Posted: April 10, 2015 at 7:58 am
one of the hardest things in rescue is dealing with people. it has been what was closest to bring me to my knees in the past and now in the present, I sometimes see it happening to others and I sympathize.
rescue is like any other kind of endeavor with all of the same pitfalls…varying levels of knowledge, experience, insight, ethics and commitment. and because it is one of those free for all endeavors that allows everyone and anyone to participate, at times it becomes a gong show with far too many cooks in the kitchen.
everyone has personal expectations of what rescue and rescuers SHOULD be and very few folks are shy about sharing those opinions, sometimes quite forcefully.
I remember a lady yelling at me on the phone a few years ago because I refused to take in her pet…she said I was a rescue, therefore I had to help her because that was what the public expects. the reasons I had for saying no made no difference to her in the least..she said I was a liar and a fake and a horrible person who did not care about animals and had no right to call this a rescue.
I am pretty sure that was close to the time that I finally quit answering the house phone altogether, and I have not answered that phone in years.
I have had potential adopters, past staff and volunteers rake me personally over the coals because I said or did or didn’t do whatever it was they thought I should or shouldn’t do. I have been attacked by born again vegans, born again rescuers, born again know it alls whose weapons of choice are gossip and the internet. and lets not forget the folks who need me to desperately take some animal or whose singular or ongoing vet bills are paid for by saints but in regards to me personally…really have nothing all that nice to say.
this is all normal for rescue..it goes with the territory and in 20 years, I have never found anything capable of changing that.
except my willingness to ignore it and no longer fight back.
I can write this now because for the last couple of years, I am finally living in peace…I have learned how to protect myself, I have removed the actual access for the negative stuff to reach and injure me emotionally….(I think.)
most stuff that occasionally slips thru now is just a minor annoyance, a mosquito bite..i no longer let it define me.
but I see others, bloody and weary, taking those same kind of life sucking hits and I want to say something to them…
you are here to help animals. you are here to help them find better and kinder lives. you are not here to benefit in any way financially, socially, emotionally, or spiritually from their previously unhappy lives. you are here to do a job and to do it the best that you can, all of the while ensuring their best interests..not yours, not someone else’s, not what’s easiest or most convenient or most popular or politically correct.
your job is simple…do what has to be done for them to accomplish their goals…get it done, move on and keep going.
it is almost impossible NOT to skin your knees and bloody your nose on the bumps and potholes of the rescue road. rescue goes on in all kinds of fair or foul weather..night or day, sometimes with or without a compass or guide book in all kinds of friendly or not so friendly terrain. get used to it..expect it..learn to live thru it…get good at it..all it takes is some internal strength and a capable of learning brain.
and finally look at your path carefully..really see your feet each time they take a step. you may not need all of the comments of the peanut gallery to keep you on track but you most definitely need for the animals in your care to keep your own eyes peeled so you do not take a very wrong and dangerous step.
rescuers are not only responsible to the animals..we are responsible to ourselves as well. there are no excuses, no one else to blame..it is just them and us and the choices we make. so let all of the outside noise fade away and do your job the very best that you can every day.
and if for some reason you are not doing rescue all that well..pull up your socks and make the choice to do it better..today.