in any kind of life change it is the finding the balance, making new things familiar and predictable that determines our eventual ability to not only accept, but to enjoy.
i remember 25 years ago when circumstances forced our family to move from kelowna to maple ridge where my husband had found a new and better job. i did not want to move, our family and friends were in kelowna, i did not know anyone where we were going at all.
and i hated it...maple ridge wasn't even really a town of its own..to me it was just a far out and faded blending of one place after another from vancouver...i did not like living there.
i remember about 3 weeks after our arrival figuring out that dewdney trunk road and lougheed highway ran parallel to each other and zellers was in the middle.
ahh...i finally had a reference point, i had somewhere that i could go on my own without getting lost all the time....things got better for me from there.
i needed something to become familar and routine for me....and it became a geographical location that actually made some kind of sense in my head.
this morning i watched molly2 cheerfully shoulder check jelly as they both rushed back into the house. when i sat down in the computer chair with my tea, molly came and once again laid her head on my knee.
and her face and her eyes were different...she was softer and more peaceful..."ahhh...." said i as i stroked her lovely face...."you are making some sense of it all around here now."
i was molly's one reference point but now she is able to start grasping other reference points around her too. and this is good.
the biggest challenge in rescuing animals and bringing them into a multi-species and busy communal shelter is giving them the intitial predictable reference points that they can grab on to. each animal is different..for the cats it might be a very favorite kind of food every day or it might be a very private place for their bed....for dogs like big bambi it was having a patient sounding board that she could complain in the face of each day. and for molly it was the lap at the computer for her to lay her head on when she was feeling upset and afraid.
from that one point which becomes predictable and familiar...the rest just starts falling in place.
and this is what i find so fascinating in rescue...this ability of animals to find the balance around them without a great deal of effort from me.
it is so easy to give a faavored treat here and there...so easy to set up a private and comfy bed...no effort at all to listen to an unhappy dog or keep a lap free for some overwhelmed head.
the first point of all rescue is giving a single safe reference and then watching them build out from there.
all of our new guys are well on a becoming familiar road now....it is such a relief for me when they get there.
good rescue is about solid predictability....even in the sometimes chaos of saints.
jelly and molly are back out in the yard again and they are playing together...molly has a second reference point now, it is her cheerful jelly-bean friend....oh yay.....lets hope jelly does not teach molly how to be a jelly-head, one idiot reference point is enough around here for me!