If I was an independent production company and wanted to produce cheap television with maximum impact, I would stick a few mics and cameras on rescuers! ‘Keeping up with the rescuers’ – let me tell you it would be hard to! In 24 hours so much can happen that when you lay your head on the pillow – you feel you’ve lived a week!
Yes, this week I also watched fellow rescuers practically jump from one county to another – going with one and coming back with more animals! I did home checks, rehomed, and I experienced a sad failed home. This week has been an emotional rollercoaster with the setting on ‘high speed’. On one of the days, I took a kitten, Gobnait for her stitch check and her first vaccination as she was going to her new home later that day! Quickly got her in and out, home to take care of the 29 animals in my own house, 2 sets of walks with 6 dogs to two different areas, litter trays cleaning, cat feeding, and meds, and then it’s water filling and dropping, back to do a very quick change for work. Finding work clothes amidst the wardrobe chaos is so stressful; I’m making it a priority to have outfits ready to go! If I was judged on my professional attire, I’d never get any work! So with the session coming to an end, I look at my client and say ‘oh, no, Prince Harry!’ I won’t begin to tell you his reaction. I tried to gather my things politely but rapidly as Prince Harry had a 4:15 appointment at the vets which was very important! I nearly forgot it! PH being an older kitten who had to have most his teeth removed. So getting into the catio with a box sends all the cats into hiding but the Prince was quickly spotted hiding ‘not very well’ in the grass! Poor PH – the vet says his mouth is so very sore still! And then home to the same cycle, of walks in shaded areas and more water filling! And then. . . the letting go! This is a part I’m not good with. Putting Gobnait into a cat box, we made our way to The West County to meet her new human mommy! I stood in the foyer and took her out of the cat box as it was too hot outside to wait. And I held her, and I told her how brave she was, how loved she was, and how lucky she was to have 4 legs! She dug her little claws into my neck and snuggled in as she was so unsure of all the new hotel sounds. After a few minutes, Katie arrived with open arms and I let go of another heart beat – her paw print etched into me forever! I wish I knew all those times my heart was broken – that to get busy living – is the best distraction and remedy for that raw and debilitating emotion of loss: letting go and saying goodbye! Yes, I cried but when I got back into the jeep, there were three messages about animals needing help: the type of messages that are the Kleenex for rescuers! They quickly dry your eyes and push you on! Loss is inevitable but it’s how we react to it that determines how we will be. Yes, we have to feel the emotion but we can’t stay in the damaging darkness alone with our thoughts! We’re better of staying connected and busy!
Yesterday, I had to cancel sessions in Galway as what is usually a run of the mill visit to Erin, turned into a few hours in a dried up dusty field, trying to stay calm as she got more stressed! Every time I left her to get something from the jeep, I could nearly hear her say, ‘don’t leave me, I’m afraid!’ So I got a head collar on her and a lead rope from the jeep and we walked and talked. And, as you suck up your emotion so she won’t sense it, part of you gets ready to let go. Part of you sends this quiet message to your brain… she might die here! It’s the ‘here’ that cuts the deepest! I can’t bare the thoughts of any of the horses I’ve spent years feeding and caring for dying in these ‘killing fields’ of nothingness! No water in the Summer and no feed in the Winter! I called my vet but there was no answer so I resorted to prayer – yes, prayer! Like the day I found her bleeding and partially blind, I prayed for her! So, after a few hours, she kinda told me, she had enough of me, and whatever was hurting her, stopped, and she walked away from me and looked back once as if to say ‘I need to be alone now!’
So, I left her be and went home but drove by twice before I left for Galway City! I don’t know why Erin has not had the same luck as other horses I’ve gotten out! I’m trying but for some reason, the universe is keeping her here!
There is going to be another emotional goodbye in a few days – although my rescue friend, Katryna, always tells me, never say ‘goodbye’. My friend Lorraine has been taking care of four very special rescues, Peaches & Ludeen, Leo & Daisy. Peaches & Ludeen were rescued by SCAR from an incredibly terrible life of constant abuse. I ended up having to rescue them from the home they were put in. Where a man believed you could beat the stallion out of one of them! Peaches was gelded all the time! And then two further homes did not work out until I found Lorraine! Then Leo. . . there are not enough words to describe this bundle of sweetness! When I met him on a halting site, my heart nearly broke. There he was – with nothing but a big swollen belly! The vet was called and there was a chance he had ragwort poisoning. So, after weeks of feeding, on those grounds, the owner surrendered him, along with his GF, Daisy, who was meant to survive on the moss growing from the concrete! Why they took them off a tiny patch of grass, makes no sense! Nothing makes sense sometimes when it comes to certain owners: it’s as if we both are seeing two completely different things when you try talk to them. So, it happened very quickly in the last few days, that three ladies in Wales offered them a forever home together. Lorraine has been working so hard getting various things ready for them to leave. Whilst Joe has arranged the transport with Castlepark. These four ‘not goodbyes’ will be very testing but more so for Lorraine and her family.
I’m not sure what there is left to say about the water situation! Some people say to me, ‘shur, they won’t give water if you give it!’ I’ve stopped defensive reacting to such comments! But all I know is – that during the week, with the heat and lifting, I reached exhaustion! I took out my phone and took a picture of myself to capture this moment! It frightened me but it has passed now! I desperately want to get back to my own life so if there was a slight chance that owners I know would take responsibility – I would be simply relieved. But, they won’t! In fact with some owners, I have to sneak in water and they have no idea where I have buckets hidden! There are no buckets or containers left by them in these fields to catch the water that just might fall again soon.
I often wonder what would happen if all the rescuers in the country gathered in one big venue! What would the most prominent emotion be? I know when I meet some, we spend the first few minutes doing the familiar ‘giving out’ and what is left after that, is the ‘happy stuff’ – of new homes and successful rescues! Rescuers are not a bad bunch at all but they are doing a really difficult job out there. They are doing it – not for nothing – they are doing it for sentient beings with no voice or no means to help themselves. I’m just ‘small fry’ when it comes to rescuers, and I’m in awe of the ones out there that defy all sorts of impossibilities that come their way! They truly make the impossible, possible for some animals!
Until next week… x
(I want to wish Joe from Charlie’s lots of luck with the next transport to Hillside! Sanctuary not Slaughter has been a huge success! 140 farm animals to date! A big thanks to Rose Burns for sourcing me new buckets! Mary for getting them part of the way to me! To Ferry Dogmothers and their helpers for sorting out transport for Elsa and the buckets back to Ennis. Thank you so much to those people who are helping me reach the target for transport!)