Rescue Journal

Figuring things out

Alison  ·  Sep. 26, 2006

Having a sanctuary with 60 animals in it, sounds like a wonderful thing, and in many ways it is. These guys are lucky in so many ways, they aren't in a cage, they aren't ignored, they aren't de-valued, and they aren't dead (all of which were real possibilities or realities before they came to SAINTS) Here, they get to have really good cookies, and brownies and picnics and some of them get to slop around in the mud pit (ex pond) to their hearts content. They get many hugs and kisses and someone is "seeing" and talking to "them" (the real them, the "person" inside them) every single day.

But there are downsides too. There are alot of animals here to care for. There are alot of leaking little buggers who leak on somebody elses bed (theirs or mine, grhh) they need more frequent bathing because not only may someone have leaked on their bed during the night, but they themselves might have too. They bring the mud back to the house with them and leave that laying around for someone to lay in too. They roll in dirt and grass and they roll in horse poop in the evenings and they need more bathing to stay clean. But both water and human bathers are in short supply (we won't even talk about the tiny bathroom that the big guys can't fit into.)

Everyone needs more walks and more brushing and more one on one time just for them. Some like Buddy and Sissy and Romeo, need a strict and consistent diet, and that will never happen here with all the free feeding bowls full of mixed and donated food. Sometimes someone can get sick, and if they are normally quiet, it might get missed as we are constantly distracted by whatever is happening at any particular moment by a score of others who are underfoot. Sometimes we see something odd, and we go hmmm??? but it still does not twig us to look a bit further.

Like on Sunday night. Panda's mouth is getting sore again, and I knew this, and was watching to see if this time was going to be the bad time (Panda is FIV, all of his teeth are gone and there is not much left for us to do for him medically anymore because nothing works) One of these days, Panda is not going to slide back onto the good side of the sore mouth line, and I am going to have to help him go. Anyway, don't ask me why (or at least not on sunday night because I was in dumb daze on sunday night), but Panda came flying onto my bed, dived under the blankets, peed on me and then darted out. What the hell was that???? I got up, nattering and complaining and went and slept on the couch, fussing the whole way there about giant quilts that take up whole washer loads in laundry mats and frigging cats who pee on me in my sleep. By monday morning, I was over it...but by monday night I was on guard when I went to bed. Last night, he flew back up onto the bed, ran across both my pillows and flew under the bed again. The was urine, streaked across the pillow...the light bulb went on, this has nothing to do with his mouth, this has to do with a sick cat. He is off to the vet this morning at 8:30 if i can find him, he has gone into hiding because he knows i am on to him now. I am worried that his bladder is obstructed with crystals and I better have not been in stupid mode for too long for the vet to fix this.

I always feel guilty when I miss stuff, and I know I have 60 good reasons for missing it in the first place. But this is the downside to multiple animal sanctuary care, there are always more of them then there are of you and the odds are that you are going to drop the ball more times than once.

Part of the reason I am always so desperate to get help up here, is not just to make the work easier (altho that is nice too). It is to get the animals the extra hands to touch them, and eyes to see them, and hearts to love them so they are less likely to get sick and be missed, so they can be clean, and brushed and shiny, and not be waiting for someone to have a moment to give them a hug on the off chance they will have some time. SAINTS will only ever be as good as the care that the animals receive and both they and I want them to have more.

That is the real sadness about any place like SAINTS, is too many for too few. And for those that say don't take in so many...well walk around and pick who should have turned away...not Daisy, not Suzie, not Saul, or any of the guys like Phil who are now hanging on the windchime tree either. All of the saints who come here, need here, they just need here to be better. So i have figured out three things this morning, Panda is sick, we need more humans up here on a more regular basis, and somehow we have to stop the world from ignoring and tossing them away in the first place...i just have to figure out how we can get there.



I think thats a fab idea, I would come out 3X a week to hang with Buddy and Sissy^_^ And Saul, the big oaf!


i think that's a great idea. i guess "SAINTS' buddy program" isn't exciting sounding enough.
i think the updates on the animals is key aswell, as Andy has had a 'new update' since last april. i'd do some but i'm not too handy with words.


We can also post the name of the person sponsoring his/her time with the animal on the animal's personal web page. That person could also do updates on the animal the are buddying up with if they wanted to.


This idea came out of a discussion Kathy and I had about an adoption application I had received for Moses (which wasn't applicable for Moses - so don't get excited). We began discussing the fact that many of the animals at SAINTS will not get adoptions because they are pallative care or incontinent or because many of them have already found their, which is SAINTS. So our idea was to look for people to buddy themselves up with an particular animal at SAINTS. Many of these animals do touch the lives of other people who read about them. But these people are unable to take the dogs in their homes for a variety of reasons. However, maybe they could become a SAINTS' special buddy (like the big brothers or big sisters program). The person can spend one on one special time with just one animal. Take them for a walk, groom them, tell them a story etc. We have all seen what a big difference Nicole made for Honey because she became her special friend. Wouldn't it be great if we could find a couple of people who would be willing to come out 3x a week to take Saul out into the fields so he can roam while he still can and still be safe because they will people there to cach him. Wouldn't it be great if all that a person did was come spend a few hours with Suzy once a week to encourage her to come out of the bathroom (unless she already has). It means so much to the animal and it gives a person who may not be able to take a SAINTS animal home a chance to bond with that one special animal and make a difference in thier lives without having to adopt.

We can advertise the program not only on the SAINTS website but also on petfinder. If Carol is agreeable, I will write up a description of the program that will, hopefully draw people in (I better brush up on my writing skills). I am hoping that people who are drawn to the SAINTS animals will feel that this is an easy and affordable way to help out SAINTS.

We need to come up with a catchy name for it. Anyone have any ideas - a phrase that would capture SAINTS and the program in a couple of words.


I'd sponsor Cole in a heartbeat, be his "special buddy", Dykly Godmother, whatever you want to call it. Tell us more, Leila!


oh...and leila has this FABULOUS new idea about individual mentors for our animals...special buddies...leila...tell them cuz i think it is a great idea!!!!!

carol one faults me deb (at least not to my face, they might be slightly afraid i will hand them the keys and tell them to fill their boots!) the issue will always be about striving to do it better.....we can do it better, always. a little bit of luck, a little bit of money, a few extra hands, and wha-la...the animals get even more. my constant harping on myself, my screw ups and the ways that we can improve, stop me from being stagnant and accepting that this is as good as it is ever going to get...over my dead body!


Carol, 60 animals is more than anyone can "easily" care for (unless that person's name happened to be Noah, and we all know he didn't suffer from a water shortage) but I truly believe it wouldn't matter whether there were 6, 16 or 600 (well, maybe 600 is a bit out there)souls needing affection and bodies needing care, you would never feel you had done them justice. That's the way you are. I don't have the responsibility of nearly as many rescued animals as you do, and I still drive myself crazy trying to make sure the lives of my furry family members are as close to perfect as possible. I want to make up for what they lost in their past lives, and what they never had. I want them happy, healthy and knowing they are adored every single moment of every single day.....just like you want for the SAINTS. For us, some days are great, some days suck. For you, with responsibility X infinity, I cannot imagine the stress of trying to keep all the balls in the air while spinning plates and riding a unicycle. AND you have an incredibly demanding "real" job.

Cut yourself a little slack, friend. You can only do what you can do, and if people (besides yourself) fault you in any way, they need to get out to the Sanctuary and get busy.


Hold on for me too (((Panda))) sweet boy. I know how much you are loved.... and Carol, when I am over from the UK I hope that sometime in the flurry of activity Julie has planned I will be able to lift a mop and hang out on the orange sofa with the boys....
Lisa :)


I hope wee Panda is going to be alright. I love that little tiny man so very much.
Hold on sweet boy, I know you are tired but you are a brave little one, you can hold on a bit longer.

Chris Thomas

Carol I don't think it is the number of animals that you have - although that does make things tougher. I think it comes down to our human condition which does not want to see that something could be wrong with one of our animals. Before I took the Chunk to the vet for a checkup she was fine (or that was what we thought). ONce she had been, was diagnosed with a heart murmur, an enlarged heart and water in her lungs we could then see that there was something with her. Then we found out about the liver. Then we were hopeful that it was 'just' an infection although I knew it was not.

Carol you are only human. You can only do so much and I don't think you can overcome our inability to see that which we do not want to see.


i will have a mini grooming party when i am up on friday.

if anyone is reading this who hasn't been to saints, come on out. Like carol said, you don't need to come and clean floors (although that help is needed), you can just come and hang out with the dogs, or cats, or buns, or barn guys or even Edna. Just sit with an animal or watch tv in the dog room, it can be incredibly peaceful and relaxing (just as long as Copper and Tyra aren't vying for attention).