Rescue Journal

being used, becoming useful.

Carol  ·  Feb. 7, 2016

our goal is to meet the needs of the animals in our care.
and you would think that if we are committed to that goal, if we concentrate on the necessary steps to reach that goal..all would be simple and good.

so why is rescue so complicated? why do the animals sometimes get lost in the drama? why does such a thing as meeting an animal's needs.... burn out the humans trying to do it?

it's because of baggage.
all of the extra stuff we all lug, staff, volunteers, supporters, surrender-ers, adopters, fosters, suppliers, clinics, visitors, other shelters and rescues...we pack up our purses, backpacks and carry-on's with a bunch of personal stuff that we can't let go of. and yet we must.

sometimes the stuff we carry is critical and really important stuff..sometimes honestly, it is just junk. we sometimes become emotional hoarders trying to carry so much worn out and useless stuff that it overwhelms us and others by the sheer volume of it all.

it is hard enough to de-junk one's house and garage...imagine how difficult it is to de-junk one's mind, heart and soul?

so i understand where a lot of angst in rescue comes comes from all of us humans, in millions of differing ways. but it doesn't have to stay that way..we can choose to clean up our no longer needed junk.

i used to at least try to navigate thru the narrow canyons of mazes of overflowing boxed walls of human stuff. i felt obligated to participate and try to reduce human suffering here. but quite frankly my sense of direction sucks and i would get lost and a few times i actually became buried. so i created a buffer zone..kind of like an airport security system that tries to find bombs before they hit the plane.
over the years with a lot of practice my buffer zone has become quite a bit less chaotic and significantly safer. but it has taken it's toll. i have had to distance myself from the human emotional part of rescue.

so while i still feel sorry for humans in crises whose animals end up here, and while i truly understand the sometimes empty, lonely lives of humans seeking connection here, and while i totally get the frustration and powerlessness that people sometimes feel and think that this place will finally allow them to change their world....all of them came to the wrong place to have their needs met.

saints job is to meet the needs of the animals. we are animal medical providers, we are animal psychologists, we are animal trauma/physio/occupational therapists, we are animal spiritual advisers, we are animal's support networks and family...we are animals team of caregivers working towards meeting animal's needs.

humans may get their needs met here but only because each human takes responsibility for meeting their own needs and only because while making attempts to meet their own needs, they are not taking away from the resources here to meet the animals needs.

saints is lucky in so many ways..but we are luckiest in one single way..the buffer zone works.

we have accumulated a great group of people who know how to leave their stuff at home and simply come here to care for the animals.

its a gift and it is the one single most important thing that actually makes saints great. we don't use animals to meet human needs..we use people to meet animal needs. and for those of us that successfully commit to being used here, that is completely ok because we have de-junked our baggage and become useful.

the animals truly thank you.


pip van nispen

Your posts really keep me grounded and focused on the care of my senior cats~thanks Carol~pip


Wow, you always give food for thought Carol.....thank you..beautifully written