can you imagine if I..carol started putting conditions on my volunteering my house, my farm and my time to these animals?
what if I said I will look after the dogs but I won't care for the chickens? I will clean the house but the rabbits aren't my problem. I will lend the animals my hands but I won't help anyone new learn how to work here?
it wouldn't be a very good place.
I believe I am here to care for senior and special needs animals..how can I do that if I purposefully erect a bunch of insurmountable walls between the animals and the actual receiving of care?
there are times when just the volume of bodies around here drives me totally insane..tours going thru, animals running around, staff and volunteers everywhere....365 days a year, year after year.
there are days when I am distracted, overwhelmed, irritated to no end. I deal with it better on some days than I do on others but on the whole I manage to do somewhat ok.
and that is because first and foremost always in my mind is making sure that every day, all of the animals get what they need. they get fresh food, water, clean beds and floors, they get some treats, some cuddles, some meds, some play times, some walks..some interesting stuff to help them enjoy their day.
I cannot ever forget that once inside these gates, these animals come first..it is what I promised to them when I opened saints.
lets be realistic and honest here...I don't particularly like ALL of the chores around here, I am not a saint and sometimes people do drive me around the bend. I get particularly irritated when I am on a mission, trying to do something and some innocent soul parks their butt or their problem right in my way. but..so what? its part of the job..as much as I would like to, I just cannot have every single thing exactly my way.
the things I get on others cases about are things that mess up the animals,,,moving food and water bowls on blind dogs, leaving gates unlatched and cats at risk of running into puff daddy or ed. I don't like having to heal up the skin of a crippled dog who was allowed to drag himself across the cement. I don't like having to clean wounds on odie because someone stood in a wide open doorway and let bobo slip thru.
but shit sometimes happens so I fix it up and bitch for awhile so hopefully it happens a little bit less.
all of this comes with the territory...it is what rescue is about..animals and people..good days, bad days, easy jobs, hard jobs, high up on a pedestal, down low in the dirt..it is all just the day to day part of the actual work.
it is not personal..it can't be personal because it never was and never will be just about me.
somedays it feels personal but that is just me being stupidly self centered..or... just so freaking tired that I can't think straight anymore.
I have seen and been involved with dysfunctional rescues and shelters where the animals take a back seat to the meeting of human needs. and it never, never works. once humans become the focus, the animals are toast.
so here is my pledge to every animal and human here..i will not dislike anyone..not even if you do occasionally drive me insane. if I can live with phoebe, odie and puff and see their true value, I can do the same with every person.
I will not refuse to do anything (except dive into the pond if I can get someone else (mo!) to pull crash out of the mud instead)..no job, no area, no animals are beneath me or not worth my time and effort.
I will not put my needs for privacy, for peace, for solitude,,for sleep or silence... above the animals needs for fun, companionship and good care.
I will not willingly or knowingly put any animal or human at risk for harm here.
I will take my bad days, bitchy moods, mistakes and errors and try to learn and do better next time around.
when the going gets tough, I will keep going and will not quit.
I know that I don't have to be perfect, saints doesn't have to be perfect, the humans here don't have to be perfect, the animals don't have to be perfect... for me to do my job here well.
there are NO limits on what I will do for these guys..i will do anything they need me to do.
so that is my pledge to them and to you..i am here to do a job and I will try to do it the best that I can, no matter what.
(but I really don't want to have to get sucked into the mud of the pond..or climb up a ladder..i would rather someone else has to....I have mud and height phobias..both totally freak me out!)