Part of what makes rescue work so important and rewarding is that you are able to give these babies a second chance. For some, you may be the only person to ever treat them kindly, pet them in a loving matter, and just simply tell them it’s going to be okay. Others may have been given up on by their family. The only life they ever knew, the only home they have ever had, the only people they have ever loved, gone all at the same time. There have been so many times I would have given anything in my power just to let these scared babies know and understand that it’s not their fault. But if I can’t tell them, I can try my best to show them. The opportunity to give a scared animal a second chance, to slowly earn their trust, and show them you are not going to give up on them, touches a place in my soul like nothing else can. My own life has not been easy, and I’ve fought many battles to get where I am, but I don’t stand alone. I stand with the friends and family who supported me, stood by me, and gave me second (probably third, fourth, etc…!) chances because they loved me enough to do so. My job brings me a lot of fulfillment, but some days are very heavy on my heart. What hurts me most though is when someone is in a position to reach their hand out to help, and makes the conscious choice not to. We all are able to help. We all are able to show love and compassion. I was inspired to write this post after a scared kitty was left at our hospital doors in a carrier with a note explaining how they were just no longer able to provide financially for him anymore. He was terrified. He wanted nothing to do with the staff, and I was instructed to call animal control to pick him up and take him to the shelter. The thought of him being dumped at our hospital, and then having to be dumped all over again at the shelter shook me to the core. I looked at him and told him I was going to fight for him to get a second chance. We set him up in a cage and every so often I’d visit with him and just tell him that it was going to be okay. Slowly but surely over the course of three days, he went from hissing and swatting, to putting his head out for bumps and scratches. It brings my heart pure happiness to say that I will be taking him to his new foster mom’s house tomorrow. I reached out to the rescue community, and found a kind soul who felt the same way I did. This baby didn’t deserve to be abandoned, and he definitely didn’t deserve to be given up on again. What he did deserve is a second chance. I’m not naive to the fact I can’t save every animal in need that crosses my path. But what I do know, is that if I am able to help, I will. I got second chances my whole life and offering them back is a way for me to never forget the long road that brought me here.
*This is one of my favorite pics of Baxter. He was headed into work with me early in the morning as the sun was rising.