i learned rescue from the old timers before the frustration, hopelessness, constant strife, politics and struggles of grass roots, down and dirty rescue drove most of them over the edge. now they don't teach or mentor anyone..if they are still around, they are too angry, bitter and distrustful to engage with the rest of the world.
i had a conversation with a friend from another rescue i used to be with...she said tongue is cheek...they were lucky cuz they learned from the master...which is true (in my mind) because they learned private rescue from me...(they already knew public rescue...but private rescue is different)
what they learned from me was what i learned from the old timers....
all animals in rescue care must not ever be able to reproduce..(so everyone was spayed or neutered before adoption, even the babies)
and all animal's adoption contracts were followed to the letter...adoptive families would quickly lose the animals if they were not. (as the mobile dough-boy without a huge shelter to manage...i got sent out to retrieve animals who were not living the way their old time rescuers said they were supposed to be)
and finally any animal whose adoption was breaking down, was to be returned to the rescue IMMEDIATELY..no excuses, no negotiation, no waffling around or fence sitting..once that animal was back on their radar, they wanted that animal back NOW!
their credo on this was....if an adopter could not problem solve or deal with an issue then said adopter was stupid and stupid posed a huge safety risk to their previously beloved animal so give him/or her back, asap.
negotiation and polite communication was not a priority for them...but....the animal was.
rescue has changed over the past 10 or 15 years. in many ways it is better. it is more open, less insular. it is for sure more professional. it is more knowledgeable in some ways, but less in others. folks read a lot of books now written by people who have time to write books or go on animal convention tours....but the life-lived experience of living with many, and varied and multiple personalities/issues and tripping over them every day became an embarrassment to new age rescue.
theory was way more impressive (and easier and cleaner) than lived reality in the trenches.
new age rescue has many faces and MANY new rules. but if the basics are ignored....good food, shelter,medical care, individual and unique emotional inter-species bondings/connections, COMMON SENSE, and life-long responsibility and committment for any and every animal ever in each rescues care..those things you don't learn in a book.
they have to be lived....and living them sometimes is not so very pretty and freaking well hurts.