I Want to Quit!

I want to quit!

 

My health is bad. There are days I feel so terrible that I can

barely move. My phone bills are outrageous, and I could have

replaced my van with the funds I have spent these last 30

years—on animals that were not my own.

 

I want to quit!

 

I spend hours and hours emailing about dogs. There may be 500

messages when I start–and at 4 AM, when I finally shut down

the computer, there are still 500 emails to be read.

 

I want to quit!

 

Gosh, I haven’t the time left to email my friends. I can’t

remember the last book I read, and I gave up my subscription

to my local newspaper—I used to enjoy reading it, cover to

cover, but now it often ends up in the bottom of the

squirrel’s cage—unread.

 

I want to quit!

 

I’ve spent days emailing what seems like everyone—trying to

find a foster home, help for a dog languishing in a

shelter—but his time has run out, and the shelter has had

to euthanize to make room for the next sad soul.

 

I want to quit!

 

I swear, I walk away from my computer to stretch my legs—let

the dogs out—and come back to find another dog in

desperate need. There are times I really dread checking my

email. How will I find the funds, the help, to save yet

another dog?

 

I want to quit!

 

I save one dog, and two more take its place. Now an owner who

doesn’t want his dog—it won’t stay in his unfenced yard. An intact

male wanders… This bitch got pregnant by a stray… This

3-month-old pup killed baby chicks… The dog got too big…

This person’s moving and needs to give up his pet. I ask

you, friends—what town, what city, what state doesn’t

allow you to own a pet?

 

I want to quit!

 

I just received another picture, another sad soul with

tormented eyes that peer out of a malnourished body. I hear

whimpering in my sleep, have nightmares for

days…

 

I want to quit!

 

I just got off the phone. “Are you [Kerry] Rescue? We want to

adopt a male to breed to our female.” How many times do

I have to explain? I have tried to explain about genetics,

about health and pedigrees. I explain that rescue NEUTERS!

I usually end up sobbing, as I explain about the vast numbers

of animals dying in shelters across the country, as I

describe the condition many of these animals are found in. I

wonder if they really heard me…

 

I want to quit!

 

It is not like I don’t have enough rescues of my own to

worry about—but others have placed dogs improperly and

aren’t there to advise the new owners.

 

I want to quit!

 

I have trusted the wrong people— had faith and heart

broken…

 

I want to quit!

 

AND THEN…

 

My dog, lays his head in my lap, he comforts me with his gentle

presence—and the thought of his cousins suffering stirs my heart.

 

I want to quit!

 

AND THEN…

 

One of those 500 emails is from an adopter. They are thanking me

for the most wonderful dog on earth—they cannot imagine

life with out their friend—their life is changed, and they

are so grateful.

 

I want to quit!

 

AND THEN…

 

One of my adopted Rescues has visited a nursing home. A patient

that has spent the last few years unable to communicate, not

connecting—Lifts his hand to pat the huge head in his lap,

softly speaks his first words in ages— to this gentle

furchild.

 

I want to quit!

 

AND THEN…

 

A Good Samaritan has found and vetted a lost baby, “I

can’t keep him, but I’ll take care of him until you

find his forever home.”

 

I want to quit!

 

AND THEN…

 

“Jamie took his first steps holding on to our [Kerry].”

“Joan, you should see this dog nursing this hurt kitten!”

“I was so sick, and this dog never left my side…

 

I want to quit!

 

AND THEN…

 

I get an email from a fellow rescuer, “Haven’t heard

from you in a while—you OK? You know I think of you…”

 

AND THEN…

 

A dozen rescuers step up to help, to transport, to pull, and

to offer encouragement. I have friends I have never seen,

but we share tears, joys, and everything in between. I am

not alone. I am blessed with family of the heart, my fellow Rescuers.

 

Just days ago it was a friend who shared her wit and wisdom,

whose late night email lifted my heart. Sometimes it is

friends who only have time to forward you a smile. Often, it

is my friends who forward me the notices of dogs in need.

 

There are Rescuers who see a flailing transport and do everything

they can do find folks to pull it together for you. Rescuers

who’ll overnight or foster your dog while you seek

transport. There are Rescuers not used to or comfortable

with your breed, but who put aside their discomfort to help.

There are Rescuers whose words play the music of our hearts.

Foster homes that love your Rescue, and help to make them

whole again—body and spirit. Foster homes that fit your

baby in, though it may not be their breed. Rescuers whose

talents and determination give us tools to help us. Rescuers

we call on for help in a thousand ways, who answer us, who

hear our pleas. Rescuers who are our family,

our strength, our comrades in battle.

 

I know I cannot save every dog in need. I know my efforts are

a mere drop in a sea. I know that if I take on just one

more—those I have will suffer.

 

I want to quit! But I won’t.

 

When I feel overwhelmed, I’ll stroke my dogs head while

reading my fellow Rescuers emails. I’ll cry with them,

I’ll laugh with them—and they will help me find the

strength to go on.

 

I want to quit! But not today.

There’s another email, another dog needing Rescue.

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