What the Word “Rescue” Means to Me
I spend a lot of time seeing sad situations. Owners crying over their best friend of 14 years, parents explaining to children why their kitty won’t be coming home, people whose loved ones have passed on and their pet is the only thing left of them. Veterinary Medicine is not for the faint of heart.
The hardest part for me is hearing each pet and each family’s story. Something in just knowing where they came from, hearing that story, takes a little piece of me with them each time. As much as we humans like to say “We rescued,” sometimes it is just the opposite. Sometimes the pet rescues us.
I have rescued nearly every pet I have ever owned. They have come from auctions, backyard breeders, homes where they have never been outside, homes were they were only outside, and so much worse. I have met horses that have been afraid of grass and dogs that were afraid of only humans. Each time I see the fear in their eyes, my heart tears a little. What have these poor animals been through?
I tend to find that these pets find their way to the humans that will help them the most. I’d like to believe our pets find their way to us for a reason. What lesson can this rescue teach me? What can I do for this animal that will improve their quality of life? Okay, at this point you may be considering my sanity, but think about it. How often do you wind up with a pet and it just works out. As for me, it happens pretty often. And I have learned so much.
As for our horse who was afraid of grass, the first time she stepped onto the grass was getting off of the trailer. I watched her eyes grow wild as she ran towards the sanctity of the barn. She was sweating profusely and was skin and bones. My heart ached to show her the beauty of life. This beautiful horse, shivering in the corner of her stall did not know how to run, did not know to eat the grass, she did not know how to be a horse. Each morning we went outside before the rest of the horses. As we opened the barn door she would stand and actually marvel at the world around her. Rain was fun, she looked to the sky and went outside to play. Snow was scary, the ground had changed colors, but quickly, with a snow mustache, she found the grass below it. Each season, each day was a beautiful new adventure. She never balked, she never spooked, she always stood for a moment in wonder. I learned to be in awe of the beauty around us.
The aforementioned dog, afraid of humans, well that is still a work in progress I’m afraid. But each new time she accepts someone new into her world, I am thankful and amazed. I’m afraid to believe this dog had not seen daylight, had not seen a couch to cuddle on, had not seen a hand outstretched that wasn’t there to harm her. She is strong. She has overcome so much. I learned to fight for what you want in life, even if it’s scary.
Pet after pet, rescuers mend lives back together and build something outstanding. Each new life saved, a new lesson is learned. To me, the word “Rescue” insinuates more than saving a life. Rescuing has saved my life too. I encourage everyone to rescue and adopt. Rescued pets have so much to give. These pets are so thankful, you can see it each time they wag their tail at you or greet you at the door. It feels so good to know you made a difference in a life. That is what the word “Rescue” means to me.
Thanks for reading!
Your Friendly Neighborhood Vet Tech, RVT,CVJ