April 11, 2010

HOW TO SAVE A LIFE

Ever since my mom passed away and my husband lost his job*, I’ve wanted to get involved in animal rescue in some capacity. What’s the connection between death, unemployment and pets? I guess I’ve just felt the need to make some small difference in someone’s life (not a person, though; I prefer most dogs to most people! :-) and in turn, perhaps selfishly, derive some sense of purpose and perspective and joy—things I hadn’t had in much abundance the past year (at least not outside of my own little family bubble).

I expressed some of this to an old friend of mine, with whom I’d recently reconnected on Facebook, and she began referring me to all kinds of rescues, adoptions—any and every opportunity to get involved. We already have one dog (our beloved first daughter, Sydney!) rescued six years ago and, in addition to looking for another adoptable, I wanted to volunteer or help in some other way. Well, on Friday my friend sent me a video clip of two dogs who were on the kill list—if nobody agreed to take them in, at least temporarily, they would die. Without even hesitating, I contacted the rescue group and offered to be a foster. Sadly, one of the dogs had already been put to sleep, but the second one was still there. Everybody moved quickly and by that evening, we had a new dog, Ellie Mae (a.k.a. "Betty Spaghetti"), in our care.

I have to say, I'd been feeling so low on energy, motivation and happiness that day—but as soon as I made the call and set the wheels in motion to save this dog’s life, my whole mood lifted. Talk about a sense of purpose! And even though she was a bit smelly, MUCH bigger than I expected, and there were some issues to work out—like some tension between her and Sydney and my son Jack—all was resolved quickly and soon we were talking about adopting her. In fact, it’s only been nine days and she’s become a part of our family. Although we might not adopt her (for a variety of reasons), there is that chance we will. Either way, every time I look into those big brown eyes and see her resting comfortably in our safe, warm house—alive—I know this choice to get involved was worth it…not just for my own selfish reasons, but for Ellie Mae too. If you have any interest in getting involved yourself, please email me and I'll be happy to offer any thoughts or advice I can.

* Incidentally, my husband got a job. He starts this week!

13 comments:

BookChic said...

Congrats on your husband getting a job, and on the new dog! What an inspiring story. My roommate and I have taken in stray cats and the occasional dog (kept the cats, gave away the dogs eventually), and it is very rewarding to give or find them a good home. :)

Amber LaPointe said...

Out of the 7 dogs I've had growing up only 1 of them has been bought from a puppy. All the other dogs have been rescues. My mom has a huge heart and has always taken in animals that no one else wants. I think it's wonderful what you did for Ellie Mae.

Ajor said...

Thank you for taking this dog in and saving its life! Rescue dogs are a special breed all their own. I've been saving dogs and cats all my life and find it very rewarding. They seem to find me and we always instantly click. Animals can teach us much about life if we let them.

Yours Faithfully said...

I totally concur with you that animals are more adorable than humans! Human kids can be lovely, but my best moments are spent in the company of animals & birds!

Janet Dillon Robinson said...

What a wonderful feeling!

Keri Mikulski said...

Great stuff!! And congrats to your husband. Hugs.

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