the kind of rescue that pushes and stretches the limits to help every single god damn animal possible but still stay this side of the oops gone to far line, is hard.
sometimes i feel like schindler..in that scene at the end of the war where he breaks down sobbing.."i could have saved just one more." when you are dealing with lives...every single life counts. and the ones you do turn your back on, stay with you forever.
there is a stubbornness in me that i have to keep from becoming pigheaded. but that stubborness has been good to saints...it has allowed 500 animals safety, kindness and respect.
do you know how many times animals shouldn't have come here?.....there should be no cows, pigs, chickens, rabbits, goats, llama's, sheep, rabbits, horses, ducks or turkeys. my background in animal rescue is cats and dogs.
but i can't imagine a world without gideon, pete, percy, ellie..i can't imagine a world filled with brown betty's hanging in wire cages until they are killed. i can't imagine a world where ducks, chickens and turkeys never have the opportunity to actually live.
nothing i have done since the beginning of saints has been smart. none of it has been reasonable, or rational. every single bit of it comes from one small spot inside my heart that refuses to accept wholesale inhumane life and death as beyond my ability to change.
i KNOW i can't save them all. i know this better than anyone because i am the one who gets the phone calls and emails. i am the one who says no 6 or 8 times a week...week after month, after year, over and over again. i have said no hundreds of times...maybe thousands in my career.
and sometimes my stubborness says...don't say no now...you can help this one...maybe not the last one or the next one...but if you figure it out maybe you can help this one now.
and there has never been an animal come here that afterwards i regret. there is never one who walks in our gates that i wished i didn't help. there has never been any who did not deserve the chance to come here.
i can't think of too many people i know who haven't directly or indirectly sent an animal to saints...family, co-workers, friends, volunteers and rescue peers...and of those same people, there are not too many who haven't tried once in awhile to stop me from bringing other ones here.
because here is the thing..when it is personal...it becomes important to help if we can. but if there is no personal feeling attached..it becomes about doing what makes the most sense.
i figure folks ought to know by now that the saints animals here today, and all of the hundreds before are and were here simply because of simple stubborness to make us stretch and fit one more.
i can't play favorites with animals lives, i can't like dogs better than pigs, or rabbits better than ducks, or cows better than horses or goats or chickens less than cats. i can't say..i can stretch this far for you but only half as far for someone else. so what i do is i look at every animal coming here asking and ask one simple question...can i somehow help you?
most days now..the answer is no..but somedays like for marvin or crosby or tyke..the answer is yes. it depends how much stretch is left in me..how much give is left in saints. and that stubborness in me will make me stretch, will make saints give, every single time that we can.
otherwise there would be no percy, no ellie, there would be no ziggy or edith. angus, sherlock and mac would already be dead, marvin would have no end to his agony until he too was dead and the brown betty rabbits would have hung in overcrowded wire cages for their entire 6 month lifetimes, never knowing or finding human kindness just a barren existence until they died.
it is hard being driven to do something so huge..to try to make a positive difference to so many lives. it is hard to balance continually on the sharpest edge of a knife...slip too far and the blood will flow. and it is even harder not to let your fear and caution take over both your head and your heart so that those who might not have to die, will die anyway because of that fear.
this is not easy, this saving of animal lives. it is not taken lightly. the ramifications from each animal we help is felt by all of us here.
someone has to care for them, someone has to raise the money to pay for their needs, someone has to worry about them and everyone else here..someone has to be ultimately responsible for every single aspect of every singe life.
if i knew what was ahead of me..would i have even started on this crowded and hopeless rescue road to begin with? i really don't know. but for the bambi's and mystic's and maude's...for the pops, and ogidie's and stripe's, for the marilla's. and clover's, and maple's, for the rusty's, jerome's and helga's, for the laverne and shirley's and floyd's, for the spritely's, and, sparkle's and gideon's, for the percy's and jeannette's and joy's, for the annie's, and kissy's, and baby jacks, and the pete's, and edith's, and gilbert's, and the petunia's, and ellie's, and herman's, and the amos's, and ziggy's, and carl's....we did alright.
not once was it easy but we did and do make a huge positive difference in so many, many, many lives.
rescue isn't a tea party...it is mostly a prolonged and hopeless war zone....with the occasional gift of hope and kindness for a few among millions. but we will help those few each time that we can.
and for now that is my mandate and the mandate at saints (but when i get too tired..it is subject to change!)