Monday, December 8, 2014

Labor Of Love

What does rescued mean to you?  It can mean "saved", "helped", and even "sheltered".  It can also include working through issues, past traumas, re-adjustments and healing.  It involves change.

Rescue is becoming more and more popular.  Great Plains Pointer Rescue loves that. While many who rescue have good intentions, some don't see the whole picture.  Are rescue animals always broken? Of course not. However they may come with baggage, or a hidden history if you will.  They may have experienced a past mishap, harsh training, no training or a lack of love overall.  Luckily animals are forgiving creatures.  While they cannot tell us what has or has not happened, they can show us what they know or don't know. 

Yes, there are folks that have adopted and in turn been disappointed.  "This is not the pet you described, you didn't tell us about this behavior, and this is what they do".  But first things first....rescue saves the animal. With the use of volunteer foster homes, animals are evaluated, aided, healed and placed in forever homes. All of this is part of the labor of love.

Too many times people live with false expectations.  If the newly adopted animal veers away from what they were told, or begins to change within the new environment, anxiety and disappointment unfold.  While most people treat their pets as family members, they can also forget they are still animals, not humans.  Animals cannot read minds. They require guidance, structure, training and security.  They need to know what humans expect from them.  This too, is part of the labor of love and where some people give up.

Have you ever heard the story where someone had a nightmare pet?  They struggled, cried and were generally ready to give up...but in the end it turned out to be the best pet of their lives.  This is because they let go of expectations and worked with the animal.  A bond was created, trust was earned and an understanding developed.  

This is not a perfect world.  Animals, like people, are not perfect.  It's not always sunshine and rainbows (or dog treats raining from the sky). Environments change, people change, families change, and yes, animals can change.  When you bring a new rescue into your home, let go of expectations. Enter with open arms and an open mind.  Be prepared for an imperfect member to join your family. With time and love they may become the most perfect companion you have ever known.  You will love your pet, and yourself for this investment, this labor of love. Then the meaning of rescue will become personal and you will have been changed because of it.