Rescue Journal

the martyr syndrome

Carol  ·  Mar. 26, 2010

i have this one down pat....

i work 40 hours a week at my paid job.
i work every hour of every day in between here. i work in my movie watching or sleep time by giving affection, comfort, nuturing, even a few moments of mindless play and by sleeping with one ear open for physical/emotional distress or peeing or puking or liquid diarrhea. i work when i am on the computer answering emails about sick animals that someone needs help with, turning away animals we have no room for, offers for donations like half a bag of dog food and 3 cardiac med tablets in north vancouver that needs to be picked up, requests for medical cost assistence, requests for a list of waiting adoptive homes for peeing or biting animals or other rescues who have more room for pee'ers or biters than i do (huh, there is a list?) and i do this with cats on my key board and blocking my screen who want some attention please and dogs on my lap who need some affection too. i stop whatever i am doing whereever, whenever someone needs help or to tell me something, or needs the answer to a question or need me to find or buy some necessary thing that we ran out of or can't be found.
i spoke on the phone 22 times today (while i was at my paid job) in direct regard to saints...6 of those calls were to/from vet clinics, 2 were volunteers, 7 were staff, 3 were lawyers, accountants and insurers, and 4 were people wanting to surrender family pets.
i juggle what money we have to cover enough of whatever to just get thru til maybe the trickling of donations add up to enough to pay a bigger vet bill. i deal the best that i can with the folks who are mad at me, sneer at me, belittle me and my work. i try to acknowledge and appreciate the very many who are supportive and helpful and caring too. i haul and put away 1000 pounds of barn feed and cat litter every single week on my first day off and i try to pay some of the bills and answer emails and phone calls and run the other errands on my last day off, i reorder and pick up refills the 100 medications we give out each day when the med stocks get low. i am responsible for the life and death decisions and observing the animals every day to ensure their quality of life. i am responsible for managing a busy shelter with over 100 sick and special needs animals with 5 staff persons and about 20 volunteers and i am supposed to be available to everyone when needed. i am the night time feeder, walker, floor mopper, the evening laundry drudge and i am the night time nurse who looks after any sick ones. i am the only one caring for them from 5pm til 9 am monday to friday and from 1pm on saturday and sunday til 9 am the next morning... there is only me. who else but a a very efficient and dedicated martyr can solely care for that many animals that many hours a week?

and mostly i don't mind. but i get really ticked off when someone says something stupid like...well considering how often you blog, you must have a lot of free time.
why do people resent my blogging? it is not the first time i have heard this and it won't be the last.
this blog is important to is the moment by moment record, the daily diary and log of every single life here. they all have their moments, they all have their stories here to make them real so someone besides me knows they do/did exist.
i use it to look back on the things i might otherwise forget..the good the bad and the ugly. i present things here that may bring a different thought or a greater understanding of something not yet thought about.
i share as much of this life here as i am able as honestly as i can so people who love animals can participate emotionally even if far away....even if it is sometimes just bitchy venting or a little bit crazy.
this blog has furthered saints interests, we are known alot farther and wider now than we were before the blog.

and when i blog, i still mop floors, flip laundry, pick up poop, let dogs out, cuddle cats, feed dogs cookies, answer the phone, make shopping and to do lists and tell phoebe to please shut up right now. i still watch them, eat, i watch them breathe while they sleep, how they are moving tonight. i check the lap cats for matts and comb them out while they are feeling tolerant and i refill food and water bowls when i watch them empty them in front to me. i moniter the floor sheets and change those as needed, i stop to get esther a cookie or jenny a sandwich or jewel an extra pain pill...i am not sitting on my ass for hours at a time thinking up ways to impress anyone thru what i write.

and why the hell do i feel the need to justify. anyone who has ever sat in my chair knows exactly what goes on around it..there is alot going on around it that i manage to take care of at the same time.

don't like the blog? don't read it. think i should be doing things more efficiently..come on up here..i dare you to show me..there is no way on god's green earth that anyone could get done in one day what i do and still write a blog.

i am a marytr and martyrs only have fun if they really do it if someone wants to be a more of a martyr and less of a blogger than me...well..have at is fine with me.
but don't say stupid shit to needle me..i have enough needles sticking into me, don't take the blog which is a very postive thing to me and make it into something for me to be ashamed of.



And what if you were sitting around painting your toenails? As Shelley says, you deserve it!! You do not have to justify yourself to anyone and you certainly do not have to prove that every second of every day is spent in the service of the animals. You do what you do exceptionally well and if you choose to take a few moments for yourself or even, GASP, go on a vacation, then you should NEVER feel guilty!! Those who throw stones are simply miserable with their own lives and need to find some modicum of pleasure in pretending they're better than other people.


Carol, I have often wondered how the heck you find time to blog but each and every morning I am so thankful that you do. I can only imagine what all is going on as you try to write. I have 3 "kids" of my own and sometimes it is impossible for me to even answer an email. Keep up the great work you do and never forget how much you are appreciated by your avid readers! ME!


Writing is ALWAYS a good thing... it is the salve of the spirit. In your hectic day, it is a moment to organize your thoughts, to pause and catch a breath and at times to vent into cyberspace. It is a healthy outlet. Maybe it is your minute in the day to reflect back, review and know that- yes, your day WAS worthwhile. Your chosen walk has value. None of the animals in your care had a choice. All of them have been abandoned. I believe, on some level, that they know this, too. You have not allowed them to be sloughed off to the side, you have given them the love of a TRUE home. Your home. You have given these innocent critters an opportunity to feel a sense of belonging, before they close their eyes for the last time. It only takes a minute to be around all the staff and volunteers at Saints to sense their love for the is paramount. It is the greatest gift these animals could receive.
Your blog is a connector. I was so worried about Doris's health, I kept checking the blog to get an update and was so relieved to hear late last night that she had improved. I so appreciated that one line of information. Anyways- if someone threw a dart at you about blogging, I hope that their act was useful and they gained a bit of muscle strength from their gesture... cause, I feel that the dart would bounce off you and you wouldn't give 2 shits. Yay, Carol!


What Lynne said and more.....Thank you Carol for taking time out of your crazy life to let us all have a glimpse of the joys and sorrows you experience everyday. I look forward to reading the blog at least a couple of times a day. I am always amazed at what you live thru each day, and love the way you document it. You go girl!!!


I only recently discovered SAINTS and Carol's blog. I love reading it daily and have started at the beginning, reading all the old stories: some make me laugh, some make me cry but each one forever documents a day in the life of SAINTS. Thank you for letting us share your world and love for the animals.


You know Carol, I've been on this blog every single day since I saw Zoe most recently on the local news, and found out about your organization.
I love animals with all my heart. My heart has a hole in it without them- even tho i have a great life, and a husband that is perfect for me.
I never once thought that you sit on your butt doing nothing. My god, I read how busy you are, and I find myself reading faster because I am so into what you're typing!! You're always busy and rushing around multi tasking. I just can't believe the energy you have. I know you're exhausted probably before your day even starts, yet that never stops you from giving everyone around you, everything you've got!
I haven't met you yet, but you amaze me more and more every day.
You have given so much to so many people and animals. SHAME on anyone who thinks you just sit here and blog like you've got nothing else going on.
I completely get every word you say in your blog. I understand how you feel the ups and downs of what you do.
The people who actually read your blog, and not just 1 or 2 of your postings, understand.....
SHAME on the people who judge you without getting the facts first.


Please do not let anyone interfere with your writing the history-as-it-goes at SAINTS. It is important insight that you are recording regarding animal husbandry and welfare. I think SAINTS is a unique place and that you have a unique and engaging way of telling the residents' stories, of honouring these otherwise discarded creatures and of showing both how easy and how difficult it is to care for other sentients who depend almost entirely on us. The residents at SAINTS are valued, and that comes across in every single post.

I think you people should understand that your down-time, as little of it as there is, is spent sharing the stories of SAINTS with the rest of us. I have never visited SAINTS and witnessed Carol lounging on her chaise by the pool getting her toenails painted whilst tapping away leisurley on her laptop. ) But if I ever do, I will applaud and say, It's about time you took a break!

Mauro Salles

I know that we must respect people's opinions, but commit the sin to make an exception: I can not accept that someone consider this blog as something stupid or useless. Clearly, you write what you think and feel at the moment without worrying about appearances or what is "cute" or "politically correct". This blog is a powerful channel for the expression of SAINTS's soul, even with bloggers like me writing pathetic and stupid comments many times, and in bad English. OMG.


Your blog is the centerpiece of SAINTS. It is educational, informative, addictive and damned important. The fact that some twit wanted to make you feel less significant than you are is of no consequence whatsoever.

On behalf of your loyal supporters Carol, THANK YOU FOR THE BLOG. Don't ever think it doesn't does.


the people that have their own opinion and know nothing about saints really irk me. let them come to saints and see first hand what really goes on and just how much you have to do. the blog keeps everyone informed as to what is going on and if they can not make it up here or just live to far away then the blog is a godsend. i read it about 4 times a day and am up there on weekends but love to hear what is going on. i then know what to expect when i get there. what some people will not bitch about.