when i say rescue is like an onion…

Posted: September 14, 2014 at 8:18 am

layer upon layer that makes up the whole. i guess i am saying that life in general is like an onion too…not too much of anything is just one dimensional. i think all of us to a certain degree are surface scanners…we view the people and things going on around us like a photograph…it is what it is and we feel what we feel by glancing at a snap shot of things. so i could look see a loose dog on the road and quickly process it to have many meanings/questions depending on my previous experience. like…hmmm…is that dog going to bite me if i walk by ? maybe i should cross the road. is that dog out for a walkabout because he got bored at home? is that dog lost? was he abandoned? is he afraid? does he need some help today? is that his owner talking to a neighbor 3 houses away? is he a nice dog? a fearful dog? a dick head dog? is he safe?
sometimes we care enough or are interested enough to find out more and start peeling some of his onion layers away. sometimes we just make quick assumptions because either we really don’t care, or we are too busy to invest any time or effort, or we are just lazy and do not want to be bothered today and we make our judgement and carry on our way.

i find that sometimes folks do not have a clue about rescue….why can’t i just hand over the dog to a home that says they want him? why can’t i just take in one more…i already of a bunch so what is one more? why won’t i take him, they are willing to pay $20 a month for his food so what is the big deal, he won’t cost me anything anyway? from their snap shot view of rescue things seem pretty simple so why can’t i cooperate?

few outsiders see how much work there is, how busy we are, the toll that caring for so many and the physical, emotional and financial costs involved. how could they, they do not live it so how would they know?

i think that is why i really try to be slower to judge, more careful in my assumptions, more accurate in my fact finding…less likely to write either people or animals off. i assume i do not know it all or see the whole picture so i feel more comfortable keeping doors open and taking the time to peel layers away.

we wrote a great gut wrenching piece on odie on the facebook page…and it was the truth. but i got to know odie’s previous family a little bit better…i met them in person, i talked to them several times on the phone and exchanged many emails back and for over the years. and i know that while odie suffered from medical neglect, his family suffered from many different kinds of obstacles and challenges that affected that…and they truly in all of their hearts, really did love that dog.

and that is why odie loved them. he did not fault them for what they did not or could not do…he loved them because they loved him thru and thru despite it all and that changes his story just a tiny bit.

when a visitor felt that we took her donations but did not care or were resentful about her hoping to see the animals here. she did not understand how could this be?…10 minutes to her in the context of her life was not a big deal so how could 10 minutes in the context of any life be of such great significance here? we all live in our bubbles of what we think should be and sometimes it is hard to see into the bubbles of other beings.

when we first saw tia’s emaciated pictures, we all assumed she had been intentionally starved but that may really not been the case.

so we need to take care. we need not to jump to conclusions….we wrote the truth in odie’s story…but it wasn’t the whole story. a visitor was frustrated and hurt by our seemingly lack of caring and cooperation, and while i wasn’t here and do not know who did or said what…i am sure what volunteers were involved, felt overwhelmed by everything else going on around here. and when we were made aware of causing someone distress, instead of looking at how that could be…we got defensive instead. and with tia…well she really put too much weight on too fast for her starvation to be more than an ignorance based neglect, not knowing or being able to feed increased amounts of food to anew mom who gave birth and is nursing puppies.

i see this all the time on the rescue boards…folks writing the beginning, middle and end of the story from a few certain facts. but most negative things have another layer beneath them that makes them just a little less “bad.” i see it with animals in rescue….someone decides an animal has a certain behavior or physical problem but misses the underlying reason and the animal gets written off. i see when innocent but clueless folks take a snap shot of my rescue life and try to tell me how i should be doing my job.

we only know what we know. we only hear what we hear. and we only learn more by looking and listening and peeling a few layers more.

forgiveness may be the last stop, but an open and onion peeling mind could be the first step to understanding the world around us a little bit more.

my deep thought for the day.

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