A Day in the Life of a Rescuer

Posted: June 19th, 2010
I wake up in the middle of the night..worried, heart pounding, unable to get back to sleep.  I’m thinking about the dogs.  The ones we have and the ones that people are asking us to help.  A million thoughts go through my mind…make sure you call the trainer, so and so needs to get to the vets, another needs a foster, who are they killing today that we might be able to help..make sure you call first thing in the morning, don’t forget to call the family that wants to surrender their dog, make sure to email about the fundraiser, project, adoption event etc.  That is the easy part.  The tough part is wondering what  human drama and conflicts will I need to deal with today?  The one thing I can count on is that someone will take me away from thinking about the dogs because they need something too.  Advice, hand holding, anger, resentment, help, tears, sorrow are unfortunately now part of the daily routine. Sometimes dealing with this is necessary and sometimes it is not but I have no choice..it all must be dealt with so we can continue to try to save precious lives.

I am exhausted and I still can’t sleep and I still can’t stop thinking about the dogs.

Hours later when I am getting ready for work and many calls and emails later I ask myself why?  Why put yourself through this?  Why lose sleep, sacrifice time and continue to fight everyone and anyone to do what I think is best for the dogs. I sigh and think…I don’t want to do this any more.

Driving to work I start to day dream and again I find myself thinking about the dogs but now I am not thinking about making decisions on who we can save or what it takes to save just one life. I am not thinking about the adopters, the shelters, the volunteers, the vets, the transporters the trainers.  I am thinking about one of my foster dog who snuggled in bed with me last night and sensed when I awoke.  I catch myself smiling as I think about how he sleepily tried to comfort me.  How he yawned and then crawled over to me and put his head on the pillow facing me.  How he placed his paw on my arm to let me know he was there for me and he would do whatever I asked of him at that moment.  How he gently licked me and in a million and one little ways tried to reassure me that he would be there for me as I had been there for him.  I think about how he let me cry into his soft fur without complaint and how he listened when I whispered in the darkness that the killing never ends and how day after day I am deluged with pleas to save lives that I can’t. How hard it is  to deal with politics and egos…how I hate it so.  It never ends I tell him.  I don’t know if I can do this any more. I don’t want to do this any more.

After breakfast when we were spending a little quite time in the yard together before I had to go off to work he did his best to charm me with his antics and he succeeded. He has the power to make me smile and he knows it.  He sat next to me and looked me in the eye and his look admonished me for my weakness during the night.  I know, I know I say to him…I was just tired and I didn’t mean it when I said I can’t do this anymore.  I can and I will because of you and the others just like you who deserve a chance.

So today I will continue to think about the dogs and everything I do, every decision I make, every tear I shed will be for them because as all of us in rescue know…it is not about us.  It is just about the dogs.