my eyes, prompting me to write the previous post. As a result of that particular email, I talked to the shelter employee several times through the evening, and before I settled down for the night, I went through my typical checklist…a little ritual I do when there’s a dog I’m interested in bringing into rescue. The more I thought, the more I saw her face, the more I wanted to help her…and the quicker I was to say “heck with it” and just take her in…and I did just that. Simply put, sometimes you just do what the heart tells you to do, whether you’re following the rules or not.
I’ve learned through time that there are times an animal comes along, and it’s truly different. Daily I receive hundreds of emails with hundreds of dogs and cats needing help, most facing euthanasia. God forbid I walk through a pound/shelter, for it only increases those numbers. I turn down hundreds of dogs almost daily, and could turn down more if more people had my email address. Realistically, I’m very limited as to what I can do, and I have to say “no” more often that not. All rescues face this, naturally, and when we do take one in, you truly have to consider everything from food to finances, to a particular dog’s temperament or disposition. This is hard for those who do not do rescue to grasp, and often they feel we “call ourselves a rescue” yet we always say no. Truth is, we have to draw the line somewhere whether we want to or not.
However, in my experience, there are photos that are sent to me, or a look as I pass through a shelter, and when you see that animal, it’s a lock. The only way to describe it is to say that the bold key is pressed on the typewriter, and instantly the emphasis is magnificent. You quickly zoom in…you are literally drawn into the animal and see nothing else. You feel that animal…it can be a lump in your stomach, and ache in your heart, or perhaps a smack on the head…but you literally feel that animal, and it’s a heavy load that you simply cannot shake off or drop.
I felt Grace.
I’ve also learned that this happens for a reason. There’s a reason that you experience these feelings. That animal was made for someone. That animal was made to touch someone’s life…and you were asked to touch his or hers. He or she was supposed to be rescued, whether you thought you could or not, whether it was logical or not, whether or not you had the money, the space, or the time. You were tapped on the shoulder, and the good Lord said “I want you to take this one in.” I am here to tell you, there’s no backing out. I’m not saying that they are better than any others that you take in – not at all. The difference is that you took others in when it fell into the routine and rules. The “bold key” animals you took in when you thought it wasn’t the best time or thought you couldn’t do it. I can name them all…the “bold key” animals.
Although doing better, truth is that I am still recovering from a slipped disc and no doctor would say “Sure, go get an almost 70lb dog to take care of…” Grace is a “bold key girl.” Grace is so worth it.
SO! Drama set aside, Pretty Girl Grace is, again, 12yrs old, 68.2lbs, has big, emotional eyes, and darling expressions. She was so excited to walk out of the shelter, and her pace picked up right away. Once in the car she did settle in, but I watched her start to wonder what was happening. By the time we got to the house, and she saw it was a home, the relief on her face was priceless. She rested well, tried out several blankets and a dog pillow, and finally decided the pillow was pretty comfy cozy.
Due to an upset belly and a lump on her face that had me concerned, we visited the veterinarian today. She has the common kennel cough, some arthritis in her right elbow and has a little sideways hip action going on, but her heart and lungs sounded great…pretty darn fantastic for a 12yr old! She strutted around the clinic and even did a few hops for me, and it was obvious she had quite a bit of pep in her step! She was simply adorable, and the vet and staff enjoyed her visit.
The bad news is that the lump on her face is an abcessed tooth. This requires immediate surgery, and it is without question, painful. Due to her age and all the prerequisites for surgery (bloodwork, electrocardiogram, etc) the bill is pretty high…the estimate is a whopping $465.10, and that’s if they don’t find other issues in there…it is, afterall, an abcess, and she is a bit “up in the years.” Yes, I panicked. However…She told me she’s worth it.
So, somehow I’ll do this. I’ll postpone the next heartworm treatment a tad longer (still mad that the slipped disc screwed everything up), and I’ll begin franticaly figuring out how to come up with this unexpected expense. I do have to say, it’s never dull or uneventful in rescue. 😀
NOW!!! I will keep you in suspense no longer! Here’s our pretty girl!!!!
(Oh – I asked the shelter to let her previous owner let her know she’s safe since this was so difficult on him. I know I’d want to know.)