there are currently 7 dogs crashed out on my bed...not much room for me and i was feeling squished. a normal person would remove 2 or 3 or 5 and try for a decent nights sleep...but then i am not normal. they are all quite comfortable, they have as much right to that as me...its not their fault i like to move my legs around and turn from side to side periodically.
i live in a homeless animal sanctuary...this is my home, their home...we all have to give up some things....for me, tonight, it is a comfortable nights sleep.
since i was awake anyway..i was thinking about all of the different relationships i have with each of them. some own me so deeply, others just borrow me til someone better comes along.
for some like cuddles, i am now, tonight, the sun and the moon,( next week it will be someone else because he is going soon) for others like phoebe...i am the only person in their entire world who they can trust completely to forever be their family no matter who they happen to be.
cuddles never stops loving me, not even for a millisecond, he has devoted every single cell in his body to being with me. phoebe doesn't really even care about loving me but she sure as heck doesn't want me to disappear on her and leave her in the world all alone either. does she know that i will be there and watch over her til the day i die even with her most haggishness moments? does she know that to this point, no one else can or will do that for her? probably not.
or maybe she does. she is a smart cookie and she has had lots of experience with the ones who lied to her before.
i look at the horses and our relationships, esp. spritely...i think those guys know that the biggest gifts i gave them was some peace to do what they want while providing the service they like too. when spritely is sick, she looks at me differently...not so much with gratitude but with an awareness that she trusts and feels comfortable in the help that i offer to her.
living and sharing with 100 animals while totally accepting the burdens of their happiness makes for some interesting relationships...it makes for alot of sadness too.
i still see star's concerned and bewildered face staring right at me when i walked away from her in the clinic...i know she has gone from me and by now, she knows it too.
and here is the interesting thing in all of this....when they come here...my first goal is to get them to love and trust me and for me to love and trust them too...and mostly i do.
my second goal is to someday break that trust and sever that love as they move into their permanent homes...i feel like i betrayed them momentarily but for a greater good. and i hurt at their leaving because i miss them when they go.
i told laura and lana tonight, to a certain degree it is easier for me when they die...i stood by them til the very end, i was there for them and then they are gone.
do you know how it feels to know they are out there and everything i loved about them is now in someone elses arms?...it is hard, but it is the right and good hard...not that knowing this makes it any easier.
i have had animals here that have profoundly changed my life...i have loved so very deeply and then i let that love walk out my door.
and then i have dogs like phoebe who so badly want that very same thing and she can't have it, all she can really have is me. that hurts too because while i was enough for cuddles and for star..i am not enough for phoebe because she does not like to share.
how many animals is it now nicole, since saints first opened our doors?..how many have i lost to death? how many have i let their love go to someone else? how many are still here? and how many more are there to come?
how many different and unique relationships will both the animals and i have to build and commit to living while saints does what it does?
never mind ...i added it up...i have done this almost 300 times, i have lived with and loved almost 300 animals in barely 4 years....ok, so i can probably expect at least the same or more in the next few years..... that scares me.
i better learn to kick them out of my bed.