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Posted by: Mysti in The Dog Blog

This time of year most of us spend some time reflecting upon the last year. For me this last year has been quite the journey, one that requires some soul searching. One year ago I had absolutely no idea nor intention to become involved in animal rescue. Yes, Ive loved animals my whole life, most days I don't think its possible to love my dogs anymore than I already do. But loving animals and becoming actively involved in animal rescue day in and day out are two very different things. With this journey have come indescribable joys, and unimaginable sorrows. I have rode the rollercoaster, most days barely hanging on. The things I have repeated to myself again and again, is you can't unring a bell. I can't unlearn what I have learned about what is happening in our nations shelters, the very thing that drives me.


I have found that fostering is what provides me with the greatest joy. Everyday someone says to me "I couldn't do it, I would get too attached and keep them all" or "I couldn't do it, I would cry everytime one got adopted". Well, newsflash for all those people.. I do get attached to each and every one, and I do cry when they get adopted out. Anyone that doesn't shouldn't be fostering. Our job as foster parents is to love and nurture. If you don't love the animals how can you love and nurture them? Sure, I cry when one is adopted out.. but the tears are always a mix of joy and sadness. Joy to see them go on to their furever home, sadness that I will miss them. But there is always another one sitting in a shelter somewhere that needs my help, and that keeps me going.


Shortly after getting involved in animal rescue I realized that there was great drama and discourse in the animal rescue community, not just locally but nationwide. This was unsettling and startling to me. We all want the same thing.. why cant we all just get along? Primarily because almost all rescue groups have a different idea of how to arrive at the same end result. We all have different ideas of the best way to go about saving the animals, we all have different ideas of what animals are to be saved, we all have different ideas of what makes the best home for the animals. The list just goes on from there.


Its this discourse (also known as DRAMA!) that has brought me to where I am today. I love the animals, I love working with the animals, I love making a difference, I love making new friends with the same passions as I do, I love getting to know each unique little furry personality, I love seeing them blossom under our care - to go from being scared and helpless to running, playing, and loving life. And most of all I love seeing the animals go to their furever home. All great things, and all have kept me active and involved and pushing past the discourse and drama. What I don't like is the drama, I try to avoid drama whenever possible in all aspects of my life. Obviously no one can avoid it all, but we can make choices to how we want to deal with it. The inevitable drama that comes with being involved in a volunteer organization, the drama that comes when many people are dealing with such stressful situations, the drama that comes when emotions run high, the drama that comes when lives are literally on the line, and the drama that comes from various rescue groups having different ideas and instead of working together they attack one another.


This is what has brought me to the soul searching I find myself in now. How does one stay passionate about something, when that thing brings so much joy and so much stress. How does one juggle a desire to care and protect the animals while refusing to accept needless bickering and discourse. How does one find common ground to help the animals and be their voice, while also staying true to yourself? Or is there even a common ground?


The soul searching will continue until I find the answer. In the meantime I will continue to be their voice, in the best way I can for myself, as they have no voice.

~ Mysti


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