Eve: Mama, can you tell me a true story about rescue?
Mama: Sure Eve. Are you ready?
Mama: Here we go:
His still body lay at the bottom of the ditch. At a glance he appeared dead but on closer inspection you could see his broad chest rise slightly and fall. The blood on his back hid the possible source of his pain.
The gentle arms of a woman picked him up and carried him to her car. The blood and the gasps for air told her his time was short. She carefully laid his body on the passengers side of the front seat. His eyes opened lazily and slowly closed again.
The X-rays showed the pellets that had showered through his spine, the result of a shotgun blast to his back. She struggled to understand the cruelty he had endured. The doctor told her he was too old and fragile to do much except keep him comfortable.
The woman watched him grow stronger. She watched the legs become useful. The doctor marveled at all he had overcome with nothing more than a will to live and a woman who loved him. His staggered walk became steadier. He would always walk with a limp. The limp reminded the woman of all the dog had been through. He was devoted to the woman. Their love had conquered what seemed insurmountable...a 12 year old pit bull who was shot by his owner and left to die in a ditch.
She was warned about fighting pit bulls. She was told that they never lost that desire to kill. But his eyes were soft and he looked at her with an appreciation of all she had done. The fight to kill was gone. He now fought for his future, his future with the woman. He knew she was his. She knew he was hers.
The crisp, signed adoption papers only confirmed what they both already knew.. that their love of one another had healed the scars of the past and brought them a future of joy.
Eve: Mama, I have tears on my fur.
Mama: He was a wonderful dog Eve. His name was Harley. He was with the woman for the rest of his life.
Eve: Mama, do humans ever have to live apart from other humans and not see other humans?
Mama: Well, I guess if you are in prison on death row it would be that way.
Eve: Yeah, but the people there did bad stuff right?
Mama: Yes. Why are you asking?
Eve: I was trying to think why sometimes dogs can't be together. Did they do something bad too?
Mama: Now Eve, you know that the dogs here are only kept apart if they are sick or if they are not able to be nice with other dogs. You wouldn't want to get hurt would you?
Eve: I don't mean here Mama.
Mama: Everybody has their own way of doing things and their own reasons. We just think that dogs, just like people, are meant to live together. We volunteers love watching you all play together, chasing each other around in the play area, napping all curled up together. We would miss all that if the dogs were kept separate.
Eve: I feel bad for dogs who can't play together mama.
Mama: Me too Baby Girl, me too.
Mama: There's so much to do that I don't know where to start.
Eve: Humans say funny things mama. You start at start, the beginning.
Mama: (laugh) I guess you are right Eve. Sometimes, though, it's hard to find the "start" so we have to prioritize. You have to put things in order of importance.
Eve: I'm important right mama?
Mama: You are especially important Eve! But other things have to be put in order of what needs doing the most.
Eve: So where's your start?
Mama: Dogs are very first. They have to be taken outside, fed, watered, medications given, groomed, played with, work on their issues. That's first. That's the reason we are here.
Mama: From there it is harder for me. I guess next is appointments. We need to prepare for any adoption meetings or volunteers that are coming in. We clean first thing in the morning and then spot check throughout the day. Cleaning never stops so we don't really need a priority for it. It's just always.
Eve: Is that it Mama?
Mama: Oh, heaven's no! We have to process adoptions, do intakes on new dogs, talk to people, pick up stray dogs that need us, take dog photos, schedule volunteers, ask for donations and volunteer help, train dogs, order supplies, talk to companies, answer phone, emails, texts, messages, post to facebook, twitter, instagram, snapchat, find homes for dogs, look for the home of stray dogs, make vet appointments...
Eve: Gosh mama! Make sure you got time to give me loves.
Mama: I schedule that first, middle and last. I need loves just like you do baby girl!