Saturday, April 30, 2011

That's What Friends Are For

Wow ... it has been a rough week in the rescue community of friends I have.   We all love dogs and we work so hard to help them out but it seems like our own lives just come crashing down around us sometimes.   I thought I was the only one really having to face some difficulties lately - but countless of my fellow volunteers have so much to face as well.      It's really hard for me to volunteer at an adoption event during a rough patch.   I've got some stuff going on with Joey and his school which I will get straightened out if I have to storm into the superintendent's office.   But it just sucks while having to face some things as a parent that I haven't been able to enlist the school's help.   Heck, I can't even get a phone call back from the principal or teachers.    It's so frustrating, but I do know that I have a couple of professionals on my side so I feel much more positive than I have in a long time.

When I feel like this, it's virtually impossible for me to go to an adoption event and present the happy,  positive face a foster parent needs to have for the public eye.   We have to step up as a "salesman" to put our foster dogs in the best light while having excellent customer service skills AND making the best choice for the dog and the people.   I just could not do it today so I didn't bother to try.    Actually, I haven't been able to do it much recently because the issues with JTK have been going on for a while.    Last week at the adoption event I got pissed because someone wrinkled her nose up at me because Butterscotch isn't housebroken.   I had to bite my tongue and just act like it was ok this woman was more interested in her past experience in showing a dog than helping out a puppy mill survivor.    I also got annoyed beyond belief because a woman seemed almost disgusted that he was a male and not a female.   I get it - some people really only want to adopt female dogs.   But come on, don't act like the little guy has something wrong with him.    If you realize he's a male and you don't want a male, keep walkin'!   "Move along - there's nothing here to see."    So, today I did not attend the adoption event or the bake sale.   Couldn't do it and be all happy and polite at the same time.  :)

It seems like when I'm feeling like this and I take the chance to let other people around me know I'm having a hard time with life I find out a lot about other people    So many people in our group are facing a lot of sadness and trauma right now.   I have to take my hat off to each and every one of them for continuing to do what they can to make a difference.   I have a friend who is having to deal with knowing their hometown was destroyed in Alabama from the tornado this past week.    Currently she's planning a trip and will be taking a number of baby supplies and pet supplies.   If you want to help out, please contact me directly or our group and we can pass your info on to her.     Other friends have to face a sad medical diagnosis for a family member,  scary mental health issues for themselves and others, facing their own medical concerns or still grappling with the death of loved ones. 

Sometimes I think that's why we get so upset when things go wrong in the "dog world."   It's like - "If I can't help this one, single dog how in the hell am I ever going to be able to help myself or my family?"   So many of us just beat ourselves up within rescue - a dog gets lost, a dog gets sick, a dog doesn't work out at their new home, etc, etc, etc.   And we choose to figure out whatever we can to blame ourselves.   We are all just human beings doing our best and if things happen regarding a dog everyone needs to step up and support that person and shout to the world that it wasn't their fault.    Nobody intentionally does anything for a dog to go missing, to get parvo, to die, to have a broken leg, to have to have expensive surgery or medical treatment.   It's just life ... and life can be hard.

When I'm able to move outside of my own woes and pay attention to what all everyone else is facing, it reminds me that we all really need each other. We need our families to encourage us to continue soldiering on, we need our friends to pat us on the back and tell us it'll all be ok and our group needs each other because "there but for the grace of God go I."    I've lost dogs while fostering them, I've had dogs I was fostering come down with parvo and I've had dogs that had to have expensive medical treatments.   Did I feel awful and responsible? Definitely.   But it's easier to tell someone else  they need to give themselves a break than it is to give ourselves a break.   You know who you are out there - so please quit beating yourselves up!!   You have a lot of other things on your mind, so quit worrying about things out of your control.

Some good news?? Both the Pom & Shih Tzu at Jefferson County Animal Control made it out alive and into rescue.    They were almost put down, but they made it out.   Thank you to everyone for getting the word out and validating my sadness and frustration!!

1 comment:

  1. Yep, we really do all need each other. All of us crazy rescue folks need to try to get along;o)