This week I took a call from a man missing his two dogs. He had formed an ill-informed opinion based on someone’s well thought-out ‘opinion’. Well thought out based on biases and on another’s need to create trouble. So according to the owner the dogs could only have been taken by people who had a lot of experience handling dogs and they often send dogs abroad. He proceeded to tell me he had it narrowed down to a number of people. So, I listened and told him that no one stole his dogs and the rest I kept to myself. The rest being: nobody in any position of authority should plant seeds especially when those seeds take root and grow into reactive emotions. But the person who handed him the seeds had a clear agenda I guess. How dangerous some agendas can be.
It’s not just the rescue world that is laced with hidden agendas, rivalry, back stabbing and corruption. It exists in every charity and company. But the problem is all those nasty things don’t sit well amidst causes for care and welfare. It’s quite ironic to be saving animals whilst pushing others to the edge with torment. Yes, it’s happening.
Sunday started with the usual pre-transport anxiety. There were three ponies and two goats from two different locations to be brought to south-Tipperary. A partition was made to separate them and the usual ‘just in case’ tricks packed. Everything went so smoothly apart from google maps reminding us what a circle is – again and again. Yes, we were going around in circles as we got close to Second Chance Farm. And then nothing prepared me for what happened next. In the yard I was introduced to a rescuer. The name automatically triggered a flashback of tags and screen shots. And so, I got my chance. My chance to ask, ‘How could you write that stuff about me when you don’t even know me?’ She wore a smirk which was quite consoling: how can you expect anything else from someone who can’t say the word ‘sorry’. So her facial expression made me care less about what she said about me. Back in August, whilst I was caring for a kitten subjected to a night of terror, she was forming such cutting opinions based on my posts about the kitten and then came the long lists of ‘what she would have done!’ No regard for the rescuers involved in a very complex case.
Sometimes blocking works: blocking all the character assassinations. If you didn’t you probably would give up – give up the helping and caring – the very acts that we, as rescuers, share in common. What’s really going on is privy to each of us when we act cruelly or irrationally. I’m not sure what’s really going on in people who take pleasure being unfairly cruel. All I know is that I’ve worked with people who weren’t able to block or weren’t as resilient. And they are no longer here today. None of us know the limits of the people we cross paths with.
2019 has already seen many horrific cruelty cases come to the attention of rescues – not even a month into a new year has finished. If you were to see the human condition through the eyes of a rescued animal, you might just want to run for the hills.
But there are the stories that throw a big life buoy around the rescuer’s deflating spirit. The rescued goats thrown into a dense forest, brought to An Cat Dubh for recovery and on Sunday brought to Second Chance Farm along with three rescued ponies. This new farm offers solace and new beginnings to rescued animals. There is a springer that has lived her life chained in a back yard. Her adorable belly crawl is due to a broken leg left to heal with no medical attention. Heartbreaking to watch. Tomorrow, Babydog rescue will be bringing her back to Clare to begin again. Now they are the tales I can live with.
Happy New Year x