when i grow up…

Posted: January 13, 2010 at 7:29 am

i wanna be just like you!

i hear variations on this all the time…..when i win the lottery…..when i buy property…..when i retire, i am going buy a place like this and rescue all the old ones….good luck rescuing them all.
you know…really it is a nice dream…the reality sucks, but the dream is good.

this has been an especially tough week…on top of my own health issues which recently have included back/neck issues, frequent headaches and dizzy spells..all of which i am sure are related to lack of sleep….there have been the sick ones…the difficult end of life’s, and not only keeping track of the wellbeing of 130 animals BUT making sure they feel like this is their home…. that takes work. the ongoing diarrhea is creating round the clock work..the flooding by rosie, max and lucas…goes beyond simple incontinence maintenence and moves into a whole other realm of more mountains of laundry with flannel sheets covering the floors. there are the never ending phone calls and especially the ones that drive me insane…”i am moving and i don’t want to send my three goats to slaughter”….the back and forth emails with a possible adoptor for reggie who finally understood after 3 emails and 2 phone calls what the words “he bites children” really meant.

you know the amount of info. sharing that goes on with a vet visit of just one or two animals…can you imagine absorbing and sharing important info. on 17 old and sick animals, some on 4 or 5 different meds, all in a row?

when you work in rescue…you have both a public and private life. when you live in rescue…there is no private…you are on watch, on call, involved and active 24 hours a day. even something simple like having a bath or recharging your cell phone can create havoc because it makes you inaccessible when you are needed for something else.

every single night once the barn is put to bed, and before i enter the house for the very last time around 8 pm….frodo needs a half hour of personal time, the rabbits need an eyeball for food and water and that all is ok, doris needs a walk, bobby brown, charlie and angie need a one to one moment or two to keep them moving forward emotionally, the felv’s need a top up on the canned food and a pet or a cuddle, dusty needs her insulin, all three mp dogs need a pee break, a feeding, a clean up, a few minutes of cheerful play.

once inside for the night…the floors need a clean up, the back cats need some time, the kitchen and computer room animals want me for awhile too, the laundry needs it’s final push and the nightly pain meds need to be given out. then it is off to the dog room and my bedroom where everyone is frantic..the diabetics and the cardiacs need their meds and everyone needs a cuddle.

i even work at night when i am asleep…i wake up for a moment and check on felix, is he warm, is he wet, is he still alive?…i put a hand out to murphy so he feels reassured, i pull daphne under the blanket because her skin feels cool. i reach down to 4lane who is looking up at me from the side of the bed and i fall asleep for a few moments til i wake up to touch someone else again. my ears are always open for shadows cough and wheeze, i listen for the sounds of more liquid diarrhea that i need to clean up quick BEFORE some idiot walks in it.

if i get up to go to the bathroom, i grab the paper towels and mop on my way and i spend a few seconds schmoozing with whoever is in my path.
and i won’t even get started on the political shit and the time and energy that takes when you inadvertently piss someone off.

the issue is not how i do this, day in and day out…the issue is that i do do it, 24 hours a day.

and that’s the part that is difficult for folks to really grasp….if you are going to live rescue…you will live it every second of every day…take a day off or go off to your paid job and the cell phone will join you because there may be an emergency here, or it may be the death day of an animal somewhere, or it may be the vets with important test results…and what doesn’t come thru the cell phone will be waiting for you to deal with when you get home.

there is not one single moment of one single day that belongs to you, that you do not have to be accountable for.
even in writing this blog…this is eddy’s lap time…this is rosie’s and myles’ face holding time..this is the time that murphy can come to me and put his feet up on my leg and say, “i am still sad’…this is the time that it is quiet enough for me to notice the congestion in harrison’s breathing this morning.

when you grow up….you don’t want to live in rescue…work maybe…but go home to live in a somewhat normal world at the end of the day..one, two, five or ten animals to go home to is much easier than 130.

really give your head a real good shake and understand exactly what you are dreaming of getting into.

2 Comments on "when i grow up…"

  • Karen says

    I remember when you were feeling overstretched with 70 animals, then 100, now 130. Don’t crash and burn!

  • Carol says

    ahh but at 70 animals we just had 1 staff person….at 130 we have 4….i am technically further ahead then i was….except at night.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *