Love Note From A Rescuer On Sabbatical
It still happens often. I receive a note about someone needing help with a dog. Either finding a rescue or rehoming or a medical need of some sort.
Yesterday something interesting happened. I randomly had a thought about my old friend JoJo who I haven’t seen or spoken to in several years. About 3 minutes later — I shit you not — she texted with a photo of a dog she was trying to find a home for.
For about the past year, about 97.3% of the time, I politely and apologetically decline to help. There’s a twinge in my tummy and a blip in my heart that happens after every time I do it. Kinda feels like guilt, but I have to remind myself quickly of a few things so a panic attack doesn’t ensue.
1. If I give an inch for a dog, I’m following through ALL THE WAY, at a fast pace, & 150% capacity of everything I have. So, at this time, I cannot give even one inch. The concept of self-care only became part of my awareness about a year ago (& I’ll be 50 in August!) but I still don’t have the hang of it yet and learning the delicate balance of all things is still tricky. My boundaries mechanism thingee kicks in. So, I politely and apologetically decline.
2. I believe that there will be a need for rescue work throughout the rest of my lifetime. I also believe there is a good chance that animals will need help, just as humans will need help, ’til the end of time. We Can’t Save Them All. So, I politely and apologetically decline.
3. We all have nice cameras and contact lists in our pockets. So, I politely and apologetically decline.
4. Social media is free and easy to use. We have friends, family, and people we presume to know on these networks. Networks = Networking = Help A Dog. So, I politely and apologetically decline.
5. I have had a hand in saving, I don’t know, 100s, 1000s of dogs in the last 7 years. More than most people will do in 10 lifetimes. I have no regrets. So, I politely and apologetically decline.
6. Everything I do is with INTENTION. My intention in these moments is to empower the person on the other end of the note or phone call to make it happen for this dog. I have the hope and intention that the dog will be safe until a home can be found. It is my intention to give them the strength, knowledge, and motivation to believe they can do it all. So, I politely and apologetically decline.
Back to my friend JoJo. Aside from the dog talk, we decided it had been too long and made plans to meet later that afternoon at her husband’s beauty shop. As she was giving me the 5c tour, a guy who works at the shop approached us. “JoJo, you know that dog you were trying to find a home for? I would love to take her.”
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