Every once in a while a larger than life character crosses your path. This is as true in rescue as it is in any other walk of life. Joey, a seemingly insignificant little tan Chihuahua, is one of those whose stories I enjoy telling. Joey has certainly left his mark on my heart.
Ask anyone in rescue if they love puppies and they will all tell you “Yes!” Ask anyone in rescue if they look forward to the day when their phone no longer rings with requests to take unwanted litters of puppies and they will tell you “Yes!”
Clarence the angel said to George Bailey in the Christmas classic It’s A Wonderful Life, “Strange, isn't it? Each man's life touches so many other lives. When he isn't around he leaves an awful hole, doesn't he?” Have you ever considered the ripple effect of your life or the void left behind in your absence?
The very patient editor of this online magazine, Lorie Ham, knows that every month my article will be past due. Often times the inspiration for my article waits to grab hold of me until the weekend it is due. This month was no exception, my article is late, but the inspiration was exceptional and I think worth waiting for.
Driving down the hill last night a brown blur darted across the road in front of us. My husband said, “Look, a coyote!” Upon closer inspection, it soon became obvious it wasn’t a coyote but a terrified brown Chihuahua. He was running as fast as he could and I could see him open-mouth breathing and knew in a flash this was a dog in serious trouble. The only fate awaiting him on this rural mountain road was going to be a collision with a car or he was going to become supper for a hungry coyote. I pulled over as quickly as was safe and got out of my car hoping I would be successful in catching him.
I ran into a friend and fellow rescuer at H.O.P.E. Animal Foundation in Fresno yesterday. Linda was busily unloading her transport van with lots of little crates full of a plethora of little dogs. She lined the hall with crates and waited patiently as the H.O.P.E. staff checked each little guy in. The dogs had several things in common: they were adorable, fantastic, and unadoptable in this valley and on their way to new homes in Oregon and Minnesota.
My family was adopted by a dog. Yes, you read that right, we didn’t adopt this dog–he adopted us! Long before I formally became involved in animal rescue I had the privilege of saving a few on my own, but I can’t really take credit for saving this guy however, he pretty much saved himself.
I thought it would be fun this month to look back over a year’s worth of articles and give you some updates on a few of my favorite stories. Time doesn’t stand still and neither does rescue. As soon as we finish with one need, the next is waiting; more often than not they overlap. We bury the sad and celebrate the happy: that is how we manage to keep going.
Rescue is really nothing more than a mirror of life. Birth, growth and death, victory and defeat, are all a part of the cycle. If you rescue animals long enough you will experience all the different phases. It is the "Circle of Life” to use a phrase made famous by Disney’s Lion King.
“I picked up a dog and her five puppies from a vacant lot. She is really bad. I’ve tried to make friends with her but she won’t let me near her. She has been raising her puppies underneath a bush,” the Animal Control Officer told me.