it becomes personal. it is personal because i share everything i am and have with them. some like IKY have lost everythng and the only thing i can give her in compensation is me. so IKY has joined the ranks of eyes watching me. i move and she follows behind. i fall asleep on the couch and i wake and she raises her head to anticipate what i will do now.
some like clyde and jed and lexi, never had anything and so i become everything they never had. i am the safety in the storm of their lives. some had some things but not everything, like jewel and cuddles and maude and jesse so they know what they had and what they didn't and they watch me and follow me, whatever it is that they want, they think they might find it as long as they stay with me.
i am the only one here most of the time. i am the constant that all of them depend on. i am the one human that they actually understand quite well, simply because i live with them, as them, and pretty much we all have the same rules. i don't like fighting and stupid behavior that puts any one of them at risk and they don't like those very same things either.... this is why we get along so well. it is all about each and every member and it is all about the whole of them all and all of them can count on that.
years ago i stopped helping addicts under going treatment, i stopped helping families entering safe houses, i stopped helping the homeless, by temporarily caring for all of their pets. i stopped not because i didn't care about their troubles, i stopped because i cared more about the animals. invariably even tho their families did love them, the animals themselves were life long victims of neglect. not because they were not loved but because the families never had the knowledge or the resources to even know that their animals had not received proper care. i did not want to return them to that. i could fix up the long term yeast infections that caused them to tear at their skin but i couldn't change that attitude that it was ok for them to live like that, year after year after year. i could remove their infected uterus so they did not die, but i could not change that utter inertia when it came to seeking out needed medical care. i could trim their nails so they could walk again and shave off their matted coats but i couldn't change that refusal to use a brush or some nail clippers that would prevent them from growing like that again. and that is why i stopped helping those folks. i sent one too many back to where they should never have been and i had a hard time living with that.
the down side of making the kind of life-binding committment that i make to each and every one of these guys, is i get really upset when someone messes this up and takes it for granted and then tosses it off like it is no big deal. it is a big deal, to me and to them. this unspoken agreement we make, their trust for my care is unbreakable in my mind.
i would never return raymond to his life on a chain. i would never return cole to his life of dragging his soiled back end around town. jed will never again be dying because his skin was so bad, and lexi will never again be shut outside in a storm. phoebe never has to worry that i will abandon her at some shelter in the dark of the night, and jesse will never be lost without me searching for her night and day. spritely will have whatever pain meds she needs and gideon will never be hungry or lonely or useless in anyones eyes and sanjaya, ronnie, tiki and the others won't starve in a hellish rescue compound again either. mrs p can be a bag until she is done and that day is closer every day and none of them will ever lose their home because their bladders happen to leak everywhere.
i can't give them all a home of their own but i can return in equal measure the loyalty and dedication that they give to me. and that is what i try to do, to me it only seems fair.
i am sorry i vented in the post below, i am sorry that most of you do not understand. but someone does understand why i am so upset...they might actually get it or maybe they don't and in the end it doesn't matter.
life at saints goes on again today, but we lost one who was counting on me and that sucks.