More than a Picture

‘. . . I walk down memory lane because I love running into you.’

Yes, not only do pictures speak a thousand words but they also trigger many memories and an array of emotions. Sometimes when we cry, we are not only crying for what the photo has captured, we are crying about its context – what the camera didn’t capture; sometimes when we smile, we are smiling as we remember all the others that made us smile in the same way, and when we miss, the memories all join hands in our mind, they are together, and you, the viewer, is apart and separate. Yes, we have to mind all our emotions triggered often with one picture!

There are so many good animal stories to write about this week. Yesterday my friend helped me transport a rescue pig to My Lovely Horse Rescue. Once she walked down the ramp into her enclosure, and when she realised where she was, she turned in circles, skipped, and smiled as she went from one corner to the other taking her new freedom in. And then there was a special welcome from another pig. I have looked at the pictures on my phone over and over again! So happy, relieved, and sad – all at once! The latter emotion is respectfully for those that will never know something we take for granted: fresh air. I think most people have a ‘the one that got away’ memory. Rescuers have hundreds of them.
Two hours previous to this the predominant emotion was frustration when this cutie put up a right fight not to get into her transport. But, once in Kildare, the sun shone on her and her love for life as she ran around was infectious – why would we as people deny this to so many others? I guess it’s when ‘I want’ comes before ‘them’. It was great to see another two pigs I rescued from a petting farm being loved and adored here.
And then there was Caoimhe this week who was trapped. A young cat worn out from having litters. I don’t think I ever saw a cat so very sad! But one photo pales into insignificance when her new home sent me this little rescue looking nothing like the cat we first trapped. She was content and happy! Caoimhe definitely knew home life before she found herself living the difficult life of a feral cat.
I’ve noticed the last few mornings I wake up and silently I ask ‘what is there to worry about today?’ so starting tomorrow morning, I’m going to try ask ‘what do I not have to worry about today?’ The last week I have been worried about many animals including Erin who had to have her hooves done. I was worried how she would cope with a man that close to her and would I have a death of a farrier on my conscience! And then today arrived and I always have this line in my mind’s ‘waiting room’ – ‘sure we’ll leave it!’ Today as I saw her walk away with her head down when she saw Gerhard at the gate, I wanted to say, ‘we’ll leave it’ rather than traumatise her. Before this moment, I had to go up to another section of this area and call her to the gate. And when she came running, she was breathtaking.

So, one hoove at a time, she stood quietly listening to myself and Lorraine talk and she ate from a bucket. We had some sedative on standby and if it was fit for human consumption, I would have had it!! Such were my nerves! The last time Erin had anyone near her hooves, was to shoe her for a sulky. Her memories of that time are very much like a photo album flicking constantly in her mind. Sometimes I can see her go back there. She gets angry at me if I clink something too loud and she’ll just hang her head and walk away,or if a box passes on the road, she hides. There is no intervening in this reaction – but it passes….the fear relived all passes if we let it without panic or resistance. I wish she knew that.
Three puppies came to my attention this week. And it is truly amazing what happens when you look for help on Facebook. It’s like casting out a web of need and watching many people connect and respond with offers of lifts or rescue space. These puppies: their mommy survived constant abuse and her luck changed, the day her family left their rented accommodation and left her behind. For months she slept under a mobile home and nobody could touch her or coax her out but one man did and he slowly gained some of her trust. She is still wary but sleeps in his shed now so that’s a start! So, thanks to HART, her babies will only know care and love. Thanks to Yvonne who messaged me her concerns for them.
And then there is Jill Smith, the ‘giving back’ farmer from Cork… I heard on a newstalk show this morning that the average young person will take 25,000 selfies in a lifetime. And the show went on to talk about ‘getting work done’ and improving people’s lives in doing so. All of this ‘fixing’ but really ‘breaking’ dialogue got me thinking of Jill. I took her picture prior to her cows being loaded for Hillside Animal Sanctuary and I captured a woman who radiates purity of kindness and compassion. She spoke into the TV3 camera with no words of ‘how’s my hair?’ or ‘can I see how I looked?’ Her very sense of self and being is born from and energised by her love for life and her animals. The heavy burden of superficiality has no home in her. She symbolises ‘being’. Just be as you are because that is enough. She is enough and more, just as she is. The only work Jill has ever got done is the hard work of running a farm by herself. How lucky these animals are compared to those who left for Libya this week from Cork.  After they were loaded, and a prayer was said for Jill and her animals, we drank tea around an open car boot. It was the nicest tea I ever drank.
A fellow rescuer and a friend asked me yesterday as we sat around a table, how come I don’t give my rescue work a title/a name. The answer is both simple and complex. I guess it’s like when we give a name to a rescued animal, you attach more to them; when we like someone and we find out their name, it swings back and forth in your mind, which makes sense of the saying ‘I can’t get them out of my mind’,  so for me to give my rescue work a name would make it official and I always have a sense that I’m just passing through this rescue world and any day now things will be better for animals and we will all be made redundant! Yes, how naïveté of me!
Being an empath and a rescuer is like being a pin cushion:  the pins are endless. It’s hard to endure.
When I had my fortune told years ago, I had no pets in my life. Yet, the reader of my fortune could only see me and horses. There was nobody and nothing else. To-date everything she predicted which was completely irrelevant at the time has come through except for one event.

Maybe no matter how hard we try, our life’s purpose, like ‘hide and seek’, ready or not it will find us.

The Thanks
With buckets of thanks to: HART, CARE & BabyDog Rescue for rescue spaces this week and Babydog Rescue who donated dog food to me that went to help the puppies dumped from a car with MLHR, the various sites with many dogs to feed, and some went to MADRA.
Thanks to Margaret & Pascal for foster space. Big thanks to Pat for driving our special rescue to MLHR. Thanks to Joe for pulling off another Sanctuary not Slaughter mission. Thanks to Lorraine for helping me with Erin & Bella today! And forever thanks to MLHR for giving our beautiful pig a home. Hope nobody forgotten x

2 thoughts on “More than a Picture

  1. And thanks to you. The cog that makes it all move, the thrower of the net that reaches so far on Facebook, they key that opens the lock or the hammer that breaks the soir around it.
    Seeing that piggy on your Facebook made me smile. They are so misunderstood. There is much not to worry about tomorrow and no point worrying about tomorrow either. Which leaves you worry free.
    Much love as always from up here. Especially today from our pig xx

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    1. Just saw a post about a ‘piggy blanket’ and was expecting something different from what I saw : ( she’s so happy! Imagine so sociable after months of darkness! It’s truly amazing their ability to bounce back!! Not forgetting your sanctuary!! Love love love & Piggy love xxx

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