Rescue Journal

remember where you started

Carol  ·  Apr. 28, 2008

because while you might now be miles down a different road, someone else might be standing at the crossroads where you once began.

when i was a kid, i grew up on animal books. "big red" was my favorite and when i grew up i was going to have a top quality breeding kennel. i imported my first dog from the states when i was 20. i named her meghan and she was a beautiful tri-color rough collie pup. i learned alot from meghan, i learned about parvo, and collie eye, i learned about demodex mange in herding dogs and how to shave and dip them in lime sulpher, i learned about septicemia, and poor immune systems when the mites die off and they develop a massive unstoppable staph infection and watching a dog you love die. i learned about thousands of dollars in vet bills on a $4 an hour wage. i learned alot from that sweet little dog in the 8 months she lived.
i learned i did not want to be a breeder and discovered the homeless results of breeders instead. but for the grace of god... and god's grace when i was 20 arrived in a broken dog dream.

thirty years later i still remember where i started and that is part of god's gift too. it behooves me to remember my young and innocent self when looking at others and where they are standing today.

it is easy in rescue to pretend that life for us started exactly where we are now. but it didn't and we know it even if we have tried to wipe that past out.

we all had rabbits we didn't look after, our gerbils lived in a glass cage, we all had cats that had a litter, or we bought a puppy from the farm up the road, or a budgie at the mall, we let our unneutered dog run loose, we gave a pet away, we killed one when it bit or got sick or kept running away, we kept the cat outside in the winter, we ignored the dog on a chain, we were too busy or stressed or broke or selfish or in chaos to notice a heart that depended on us to see them each day.

the world has changed alot in the past 30 years, but not for everyone, some still hold tight to childish fantasy's and dreams. some only know what they have had a chance to learn, and we all know a heck of a lot less than we think.

i bet in 30 more years, i will be cringing at what i thought i knew today.



great post! I too came from an ignorant past, but with mentors like you carol, I am enlightened, and hope to learn more ways in which I can better help the animals and not hinder them. Everyday I develope a little more into a better more empathetic person. I cant wait til Im older and even wiser! I wish everyone could see the light.


Wow Carol, this is an amazing post. It is easy to forget that we were not all born passionate protectors of all creatures great and small. There are probably skeletons in every rescuer's closet, and memories may be what drive some of us to shield all animals from harm.
Thank you for writing this. It is a much needed reality check.