|How does a dog like Golden Girl end up in a shelter?|
Several years ago, when I had just entered an exhilarating phase of my career, the pastor of my church, who was also a member of my advisory board at work, said something I’ve never forgotten: “You are a rescuer, Diana.”
It seems this man of the cloth saw something in me that I had not yet discovered for myself. At the time, Pastor M. was speaking about how I had this need to save everyone who was struggling in life. So much of my creative energy was invested in finding ways to help at risk youth, the illiterate, victims of any kind of violence, or anyone who was experiencing hopelessness. To see someone suffer split me wide open to the core.
I said back then that I never wanted to become cynical or callous in the face of need, for I saw so many individuals burn out over the years and grow hardened. I suspect caring deeply, in the face of overwhelming odds, can lead one to grow protective layers of defense. Each of us, in painful situations, finds our own way of coping with that which we cannot change.
Why do I share this? I suspect it is on my mind this morning as I reflect on the kind of rescue in which I am primarily engaged in this season of life: animal rescue. It is heart-breaking work that often crushes those who give it their all. At the same time, there are incredibly beautiful moments of fulfillment.
In attempting to save the lives of horribly abused and neglected animals, I meet the most amazing people. Though some of them are scarred by years of seeing things that keep them awake every single night, every rescuer, though perhaps no longer whole in terms of peace of mind, reminds me of the goodness that is an antidote to some of the horrors present in the world today.
I just published a review of Dogtripping by David Rosenfelt. David and his wife, Debbie, have saved the lives of over 4,000 dogs. They have opened up their home to more than 300 dogs that didn’t have a chance of survival. The animals they rescue are headed for the kill chamber mainly because they are old or have some type of medical need.
Thank heavens for those who choose to alleviate the suffering of others. May we appreciate the sacrifices made in the name of compassion and may we be the comfort in someone’s day today.