A New Year: Learning and Loving It

January 31, 2016 | We Care
Hello all, I can’t begin to explain the comings and goings of the last two months without first saying┬áthere was a wedding and a honeymoon, which basically excuses me not having written a post in almost two months, right?

That is what I have been telling myself every day when I think of Barkswell, and of not writing a single word-It hasn’t helped assuage my guilt at all, but I feel like a marriage carries enough weight to make it semi-okay.

So, here is what I have learned-Married life does not at all change the habits of a household of animals. They eat and sleep and poo on schedule. Married life does not, also, make any difference to the dogs missing you while away. They have no understanding of our absence, and clearly don’t care at the importance it carries for us humans. What they know is that a near stranger watched them for two weeks, in-home, and that something is not quite right…

I also learned that my love of animals runs deep because the resort we stayed at had a resident dog, Mia, whom I cuddled with abandon. She made me feel better, took the edge away from the sadness of missing my loves, and was just distant enough for me not to get attached-perfect in every way.

Mia, on my husband’s lap

I also re-learned that people are at their worst when they are apathetic. There are bad people in the world, those that actively abuse animals, and then there are people who think they are good but don’t give a voice to the voiceless…part of me thinks these people are the worst of the “bad” people, the ones that could be part of the solution but choose not to. This lovely but lonely, sweet but cautious, boy was at one of the excursions we did while on our honeymoon…working in rescue I know that there are cultural differences about the treatment of animals (beliefs on spaying/neutering or the differences between a dog being a family member versus a possession for instance) but this boy had no water in 90 degree weather, even though he had five water bowls.

He was also chained to a line that he had clearly been tied to for far too long: The collar had been matted into his hair. His paws were so matted and uncared for that he had issues walking to me. After talking to the staff to which he belonged (there was no home, just the commercial building) I was told he was friendly, sometimes. This boy was ecstatic to have attention, and even more so to have water. I filled all five bowls with water from the tap not 20 feet from his chain. How easy it would be for the staff to do the same…


“I also re-learned that people are at their worst when they are apathetic.”

These things break my heart. Rescue is so difficult when you have no plan for what comes next. Where do we take a dog? Who will house it? Who will feed it? Two traveling Americans surely can’t. The closest legitimate rescue I could find was 75 miles away and wouldn’t travel to do a site visit, based on their FAQs. The argument in the states is the same-if there is no plan for a dog after you rescue if from a kill shelter, have you done it any good? I have read many articles on this topic recently and I am torn…yes, the dog is alive but will it end up in a “sanctuary” where its quality of life is unknown. I surely don’t feel qualified to know the all the answers but I do know that the poor dog I saw, and hugged, and loved in the briefest of moments deserved better than what he had.

And marriage, as lovely as it is, doesn’t solve this problem. We still breathe and live our day to day. We still try to do the right thing, even though it is rarely easy. I cannot say the same for everyone I have met recently, in rescue or beyond, but I can say I married a lovely man who helps me bring water to strange growling dogs, making sure that I am safe in the process. Man, I love him. And I know he loves me because he puts up with my desire to try to help things that sometimes can’t be helped

A new year and I am loving it, learning things about my loves, my new husband, myself…A year for gratitude, this 2016.

I will write again soon.

P.S. When my new husband (still SO weird to say!) read this to edit, he said I made a mistake by saying he puts up with my desire. He says he love me because of it…egads, I am a lucky girl that married a guy that is not only a great dog daddy but loves me for being a great dog mommy.

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