I’ve been away from my own site for a long time, which was not my intention. There was a moment when I felt defeated, burned out, helpless, hopeless about my campaign in protecting and caring for animals. I felt that no matter how hard I tried, the message was barely coming across.
I love and want to care for animals of all species, breeds, shapes, and sizes. With my upbringing and educational background, I thought that I had the capability to make a difference. However, animals are still being abused, neglected, and abandoned. Shelters continue to fill up and more animals are being euthanized for lack of room. Abusers and dog fighters are still on the street and puppy mills are still in business. I was starting to feel that my mission was going nowhere but that moment is now gone.
One night as I was walking my dogs, we came across an owner and her dachshund, who seemed to confuse both me and my dogs. The dachshund was going through the motions of barking but barely any noise was coming out of her mouth. I asked her owner what was the matter with her and she said that the previous owner had her devocalized, a process that involves removing vocal chords. My heart instantly broke for that dog. Someone actually spent the money on making their life more convenient by permanently silencing their dog. Since the dog now has a new owner, it just proves that the previous owner didn’t deserve to have a dog in the first place but that’s a separate issue for another day.
I immediately called my mom, who is a veterinarian, to vent and her reaction is what made me re-affirm my mission. She was both angry and sad that there were still veterinarians performing that surgery. There was even a moment when she was just speechless and eventually said that “money’s not that important…..no matter how much the owner is willing to pay. The welfare of the animal is worth more. ”
Here’s a woman who has spent over 40 years in veterinary care and animal health and treatment and yet still very passionate about animal welfare. One would think that such a career would eventually desensitize someone but not my mom. She’s witnessed over many decades both pet owners and animal legislation evolve enough to be great progress. She’s just as passionate about her job and love for animals today as it did over 40 years ago that it just gives her more cause. A trait that I clearly inherited.
If my mom can surround herself with hurt and sick animals on a daily basis and still feel passionate about her career, then I think I should and can toughen up and educate others on what I was brought up to do: care and protect animals. I just need to learn how to take it day by day and focus on my own actions, from crossposting shelter pets needing homes to promoting action on legislation to spreading awareness of the progress still needed and basically to just setting an example every day.
I was raised to take in and care for pets who were abused or abandoned by their previous owners and will pass that on to my own children. The fact that my 3 adopted dogs now remind me every day that they love their lives is just reason enough to keep doing what I’m doing. I may not have been their original owner from when they were just minutes old or 2 years old. I’m just the one who decided to keep them permanently and show them real, unconditional love. If I can take that with me as I go about my every day, then my mission will continue to head in the right direction.