50 Shades of Rescue

Sometimes it is only when we see our lives reflected back through another person’s words, behaviour, and reactions – do we get to see maybe how crazy it is or how great it is – even both!

I remember the first year of equine rescue and feeding – on long trips with fellow rescuers like Joe from Charlie’s – I would ask with much frustration and bemusement, ‘how did it come to this?’ ‘This’ being a life far removed from what I planned! Poor Joe would be hit with the hungry question many times when moving horses, and I know inside he was probably laughing: I was a learner and he was doing it for decades. He must have thought ‘she won’t last the year!’ Joe never answered me because he knew it was something I had to answer for myself. ‘How did it come to this?’

I stopped asking after the first year; I guess it became like ‘leaves to trees’. Natural, and part of life: beginnings and endings. Longing to see them and hating to see them fall to the ground. The love and hate colliding again and again. One of the shades of rescue.

My car broke down yesterday with 4 of my rescue dogs inside! Many people tried to help as the dogs tried to do what they thought was their ‘job’. Protect me and the car!  My friend Linda and Kevin tried to jump start it but it was more complex than a dead battery. So, a lovely but ‘didn’t want to be there’ AA man arrived. First, he wouldn’t get into the car with the dogs and I could see from his eyes, his look of ‘what the hell?’ as he saw the dogs on thrones of hay or nuts, and the memorable smell of hayledge came to meet him as I rolled down the window to talk to him. Another shade of rescue: being judged! He didn’t spend long trying to figure out the problem and the car with the four dogs within were towed away as I sat upfront! It had been a long time since I had asked the question but this time I did it silently.

So began the calls for help and for wheels!  Otherwise I would expect the horses around Ennis to arrive at my door to question the delay with breakfast! Breakfast I’m afraid became supper! The guilt: another shade of rescue. They would have been standing at the gates waiting. Nollaig was probably there all day – where I found her last night!

We rescued a pony on Saturday. Rosie, as named by her foster family.  She was living at the side of a house tied to a trailer. Rosie like them all imprints on you and you can’t get them out of your mind until you can get them out of their miserable situation. The ones you don’t get, they never get filed away as finished business so every now and then, their faces flash before you and the question ‘where are they now?’ hits you. And you quickly block the possible answers your brain volunteers. Back to Rosie! It was dark so it was hard to see what was what! I panicked when I saw empty hands and no Rosie. I had gone to put hay for the remaining horses in the trailer. Rosie had ran up by herself after getting out of her owner’s hands. Let me tell you, it is what movies are made of: to see a pony that spent her days tethered being let go into a paddock. In Rosie’s case, she was nose kissed by Rua, another rescue, and then she took of and ran and ran. Another shade of rescue: rewarding.

Vakentine’s Day will be soon here and no matter how hard I try to push ‘Hay not Roses’ – it seems to just resonate with a few! But a lovely couple have given 100 euros worth of hay rather than gifting each other. And a friend called Jackie, stood up at the end of a Sunday sermon and talked about ‘Hay not Roses’ and left a bale richer! That made me happy!

I often think what would life be like if we loved the way animals love us: unconditional and never ending. What would life be like if we bounced back the way they often do when let down by humans; what would it be like if we forgave the way they do? So we don’t lose out on fully loving again! They are often let down so terribly by the people in their lives, yet, they still run to gates with hope, they jump up and down to be petted, and they purr with happiness.

Yes, there are at least 50 shades or more to rescuing. And yes, there is a movie in all of us who rescue; we just try to find the silver linings around the grey! No, it’s not easy sometimes.

How did it come to this? I guess LOVE. The strongest shade of rescue. x


(excuse lack of editing: time!)

3 thoughts on “50 Shades of Rescue

  1. Much love to you and all your rescues.
    The name of my first book is going to be every silver lining has a cloud so I understand all those shades.
    Rescue has certainly toned my face muscles lol laugh to cry and back in 0. 5 seconds


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