here is the thing for me…

Posted: April 8, 2008 at 9:05 pm

realistically, both phoebe and clyde are huge problems for me in terms of management of the whole. now i am not going to nuke either one of them cuz it is not their fault they are both messed up. phoebe’s ADDH and neurosis and clyde’s brain damage are just more difficult to deal with special needs. but in terms of actual and real risk for harm, it is in fact not that great. not to say they won’t bite someone, human or animal if i don’t keep them safe, but they aren’t going to maim or kill anyone altho they may drive me insane.

it is so much easier to care for the dexter’s, the lexie’s, the jeds, the toby’s, the roscoe’s, the bill’s… but unfortunately that is not the only kind of animal that needs help. the phoebe’s and the clyde’s do too and not many people are willing or able to help them.

when an animal comes to saints, there is only one criteria to their staying…they cannot pose a significant risk for harm to one of the other animals. some still get in here, carly and jesse for example. but we don’t always know what is coming til they actually arrive and settle in. then we manage them, in carly’s and jesse’s case, they are kept isolated from the others. others are kept separate from some, like some dogs and cats.
it all comes down to risk management and harm reduction and when i hit the wall and can’t do either, then if we can’t find anywhere else for them to go, we help them to pass from here. i make no secret of the fact that i have had to euthanize for extreme danger a very few times in the past 20 years…4 times to be exact. but i don’t do it lightly and i don’t do it unless there is no other choice.

i just want to make this real clear here, before the rumours start flying, clyde is not a vicious or unsalvageable dog. he has already been salvaged and he has done really well. he is an epileptic dog with brain damage who will one day die as a result his disease. until that time, while it is safe and in his best interests, he will continue to be cared for by me. there are those who will not agree with my allowing him to continue to live and there will be those who will not agree with me when i decide to help him die…but he is not in anyone’s care except mine. his life and the quality of that life and the ending of that life is my burden of responsibility.

and that is what doing rescue means to me, accepting the responsibility, easy like lexi or hard like clyde (or really freaking irritating, like phoebe.)

5 Comments on "here is the thing for me…"

  • lynne says

    carol i am pretty sure that a lot of people have found your blog read it but have never been at saints. therein lies the problem. all of us who come to saints understand what you are saying we know the animals and none of us think of clyde or phoebe as little monsters and know they have problems but people who dont come have nothing to compare anything to.it is like reading a novel where you are always on the outside looking in. you read about the animals but you never get to; actually meet them, pet them or have one there that is special to you. it is interesting to rea your blog but not half as interesting as being there. i dont blame you for putting down some ground rules it is hard on the animals and hard on you too not to have some structure in your life hope clyde is feeling better see you soon. lynne

  • Angela from NY says

    thinking of you and clyde, and all

  • Laura says

    Don’t apologize! You are a strong woman Carol. Stick to your convictions of giving the best possible home and quality of life to all your special animals. You and the animals need way less stress and way more Peace(it does wonders for everyone’s health). I always wondered since I started volunteering at Saints why there wasn’t a gate at the front driveway…but a lock on the front gate will help. You need control over your home and pet family to keep all safe. Those of us who love Saints totally understand. All my thoughts and support!!

  • jane says

    good for you with the rules and persistence. Hopefully people understand that this is to make everyone safer, this is protection.
    good call.
    -jane

  • Marisa says

    I have never been to Saints yet I understand everything you are saying. There is a universality to what you do that is not lost on those with open hearts and minds. Whether people deal with difficult animals, children or parents I think all can understand where you are coming from.

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