Rescue Journal

someone asked me on the weekend if I cry when they die...

Carol  ·  May 25, 2015

and I have been thinking about this question for a little while because it unsettled me.

I wonder what people think I do actually feel in regards to the animals here and if they think that somehow, I have been able to turn off or mute my feelings simply because of the numbers that I have cared for over the past many years.

so here is the answer to do I cry? I shed a lot of actual tears..the last time I cried was a week ago when I touched tina for the very last time.

but let me tell you something about tears...tears are not a measurement of caring. commitment and dedication and action and a willingness to keep going day after day, year after year..every day, every year...that is a more accurate measure of how much I really do care.

every single one of these and in the past (and it doesn't matter if they are here or have passed away or are in foster care or if they have been adopted...I cared for them first.) caring doesn't stop because they are no longer here...sometimes caring is letting them better homes, to where ever end of life goes.

when I cry at end of life..that's me just being a baby..selfishly sad because someone I loved has gone and I am going to miss them.

but the tears that I cry when I have fucked up...when I went too far or not far enough. when I have given those sad, broken to pieces hearts and bodies a second chance and something bad happens like it did with jazzy and lance, with those tears are rivers of blood.

no one is ever going to get this...the love I feel for these animals is all consuming. this is why I have given up a normal life..this is why I keep going. this is why I take risks and chances..because above all..I hold precious their happiness and their life.

I care so much that I will take my feelings and put them to the side so that I can with clear headed understanding and respectful compassion see and hear what they need, where they are and what I need to provide.

caring is a hard job, it is not always a happy or an easy job but it is a necessary one. and caring is not about who can and does shed the most amount of tears (even tho I am pretty sure I could win this one!)

caring is about making sure the animals have good care, they are comfortable, they are happy, they are stress and fear is about figuring out and providing appropriate staffing/volunteer caregiving, about worrying about money and vet bills, about maintaining their home so it is clean and in good and safe repair, it is about ensuring they can feel the grass under their feet, and on a hot day, a fresh cool breeze and on a cold day, the warmth of a fireplace and a soft fleece. it is about building, maintaining and not abusing relationships with our vets, with our partner shelters, with our suppliers, our short caring is about keeping saints and all who dwell within content and safe.

you suck up your mistakes, you get up when you fall down, you find some way to block out the negative stuff that sucks the heart out of you if you are not careful and you learn to accept three things...1)you will never be perfect and 2) not being perfect is going to piss someone off and 3) not being perfect is going to tear your heart out.

but what caring really means is duty...fulfilling my commitment to those that I serve. my commitment to them is not just is also deeply emotional.

I have just learned not to wear my heart on the front of my shirt.



It's 4 years today that my dad died - I was devoted to him. Sometimes pain is too deep for tears. Loved this post, Carol.


Love isn’t measured by tears,
It’s counted inside the heart
It isn’t the number of years
It’s the pain when the time comes to part.
It’s all that’s hidden inside
Not what we choose to share,
We all give a part of our hearts
When we open them up to care.
Memories will always remain
And laughter will cover the fears
And in time we can love again
No love isn’t measured by tears.

Lori Paul

My husband and I donate monthly to Saints precisely because we know that neither of us could bear up to the emotional roller coaster you ride week in and week out. We are so grateful that you have been called to do this beautiful work and provide your invaluable service to those who can't speak for themselves. So few people have the right combination of knowledge, experience, compassion and willingness to commit...we stand in absolute awe of your life's mission Carol. We thank you with full hearts for all you do, on every front.


Had a few tears myself reading this post. You give so much of yourself Carol, SAINTS is a fantastic place. I can only imagine your feelings thru some of the sad things that have happened. All I can say is that you try to help as many as you can which is wonderful.