eyes wide open

Posted: December 14, 2019 at 12:25 am

i think one of the most beneficial things i have learned from both nursing and rescue is the importance of keeping ones eye on the bouncing ball. it is so easy to get sucked into muddy waters and get lost in the bog.
here is the thing..in life, in nursing, in rescue….there are all kinds of pitfalls, roadblocks, tiny yet irritating minutia, that can knock me off my path or turn me around and around and around until i am so dizzy that i can no long find my way.
i remember a long time ago while in an argument with my then teenage daughter asking if she would like to write the script on who i was supposed to be and what i was supposed to do or say. this has crystalized for me over the years in realizing it also wasn’t my job to be script writing for other folks either. sometimes i just have to work with what is there.

my most favorite mantra now is..its not personal, its not about me. it has to be about keeping my eye on the ball to get to where i want to be going.
and who is responsible for my choices, my decisions, my goals, the direction i have chosen?
of course the answer is me.
and what that gives me is freedom..freedom from resentment, freedom from unfair or unrealistic expectations, freedom from wasting time and energy in seeking to lay fault or blame.

this is not to say i have learned to accept everything around me..it means i have learned to not let potholes stop me. at worst, it now means a pause to regroup, to take a breath and think thru possible solutions.
if there are 3 things i want to pass on to others they are:
1) don’t be afraid to peel the damn onion. every single layer yields another layer underneath yet it is all still an onion.
2) for every action there are reactions..ie toss a pebble into the pond and there will be ripples fanning out in the water.
3) keep it simple..the least intervention possible. i can always up the ante and add bigger, more…but it is really hard to go back down to less..and less is truly sometimes more.
if i keep these things in mind, i usually, eventually will safely get to where i am going

the boy scouts motto is…”be prepared.” my motto is..have a rational, reasonable and realistic plan….and have at least one other decent back up plan, just in case it all goes to shit.
nothing in nursing or rescue or life is all that easy…everywhere i look, everywhere i turn there are challenges waiting to greet me.
i am learning that it’s ok, it’s normal, it’s expected, it’s nothing that can’t be handled as long as i keep my eyes wide open and focused on that bouncing ball and don’t get too distracted.

a pat on the back!

Posted: December 8, 2019 at 7:00 pm

We had HUGE tours thru this weekend…yesterdays tour ended up having 4 of us each grabbing a group, todays tour had to be divided in half to 2 groups. Lot’s of really good folks coming thru.
What was really nice about this weekend was each group really seemed to not only enjoy the tours but were able to see how much time and effort we actually put in to ensure each animals comfort and happiness.
I really felt like we shared the real story of saints with them. It felt good!

We have so many interesting and wonderful and complex beings in our care and their beauty shined this weekend!

Which brings me to something we don’t often get around to saying…

SAINTS is who SAINTS is because of our staff and volunteers. We are able to be who we are because of our donors and supporters. And we are able to share our pride and joy in bringing these animals care, concern and commitment with our visitors. Their recognition for a job well done helps us to acknowledge that we have made a real and concrete positive difference in these animals lives.
Some days are hard but they are so very worth it.

Pats on the back for our animal loving village!

Mad Max says…”way to go guys!!”

a little bit of cuteness (or not) goes a very long way…

Posted: November 30, 2019 at 7:29 pm

what is really cool about saints is the opportunity we personally are given to learn and grow.
i used to be just a dog person, then became a cat person and next a rabbit, sheep, cow, chicken, duck, horse, llama, goat, turkey, turtle, donkey fan.
i am surprised by some of the not only differences in these varied animal emotional lives but also by some of the similarities.
and what i really love about here is that a dog is not a dog, a cat is not just a cat, a duck is not just a duck..they are all unique individual persons in their own right.

mo and i got a horse. he is 34 years old and had 3 days to find a safe place to land. the email came in thru saints but saints is full plus money is tight. not a good time to be trying to stretch for another ongoing big expense. so mo and i decided to take him on ourselves. we put him into boarding,
we will provide what he needs and share the cost of paying for it all. his name is tucker, he is a sweet old man who just likes to be hugged and be cuddled. i met the vet at the stable today, tuck has a bit of an eye and upper respiratory infection, and he needs his teeth done.
even tho both mo and i volunteer neck deep in rescue..sometimes rescue realistically isn’t able to help. but personally we can if we are able step up and help someone in need ourselves.
this is a good option for tucker and it will be good for mo and me too because there is nothing we love more than a very sweet, old and cuddly horse.

i swear to god i walked around here today and pretty much all i said was..good lord, he or she is so freaking cute! everywhere i looked there were these freaking old wrecked and yet adorable animals, it made my heart full, this house full of cuteness!

i get overwhelmed in my head sometimes…there is so very much i need to accomplish over the next few years. but i am telling you, the one very great thing about rescue is…while my head might get overwhelmed, my heart just keeps stretching and stretching and getting bigger and bigger with every new addition….they are all so freaking cute.
except willy…he’s not cute…he is actually a bit of a visual horror, (kind of like a mini, biting, hunchback of notre dame with his twisted little back and legs and his stuck out little penis) but when i look at him he still makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. even the not so cute (or not so nice) ones get to you…that’s what rescue does to you…it’s kind of insane!

i call him uriaah heep or gollum, renee calls him baby (she is blinder than the rest of us!), erin suggested rosemary’s baby?…bottom line..he’s not so sweet or cute, he is definitely sometimes really not very nice! but he is our tiny twisted grumpy willy and that’s just fine….because…. not only is love truly blind…the real cuteness of them all is INSIDE.

on the road again….

Posted: November 25, 2019 at 10:11 pm

i always seem to be trying to learn something.
balance. kindness. patience. humility.
….wisdom, which also keeps eluding me.
it’s a continuous learning curve for me.

i have learned so much from the animals.

i learned acceptance (to a certain degree) from copper. i spent years keeping him from killing himself. Years devoted to outsmarting him. and years learning to love unconditionally a self centered, horribly stubborn, conniving narcissistic determined fat little being.
i learned loyalty and heart break can lead to being a better me from tyra.
wee hopeful bug taught me that no matter how broken, no matter how challenging life could be…. there was always the opportunity to find joy in little things.
i learned patience (to a certain degree) from Phoebe. She was ADDH, who reacted (badly) before she would think, who ran circles around me in lightening speed. She challenged me, she infuriated me, she frustrated me. But by the time she died she had taught me a little more about having patience in the face of adversity.
i learned about being me from cole. A broken big city dog who was convinced he was a wolf, a free and wild thing.
i learned forgiveness from many of them. no matter how crappy their lives, no matter how shitty their previous human encounters, how much they had been betrayed…they laid it to rest here and loved us anyway.
i learned about deep and total love from luna and dignity and honor from our white knight, gideon.
odie and jerry taught me that getting bitten was not always personal..sometimes it was an accident and usually it had nothing to do with me.
marilla taught me about hope…and faith that life can get better. and she also taught me to pay kindness forward.
carl taught me to look around me, be observant and look deeper because things are not always as they seem.
and ellie taught me to look past the really obvious because a pig is never just a pig.

i think i have learned some wise things along the way..but what i really have learned more than anything is that real wisdom is still far away.

there are many animals here, many more lessons to learn…i have many new teachers on this bumpy road of trying to live life a little bit wiser as old age creeps up on me.

roger, sweet and gentle boy(RIP)


Posted: November 8, 2019 at 7:16 pm

you know in the movies where the two guys are sitting at a table in a dark and smokey room and BOOM! suddenly the worst bad guy pulls out a knife and slams it into the other guys hand, pinning him to the table?
now i know how much that freaking hurts. except no bad guys were involved…just me being stupid.

so to distract me from the pain, you get a blog..but only one finger typing today…my left hand is out of commission..that other typing finger is on sick leave with his throbbing friends.

the vets were out today to see skye, noni, sofie, chewy and gus..nothing big for any of them..just some minor stuff. we are going to start accupuncture treatments on noni and sofie tho and see how they both do with those.

new blind bunny milly is doing ok..she thumps a lot, probably related to the occasional animal chaos in the house. i can’t wait until her 2 week isolation is over and she can move over to the more peaceful rabbit room.
newbies nora and percy are settling in well. both dogs are super sweet!

we did 2 student vet assistant group tours this week, one for DC and one for VCC. both groups seemed to enjoy the tours.

i am back to work tomorrow..hope my hand stops hurting before then.

ok..my typing finger is getting tired..blogging done and not very successful as hand still hurting. hopefully the advil and tylenol will kick in soon…before i have to go into my bedroom with the moronic” we will bump and hurt your sore hand” crew.

note to self..some lessons in life hurt like hell…so don’t be stupid.

SAINTS Annual General Meeting 2019

Posted: November 7, 2019 at 7:18 am

We will be holding our Annual General Meeting (AGM) Soon.

Date: December 8th
Time: 12:30pm
Location: SAINTS Property at 33860 Dlugosh Avenue Mission, BC

The public is welcome to attend – members and non members.

An AGM is a necessary government requirement for any non profit in Canada (and most countries), and we schedule one before the close of each calendar year, per our bylaws.

But we like to think of it as so much more than just checking off a to-do item.

In the last few years we have shared a lot of information about our organization, at the AGM. Details such as our statistics on animals (how many were adopted, fostered, passed away, came in), financials for the year, and any significant growth and successes we have had, are all items that we go over at the meeting.

Please consider joining us if you’re able to. There will also be a regular Sunday tour that day, at 11am. So you could check out the sanctuary & animals, and then come learn all about the inner workings

quick notes

Posted: November 5, 2019 at 6:41 pm

shyla and i have this special shared bond. she is a total psycho freak show and she knows that i love her anyway without any rose colored glasses!

she was not happy with my extended holiday away from her. since my return, each time i leave her room and return it is an over the top, OMG! you are back!!! greeting. today she took out my knee and that still hurts!

new dog in..his name is percy and he is a very sweet 14 yr old poodle whose elderly owner was no longer able to care for him. boris and nugget are being unwelcoming dicks.

i got kind of spoiled on my vacation..i can no longer sleep in a bed covered with pee pads. so…while i was gone the old destroyed bed was carted away (thank you doug and staff!) and a new one was set up. i did some fix ups with the help of mark, roane and ashleigh and now am relatively happy with the new result. leakiy hannah is no longer allowed on the actual bed BUT..this bed has a trundle bed that i can pull out, cover with pee pads so she can sleep close to (but not ON me!)

tomorrow we are expecting another new dog and a new old blind rabbit. we have a large douglas college tour coming thru on thursday and a VCC tour on friday then back to work for me on saturday.
(not real) retirement is busy!

my trip of a lifetime.

Posted: November 3, 2019 at 4:16 am

I am home…the four footer’s gave me a very warm and welcoming (and where the hell have you been???!!) homecoming.
shyla literally cannot take her eyes off me and panic’s if she thinks i am leaving the room. luna just wants to lay next to me sighing with the occasional soft and tiny kiss. the others were just as demonstrative in their own uniquely special way to communicate that i am loved and was missed.
its good to be home again.

there were many special moments on this trip..if i had to pick 4, my favorites would be…

in africa i woke up early..every morning between 5-6am, it is a habit for me, i like to watch the sun rise.

one morning in Ambroselli as the sun was rising i was sitting outside watching the monkeys, baboons and hyena wander by. A Maasai warrior who worked for the camp to keep the wildlife (mostly the adorable little but thieving monkeys) at bay, came to talk to me. he did not speak english well and i do not speak Maasi but we communicated with broken sentences and gestures. he liked me (and i know he liked me because he refused to take any money from me when we took a selfie together.) he called me mama (a name of respect amongst the maasai) and when the others joined us, they were mama’s friends and he took their money for photo’s no problem. anyway, we had some kind of cross cultural connection, he gave me his cell phone number for if i ever go back (yes even traditional maasai warriors have cell phones!. our more cynical guide said it was probably because he wanted one of my daughters as maasi wealth is counted by numbers of cattle and numbers of wives.
i like my version that he just liked me. i liked him, he was a very nice man.

my second special moment was when dawn and ben (our incredible guide) and i went out in the jeep for an evening safari. we came across a fairly large family group of elephants right next to the dirt track we were on. ben turned off the jeep and we just quietly sat there for many long minutes with the elephants surrounding us, grazing quietly, close enough for us all to gaze into each others eyes. for me it was magical, i will remember those peaceful and surreal moments for a lifetime.

third on my list was another evening safari with lynne, dawn and ben in search of the elusive white rhino in the masai mara. there were only 13 white rhinos in hundreds of square miles of this park, everyone was looking for them. suddenly just as dusk was falling, ben heard over the radio that a mom and babe had been sighted. there began a high speed rush thru the bush along a muddy and slippery dirt track. we bounced, we slid, we avoided (somehow) getting stuck on deep muddy ruts and finally after a hair raising ride made it to the quiet field where mom was quietly grazing while her calf slept beside her in the deep grass. we watched from a close but respectful distance this once in a lifetime sight.

and finally in amsterdam,,the anne frank house. they let us thru in groups of about 100 to walk thru and view the actual annex where anne and her family lived for 2 years in hiding from the nazi’s. we climbed the tiny (and very steep) little staircases to each level. the crowd of 100 were utterly silent as we entered each room and viewed the few artifacts and photo’s that survived. we saw the actual pencil marks on the wall where her mother documented anne’s growth over those two long years in hiding. the fact that anne died in a concentration camp just weeks before liberation was soul sombering.
this is something that none of us should ever forget….hate brings devastation.

all races, all creeds, all colors, all cultures…we are all just people trying to survive.

life can be brutal and hard, but is also can be beautiful.
we must always choose to be be kind.

just a quickie cuz i am leaving today…

Posted: October 18, 2019 at 7:19 am

i want to thank all the people here who have dedicated so much of their time, their minds, hearts, blood, sweat tears and spirits to the well being of our crippled crew..[ast, present and future.
we are who we are today because of you and we will be even more because of you in the future.
SAINTS is all about the animals because the people have made it so. we all came here not to get something for ourselves, but to give something of real value to those who slip thru the cracks…respect, compassion…connection.

we are all connected…the people, the animals in this endeavor.
we have made the world a better place..not just for them, but for us too.
i love you guys…continue to take care of the sainted ones and i will see you all soon!
love to you all

i ordered a new bed

Posted: October 14, 2019 at 8:24 pm

because i sleep with bed eating assholes.

my whole rescue life has been about outsmarting the furry problem children but i have been losing the “don’t eat my freaking bed” for years. i have been throwing around my bed fail safe idea but no one likes my absolutely fool proof and brilliant plan….a casket. room enough for one to get a good nights sleep and then pop the lid closed in the morning when i leave, the bed will be perfectly safe from the bed eaters! sadly everyone i consulted thought it was just too weird of a solution…carol the vampire rescuer or something but it would make an interesting story during the public tours.

anyway..on to plan B which does not involve the obvious solution..bunk beds (i am afraid of heights and ladders.) this time thinking outside the bed box..but not far enough out to freak out the humans…i ordered a metal day bed. the kind with three fancy metal sides. i figure if i push the open side up against the wall, then all sides are protected. unfortunately it virtually means i will be sleeping in an adult sized crib which is not near as super cool as sleeping in a coffin. however folks here are more comfortable with the carol in a crib idea.

sometimes dogs are THE. BED. ENEMY.

anyway again..the staff have an idea to switch the dog areas around which involves moving me (and my asshole bed eating dogs) out of the sun room area. so far in the past 15 years my bedroom has been in every single room in the house except the bathroom, the kitchen and the laundry area. i guess i am used to bedroom shifting. maybe by the time i get home from our trip i will have a new bed and a new (used) room to crash in….or maybe not. you never know what will be around here. whatever…at my age its hard to get too excited about a new crib…hopefully no one will hang a musical mobile over it either.