Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Rescue Me


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.

16 comments:

  1. I have no doubt that your Pastor M. knew what he was talking about ... Diana, you wear the "Rescuer" label well. I know you work pretty closely with one of the Squidoo Charity organizations many of my articles donate to: San Luis Valley Animal Welfare Society.

    I thoroughly enjoyed your review of the "Dogtripping" book and know I will enjoy reading it too. No doubt Fontella Bass would get great pleasure in reading your "Rescue Me" article.

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    1. I so appreciate your support of the San Luis Valley Animal Welfare Society, Ruthi. You are golden!

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  2. It is heartbreaking to see so many homeless and/or mistreated animals and people. What a very special calling to be the one to provide aid and comfort to the needy. While you can't save every hurting creature, I admire you for wanting to save them all. You truly are a beautiful person Diana!

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    1. Even if we can only reach one hurting soul, it is imperative that we do that one thing. I appreciate the beauty in you.

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  3. Well, didn't you strike a major chord with me. Animal rescue is not only my passion, but my profession and the entire reason that I started with and continue with Squidoo. In the 14 years that I have been managing the BuckHawk Center, I have seen most of those horrors that cross the path of every animal rescuer. Yet, the vast majority of those loving animals don't hold it against us humans. That forgiving nature is a lesson to us all.

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    1. It is actually really awesome to know someone who manages an animal rescue center. Ever since we met Susan, I feel like I am a bit closer to the action, to the real rescues, by supporting Buckhawk. Just about every article I have on Squidoo, donates a portion of all of its earnings to Buckhawk Center. Thank you for your continued work in animal rescue! Since you did not do it, please allow me to provide the link to Buckhawk Center

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    2. How sweet of you, Cynthia! We so appreciate your support. That means another dog can be rescued and helped to a better life!

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    3. Animals do teach us the important lessons, Susan. I appreciate who you are and what you do as a passionate animal rescue professional.

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    4. As I recall Susan, my support is supposed to be in the form of Christmas stocking treats :) I very much remember how I got started supporting Buckhawk. You are supposed to be slipping them cookies from the Santa Mouse, or the Easter Bunny Mouse, or the Firecracker Mouse or my personal favorite, the Vampire Mouse.

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  4. Oh Diana, this was awesome! I have two rescue dogs myself and am so thankful we were able to step in before they lost their lives. It is amazing to me that there are people that actively abuse animals. My two have some lasting effects to their personalities from their abuse but are very loved today.

    I know Cynthia and I "virtually" held Susan's hand last year when BuckHawk Center rescued a particularly abused and ill dog. In the beginning, we cried together lamenting his abuse, injuries and subsequent illnesses. Months later, we cried together again when he was happy, healthy and adopted into a loving family. I am a sucker for a happy ending -- especially where animals that can't speak for themselves are concerned!

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    1. Ah, yes Mandee! That mangy pup will forever hold a special place in our hearts. To this day, I am surprised that he ever left Susan. I thought for sure she would be the only person he would allow close to him.

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  5. Have you published lenses about your dogs, Mandee? I'm not surprised you have chosen to adopt rescue dogs into your family. Mine, too, exhibit signs of earlier trauma, though it only makes me love them more. I think it makes them more loving, too. I'm thankful the three of you were able to be a comfort to one another when Susan was dealing with an especially emotional case of abuse. We live and love for those happy endings.

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  6. You always manage to touch my heart Diana - I'm so thankful for this virtual world that allows me to meet some wonderful people. I suspect your pastor has it right. I have my odd moments and we're grateful that we've been able to take on another four-legged friend who had been looked over for 14 months in a rescue centre. He has a big heart as well as some issues that we're helping him to address a little. Your review was wonderful but your blog above reached my core yet again... :0)

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    1. Your lovely comment will keep me writing for another day. When someone tells me their heart has been touched, it completes me as an author, friend, and individual seeking to make those kinds of soulful connections. Thank you for rescuing another big-hearted boy. He's one blessed canine to be safe in your loving care. :-)

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    2. Well I've achieved something worthwhile today then! ;0) I hope you keep writing every day, based what I read by you the world would lose a little something if you stopped... He's a blessing to us too and I so need to get around to writing about him and how we came together - where does the time go?!

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  7. sometimes you need someone else to tell us what we already know, but just can't see

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