Rescue Journal

the safe harbor

Carol  ·  Dec. 1, 2012

i have learned over the years how to mostly keep my emotions under control. i still have the occasional bad moments when my emotions take over but these times become fewer and fewer and shorter and shorter in duration as i consciously put a lid on indulging myself.

part of rescue is providing a safe and calm harbor in the various storms that rip thru animals lives. animals are so sensitive to our emotions...frustration, panic, anger, fear, discontent, resentment..they read these things so well from us and it impacts their own view of the safety and quality of their lives.

learning to be calm and patient and reassuring around the animals is a natural progression from my nursing training. how many people would feel safe if they were sick or in crises and their nurse was running around in a panic and freaking out in the hallway?
not too many.

sometimes i think folks think i am emotionally removed from the animals to a certain extent. that i somehow put a distance between me and them. this is not really what happens..what happens is this....

when an animal is in a crises of fear, or pain or really any kind of distress...i move my inner self closer, softer, warmer...more gently open and they feel that warm soft safeness begin to surround them.
no one has ever soothed a crying, sick or frightened child by freaking out along side of them..we soothe them by our own calmness...we are the calm harbor and they are safe from the storm.

i think sometimes people give up on their animals and end up surrendering them because they get caught up in emotional storms. they feed off of the pain, fear or upset and join into and escalate the panic before them.

i still feel afraid..and when the animals fight i still do sometimes feel rage..but i can slam the lid back down and make myself calm down because what the animals need is not my panic...not my anger...not my tears or my fear...what they need is to feel safe.

i am not distant from these animals, i am not removed....i move so close to them that their needs make my own needs totally disappear.

do you know why ultimately i can be fairly successful with the odie's, the mya's, the phoebe's..the big freaking boob? why i can in the past year alone survive the death and loss of 30 very much loved animals?

it is because i have learned one lesson so very well...rescue is not about me. i don't need validation or stroking, i do not really need the freedom to indulge my feelings...i don't need everything to always go smoothly or perfectly well...all i need is my own willingness to put myself aside, step close and participate in fostering peace and reassuring calmness to help them find safe harbor in their lives.

i am pretty successful in multi-species, communal, senior, special needs and end of life rescue only because i have the willingness and 100% committment to be the safe anchor in the sometimes storminess of life.

that is my secret on how i actually do this..and honestly.... it is not really all that hard.



So sorry about Rumple, I really liked that little guy. He was very lucky to have had SAINTS and Maggie in his life. Big hugs.

Bunny Horne

Maggie, Rumple was a lucky boy to have you in his life. You welcomed him into your lovely home and gave him all that he could ever want at the end of his life. Deepest condolences - RIP sweet sweet Rumple


That's very sad news Maggie, but I am glad he was able to spend these last months with you.


I am very sorry to have to tell you Rumple died this afternoon. He had been going down hill over the last couple of weeks and in consultation with Carol and Dr. Loff we decided the kindest gift we could give him was to let him go peacefully.
I have been very privileged to have him in my life; I love him and hope he felt he had a safe harbour.


I couldn't find any canned food (Friskies) for amm the MP cats today, so they didn't get any this morning. I noticed Cliff was quitewe dirty too, not sure if he is one you bath/clean. Zsu zsu's place was quite a mess, tried to wipe him a bit, but he is so fragile.

shelagh f

all the makings of a great nurse, too.

Hell of a bake sale. One of my friends suggested
that it should be written up in the local paper,
good publicity for Saints and Scotia bank.

Left a cheque for you to sign for me, on Ed's desk.
Will bring canned food tomorrow.