Rescue Journal

we are a thoughtless and careless species

Carol  ·  Jan. 15, 2017

and this is why animals and humans suffer. we see the world from our tiny one sided perspective and expect the rest of the world to see it the same.
lets look at something as universal as death.
one person wrote on our FB page asking why did i kill him, why didn't i just hold kobe and let him go on his own? she clearly was upset because she went on to say that she was disgusted and would no longer support us.

this is not a bad person or a person who trolls internet sites looking to cause trouble..this is a person who believes that holding someone dying in your arms is kind, gentle, loving and that ending their lives artificially is actually cruel and mean.

believe it or not, i am not mad or upset by the animal rescue you run up against differing opinions, differing experiences, differing perceptions, differing wants and needs constantly.

and it has been a really long journey to remove personal agendas from my own decision making.

think about how many life endings, i have been privy to..both human and animals...hundreds upon hundreds.

and to this day, 20 years later, i am no more an expert on life or death than any of you.

what i do know is this...and it has more to do with attitude.

death is a profound experience. it is also a highly personal experience for the being who is ending his or her life. all of the people, sadness, judgements and drama that sometimes surround death are carried outside of the dying beings circle of ending life. this is their uniquely profound moment of their life ending, not yours and not mine.

imagine at the very moment of giving birth, another uniquely singular profound personal moment when every cell in your body, every conscious thought and feeling is focused on one single thing..getting that baby out of your body, safely. imagine on the periphery people sobbing, arguing, jockeying for the best seat, holding and hugging your body, telling you how much you are loved and needed.

is this fair? is this respectful? is this even comfortable while you are trying to concentrate on the work at hand and trying to get thru it..trying to just breathe?
who would these things be done for? who do they provide love and support for?

we are not always able to see past our own childish fantasies and needs. we often put ourselves before a really important thing because we simply don't see that when a life is ending, it actually is not about me.

i am comfortable that kobe's final day of living was one of care and caring. i am comfortable that kobe's final moments were respectful and had dignity.
whatever others judgements or drama's or beliefs are have nothing to do with kobe..those are human things.

kobe lived well loved and cared for, kobe died at nineteen years old....whatever life and death meant to kobe, he is free now.

in a dream world, every single person would get to write the exact kind of script for every death they experience or see. i live in reality where end of life to all living creatures is their personal ending and a unique journey belonging to one... not many.

our journey is with continuing with living, hopefully also filled with respect, compassion and dignity especially around another's ending.


Linda Walker

It struck me recently at how more relaxed and peaceful animals are when given that first injection to relax them before they cross over the rainbow bridge. My foster german shorthaired pointer, who was in some physical distress, actually let out a sigh which sounded like relief. Would she have preferred being held in that moment...or given the medication and pain relief....I really think she would have chosen to be without pain. I was there to talk sweetly to her and pet her when needed. I even had a friend of mine come and be with us as this friend had walked my foster dog in the shelter, and my foster dog knew her well. To me, we provided a very loving environment...tending to both her emotional and physical needs.


I have been taught and shown many life lessons during my time at Saints. Most I can't even put into words, but hope I show with how I live my life. Most importantly is how to help those who need us the most, the vulnerable, live with dignity, compassion & respect. But to carry this thru to the end of a beings life. I have had very little loss in my life until I found Saints. During my 6 years of volunteering I have had 6 very old or palliative Saints fosters that have passed. One lived to be 19 and one was 1 day short of 20. But was taught the most from Kirk, who was only with us for 6 weeks. Not to mention all of the loves that called Saints home. The one thing I do understand from Saints is helping those that depend on us to listen and acknowledged when they can no longer continue with quality of life. It is heart breaking and never taken lightly! This lesson I took with me when my father was dying. I looked him in the eye, plastered a smile on my face, put my hand on his heart and told him I loved him, we knew he was tired it was time for him to go. He knew I was a mess inside but I only wanted him to know a smile, love & respect with his last breath. Thank you Saints.


Not every "natural" passing is peaceful. Sometimes "naturally" dying is extremely scary and painful. One of my dogs passed naturally in my arms (before the euthanasia medication could be administered). He was in pain, scared, and it was so hard to watch. It's my biggest regret about his passing - not that he is gone, because that was inevitable, but because he suffered. The way Kobe passed at least guaranteed him peace. Thinking of everyone at SAINTS who lost a friend.