it is easy to forget sometimes how elderly and frail some of our guys are...this is because they seem to truck along pretty good for a very long time. we even forget that even mystic is hanging by a thread cuz one of these days her kidney function is going to slip over into the less than 25% functioning edge and then we are going to see a big change in her fairly quickly.
this is why the burden of responsibility here is so great..they have to have predominently good and happy days to enjoy..they have to feel loved and well cared for..they have to be given the utmost respectful and concerned kind of care because every single day has the very real potential to be their last day on earth.
i do not want any one of them to feel ever neglected or unimportant in their final days or weeks of life. i want them to feel cherished and that their comfort and happiness is the foremost thoughts in all of our minds.
and this is hard...there are a lot of people working here...myself, staff and volunteer. everyone has their particular favorite or comfortable areas and that is where the animals are known and loved best...by their regular and truly dedicated to their welfare caregivers. there are too many for everyone to know really well, inside and out...(except maybe for me because i live with them all.) so it takes many special people to focus on each area and those who reside there and become their champions for excellent physical and emotional care.
we have cat people, and dog people..and big or little dog people, we have bunny folk, and chicken, duck, turkey folk and horse, cow or goat folk..we have the guardians of the pig, the sheep, the llama worlds... we have this group of people who come here to work who dedicate their time to making the days of our animals happy and comfortable....because caring for them ALL is a huge responsibility. each and every individual animal...each unique species...is equal. crosby our turkey is no more or less than pops, or percy, or ellie or carl or pete or annie or jelly or jerry or conan, or the rock or puck, or stevie, or thumper. we accomplish this because each of us shoulders the full responsibility for the group of animals under our care...together we care for them all.
i see nothing wrong with folks having special favorites...there are enough people around here now that all of the animals are favorites of someone. being the extra special favorites of someone is pretty special for everyone.
i was once accused of not wanting the animals to have meaningful relationships with any but myself..well sorry but that is such a load of bullshit because i am truly smart enough to recognise that i cannot possibly meet all of their physical or emotional needs all by myself and i want those needs of theirs met. what i do want for them is twofold..top quality, unbiased, honest, excellent and responsible care and i want the relationships to be healthy and respectful on both sides... serious co-dependencies cause serious problems for animals living in shelters....actually....it probably causes big problems for any being living anywhere.
i want these animals to be loved and well cared for by as many people in as many good ways as possible. i want them to feel that comfort of sinking into or rolling around on a freshly made bed or enjoying that extra hug or special moment of just one on one..and i want them to enjoy that cool and clean taste of a fresh bowl of cold water placed at their feet...i want them to share a joke with a friend or a game of toss with a ball..i want them always to know that there is a clean bed, fresh water and food always waiting for them...that meds are there for them when they need, eye ointments, ear drops, heart meds, anti-seizure, diabetic and pain meds..are all there for them to help them feel well....and that we will notice when they need something more.
and i want us to see them...really see them and know them...so we can recognise in an instant when they feel sad, or they feel sick so we can help them feel better again.
these saints animals are the most important beings in our world..maybe not the whole world...but in this world... here inside our gates..they are the ones that we have committed to care for. this is a huge responsibility we all carry together here..so that on yoshi's last day...or on jack's last day...or on cali's last day..or on spritely's last day..or on clover's last day or crosby's last day..we can stand at their passings and know we cared for them well.
at saints...we love all of our guys....and love is a demonstrated physical act of caring and comittment, every single day of their lives....and yes...it is hard...but we do it by working together for them all....so when yoshi passes away in my arms, i know i not only loved him but i cared for him well...even on his very last day.
we don't always have a tomorrow.