Let’s talk about the ripple effect…one small act of kindness can make waves of good like you’ve never seen before. And much larger acts, like responding to rescue calls even when you’re tired, you’re full and you didn’t anticipate another dog, can save lives. On the flipside, there are bad ripples too…having a dog that you have no desire to care for, leading to suffering, leading to others making sacrifices to clean up the mess, and scarring your children by teaching them that that is the way animals (or anything “lesser”) is to be treated. Honey and Chance have experienced both ripples…Honey was rescued with about 21 other animals living in filth and squalor. You can see her in the first pic behind the black and tan puppy. Her life was saved by 3 rescues who all pitched in and offered something – rescue, vetting, fostering, promoting and working to find a great home. I am proudest in rescue when I see strong women all working together to save lives. Laser focus on what matters. Her foster mom Donna Frankland took her to puppy classes and went so above and beyond, and now it is time to continue the ripple effect of good, as we look for Honey’s home – we know it’s out there and this sweet little 21 pounder is ready for it! You can see her posting under “adoptable dogs” until a lucky family scoops her up!
Chance, that beautiful, precious pit, is another case of team work. Our fearless CPR TN foster mom Renee Clark got a call about this pup – who had been left behind when his people moved. I don’t even have words for what is wrong in someone who can do that – they are so damaged, and badly need help if this is their morality. Chance, suffering, cramped, unable to lay down because of all the filth, was oh so grateful to see Renee. He is now learning a normal life…because of women, and men, who know that every bit of good we put out into this world matters so much. Thank you, good people, thank you!
Now, rescuers are often called angels or heroes by people who admire their sacrifice. But how many of us are guilty in our rescue community of muttering “I hate people” or angrily typing on facebook “we need to do to this person what they did to this innocent dog!” (Oh, that’s me, guiltily raising my hand…) Yes, we see heinous, outrageous acts. And yes, these people deserve to face strict and tough punishment from our legal system…but I challenge all of us to not start another negative ripple with anger and hate. Instead, we MUST work to root out and replace any anger and hate in our hearts with good, with compassion and love if we want to effect change. As I sat at the doTERRA convention last week, I learned from our keynote speaker Imaculee IIibagiza, who spoke on forgiveness and how that is the only true path to creating a world of peace. If Immaculee can forgive those responsible for the Rwandan Genocide who killed her entire community, and one of the men who killed her family — to his face, surely we rescuers and dog lovers can work to understand the matrix of ignorance, poverty, child abuse, and all the other factors that lead to the mistreatment of animals, and find a way to keep our outrage and anger from consuming us, which will never treat the root cause of animal abuse.
Fix all the broken things – one at a time, starting with the thing closest to you, starting today. Help a pup, adopt instead of purchasing, donate to the causes you believe in. Help a neighbor – give without judgment. Tithe. Volunteer, be a mentor — we need so many mentors! Support public schools, they effect all of us, live the example for the next generation, do good. Raise each other up – speak life into everyone you can. It’s International Peace Day, and the only way we will get there is to make all the good ripples, which will turn into waves of good, healing hurt and pain. The Dalai Lama wisely says “anger cannot be overcome by anger. If a person shows anger to you, and you show anger in return, the result is a disaster.” Dang – that’s heavy. But thinking of any times I have showed anger, well, yep that truth stings.
I am currently reading Left to Tell by Ms. Ilibagiza (in spite of my OCD, I’ve become one of those people who is reading 4 books at a time – help, I need an intervention!). I cannot recommend this book enough as a helpful guidepost on the journey. If it tells you anything, Dr. Wayne Dyer wrote the foreword. And if you don’t know who Dr. Dyer is, I am going to have to ask you to immediately cease reading this and get your life together. It’s ok, you can come back, I’ll still be here. Anyway, point being, when us rescuers see so much mistreatment and abuse, and see what has happened to Honey and Chance first hand, it can be an awfully hard pill to swallow, but to get what we want, the path is going to be compassion, always. I’m not anywhere close to being a good traveler on that road, but I am working hard on it, because all the anger in the world has not and will not stop the abuse of animals. Let there be peace on Earth, and let it begin with me. It isn’t enough to save the dogs, I have to learn to love and forgive all people too. UGH. You henceforth have permission to hold me accountable and call me on my BS when I slip. Maybe don’t actually shout it out, I’m more sensitive than I look — a raised eyebrow will do. I just signed up to volunteer in rescue so I could snuggle puppies and kiss pit bulls…I didn’t plan on having any deep thoughts or personal growth, but I guess that’s the ripple effect in action.
Also please keep some prayers out for my love, my best friend, Big Head Todd. He has some carcinomas and his next vet visit is tomorrow to determine treatment options. I won’t cause him pain, but my heart could really use another year with my big, fat, magical manatee of a dog.