al?…..i don’t want to play ball…at 2 am.

Posted: November 28, 2008 at 8:12 am

big dog, loves balls any time of the day or night. he likes to play fetch…he bounces the ball under the bed and you go fetch it for him….over and over again.

murphy?…this chair is not big enough for us both…..mid sized lab like to keep you company while you surf the net…he curls up behind you and gets 85% of the chair and you think about a weightloss program so you fit on the remaining 15%.

eddie?…please don’t sneeze or drool on my face….senior, skinny cat likes to snuggle at night, up close and personal, he is a very good but somewhat moist friend.

i love these guys, but……

so carrie and i were talking last night when i got home from work. i asked if her if she was liking the job and she really does. i remember when i hired her, she told me she was worried on the way to her interview if this was a nutbar rescue.

ok, so we are but in a nice kind of way.

i have been struggling against the “nutbar” stigma since i started to rescue….don’t even mention the “crazy cat lady” anywhere near my vicinity. but that is a public perception, it arises from just not knowing the non mythical truth. it is the other “nutbar” reality that we need to change. this is the “nutbar” loose in the community, in the vet clinics, the pounds and the other shelters, the one in the dog park, the parking lot, on message boards or the grocery store. this is the crazy person, that gives us all a bad name. they bully, they boss, they push folks around….they have all the answers, they know all the ways, and everyone else is just stupid and lazy. and tho they think they have all this judging thing exactly right, they pretty much don’t know what they are talking about because they never stopped being crazy  long enough to listen and learn.
those folks give rescuers a really bad name. i want to be proud of what we do, i want folks to see the value here, i don’t want to spend my time converting negative past experience into something positive and worth while.

so many rescue people scream garbage at and about the spca, and all they do is make it harder for others to be respected as part of the “rescue community.”

it is pretty bad when folks in rescue will not admit that they are in fact rescuers because rescue has such a bad reputation…they associate and align themselves with the more accepted and established public  “animal welfare” agencies and volunteer there.

so yeah it is nutty to love living with almost 100 animals, and not wanting or needing a completely animal free space. but we can be kind of nutty in a nice sort of way and do a very good job of rescue, with new ideas and new ways. i see saints as a model for possibility in shelter care. not that everything we do here can be done somewhere else, but boy it gets you thinking about the possibilities for change.

and that is the main reason carrie likes working here (she doesn’t like the perception, that she has taken a step down from real animal welfare to “just” rescue)…she said she is learning more than she ever learned in a traditional shelter, she knows the animals better and she has more personal power for positive change. i think she likes the possibilities for learning and growth and becoming a pioneer partner in pushing the positive move forward envelope.

and i know she likes a certain fat, senior chi with as big of a brave attitude as the incredible hulk in a rage…(who probably would never survive in a more standardized setting)….little can be big, small can be great…in dogs, in people who work in rescue, and in ideas that might one day lead to change.

so…have you respected a rescuer lately? and as a rescuer, have you earned some respect?

respect is not power, it is not a force to be reckoned with, it is not something we are entitled to, it is a difficult thing that we earn…it is a continuing series of positive actions and accomplishments that make a positive difference in the world. somewhat crazy people like me can only get there if we keep our craziness controlled on a strong leash (and with an occasional muzzle too) and ask others to try to do the same.  i am tired of trying to prove that rescue is in fact something to be proud of and there are really smart, forward thinking, dedicated and responsible (nice but a little bit nutty) folks doing a great job in rescue.

the animals like us….it is time to get the humans on board.

1 Comment on "al?…..i don’t want to play ball…at 2 am."

  • Sheila says

    “it is pretty bad when folks in rescue will not admit that they are in fact rescuers because rescue has such a bad reputation…they associate and align themselves with the more accepted and established public “animal welfare” agencies and volunteer there.”

    This sounds like the exact discussion I had with you a year ago Carol where you point blank said to me you don’t like being called a rescuer because you are ashamed to be called that and I had to say yes…
    so if anyone wants to know who falls into that above description it is me. And do I know other animal welfare people who see rescue the same way I do… yes … quite a few.

    I started out thinking I wanted to be on the side of “rescue” and the SPCA was a big bad place but after a certain amount of time I switched around and now I am very, very cautious as to what rescue I want to support.

    So have I respected a rescuer lately… well I respect you Carol.

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