Balancing the stress of work and life isn’t an easy task, but it is a necessary one. Although I’ve always had animals of some kind growing up (yep, I was the one trying to save every neighborhood dog, turtle, rabbit, cat, mouse, etc!), I didn’t “officially” get involved in animal rescue until 2000. I already owned a great pyrenees dog, joined the local dog breed club and became involved in great pyrenees rescue, which was part of the Club’s mission.
Bear and Nemo
My first rescue, Dixie came to me in 2001 from Alabama. She was a 2-year old female, very thin (about 40+ pounds), matted, and full of fleas. She smelled so bad that the transport team had to keep the windows open in their truck until they could find a place to stop and bathe her! We fostered her in our home for several months until we decided to officially adopt her. She passed away at the age of 12 at an impressive 120 pounds!
That was just the beginning of rescue for me. To this day, I’m thrilled to see the transformation from a dejected, unwanted dog to a smiling, happy pet in a forever home. To see some of these dogs play with new toys, go for a short walk, sleep in a warm bed, eat a good meal … sometimes for the first time … has brought me to tears on many occasions. And, after a long, tiring day at the office, coming home to a dog who is starting to trust humans is a great stress reliever. Just a simple touch can relax both of us!
Unfortunately, there are many animals out there seeking forever homes, and the right home is out there for each of them … you just need to balance the right dog with the right person. Kind-of like the balance in your personal life … save your strength for the things that you can change. Knowing that my volunteering is helping in some small way keeps my mind focused, which is a great asset in my client-based job!