Rescue Journal


Carol  ·  Aug. 18, 2013

accountability is a tricky thing. when we run a stop sign, it doesn't really matter why we ran it..what matters is, that we ran it. just like it doesn't matter why people off load their animals, or don't care for them properly..what really matters is the animal is out the door or suffering from some kind of neglect.

sure it's nice to be able to do something wrong and lay the blame around the next corner, but does that change anything? not really.

and who are we accountable to anyway? well that's even trickier.

I am accountable here at saints to the government, the board of directors, the staff and volunteers, the donors/supporters, and of course, highest on the list is the animals themselves....and every single one on that list, is accountable to me too. accountability is a two way street, no one gets a free ride.
my greatest accountability tho, is to myself. I am the one responsible for how I live my life.

the reasons behind things make life easier to understand, it makes it easier to swallow the difficulty that being alive and participating in life brings. but it also sometimes cloaks life in bullshit, it gives us an excuse not to be accountable for certain things.

odie bites. the only reason knowing why odie bites is to prevent someone from getting bitten. but that knowledge of why only changes the outcome of his teeth on me if I take responsibility to prevent his teeth from sinking into me. I can't change odie, I can only change me.

we get frustrated because we think things outside of ourselves should be different than they really are. we think everyone and everything around us should change to be how we think they should be.

I am learning that if I want anything to change or be different, then I have to step up and make that change. be it how I view or do stuff, be it what plans or solutions I put in place. but ultimately I am accountable for my view of failure or success.

some folks may make excuses for me, other folks won't. but the really important thing is that I don't.

there are things here that I see as necessary, some that I view as critical and for those things, I hold myself accountable. if one thing doesn't work, then I will try to find a different solution to the issue. sometimes, like with fletcher, it may be to euthanize a dangerous dog. in odie's case it may be to find a way to safely manage a biting dog.
I don't want odie to do to anyone else what he accidently did to me. I can accept that this time was an accident and that he did not mean to bite me. but I also know that sometimes, odie does bite on far not with the strength of what he did to my leg, but I do now know the potential is there.

I can make excuses for odie, I can say he is like he is because he is blind, because he is living in a busy shelter, because today he has a hot spot, because he is a northern breed who tend to be arrogant dicks even on their best days. but the bottom line, all bullshit removed is the fact that odie bites. it really doesn't matter why he does it, it just matters that he does it. and that is the part that I am accountable ensure he doesn't bite.

accountability isn't fun, it isn't something to be disguised as something else more comfortable. it isn't something to be offloaded and shifted down the road on to someone else.

it is what it is and sometimes it sucks.


Paula C

Hi Carol,
I agree about the importance of recognizing things as they are and taking steps to ensure people/animals don't get hurt. I have a little dog from the SPCA that bites and it took over a year to figure out his triggers. We're to the point where we know what not to do and who to keep him away from (including strange dogs) and haven't had an incident in a long time. I believe he bites out of fear and anxiety, not aggression, so making sure he feels safe and calm is key. We are responsible for this and realize that he can't be trusted not to bite because he just does for whatever reason. Can't be changed, only managed, but we love him!