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Discussion Starter #1
Sorry for the first time post being "down", but thought there would be a place like this online.

I do dog resuce work (for the love of what I get in return).

I do work fulltime, good at my job, and don't consider the work I do for animals as trying to find something "lost" in myself.

Sorry, been around some people who love animals who I consider a nut case, I just happen to think I'm not one of them:D

YOU CAN'T SAVE THEM ALL.

Ever feel like crap because you don't stop in a split second decision?

Actually, took a dog to a new family, and driving back home, saw a lost dog but didn't stop.

Just feel like crying.

I'm not a nutcase, just someone who loves animals and know that they can actually be looking to be loved as well.

Perhaps in time, we'll all be at the same place wherever that is.
 

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You're not a nutcase, I think we all feel this way at sometime in our lives :)
I do rescue work as well and I know the "I saved this one, but what about that dog?" feeling. I'm also 19 and I live in an apartment with my parents. So I never get to pull the "There's a lost dog, I better bring him home with me for the night" stunts and I know the guilt of that too.

But I think the best way to deal with it, is to find a coping mechanism. It's gonna be different for everyone but once you DO find it - trust me, it helps a lot. In my case, I cope with my photography. I take pictures of the dogs at the shelter and tell myself that in this way, they can never be forgotten. That regardless of their future there is now clear evidence of their life and existence and that I at least, will not forget meeting them. It's cheesy as heck, but it helps me with the constant "See Fido one day, and he's gone the next" that happens in city run shelters. Because I can tell myself that everything isn't faceless numbers and statistics anymore. It was made up of this dog, this dog, and this dog - and they are now loved and remembered.

Loving animals is a hard path I think, they don't live long enough and not everyone understands why you feel the way you do about them. Thankfully, there ARE places like this filled with other animal lovers that DO understand.

I hope you feel better soon. Just try to remember all the difference that you DO make.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Dakota

Thank you for the words.

My coping mechanism is that I know how some people live, not only in our country, but others. Maybe a worn out phrase, but sometimes life isn't fair.

Doesn't stop me from feeling like crap though:eek:

It's cheesy as heck, but it helps me with the constant "See Fido one day, and he's gone the next" that happens in city run shelters.
Not cheesey at all. Actually, you've already helped me. For myself, a dog may stay at my home for some time until a good home is found. Today, I found a home for a dog after 6 months, and had one dog less. Perhaps that's why I was feeling so guilty about the one I saw today.

It it nice to know there are people like you who do work in shelters;)
 

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Yep, remembering what you've got and what you do accomplish is another good strategy :). I think sometimes as humans, it's weird, but we tend to fixate on what we COULDN'T do rather then what we could. Or what we don't have rather then we do. Which is a little bit backwards lol. Not that I don't totally understand...I feel crappy all the time about those things. Lol, I feel it AND recognize the irrationality of it. Sometimes, as you said, you just can't help how you feel.

On the other hand though, keeping that 'humanity' is part of what makes a good rescuer I think. I never like encountering a bitter shelter worker who's either overly hardened by their experience or half way to giving up on seeing the 'good' in people. I want to keep feeling because I guess in a way, I think it keeps my perspective balanced. I think because I know if I am feeling this way, then there MUST be others who do too ;)

I'm glad I could help! The animals you rescue are lucky to have you too. I'm a firm believer that making the difference is all about the little steps - so keep up your good work! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
I never like encountering a bitter shelter worker who's either overly hardened by their experience or half way to giving up on seeing the 'good' in people. I want to keep feeling because I guess in a way, I think it keeps my perspective balanced. I think because I know if I am feeling this way, then there MUST be others who do too ;)
I honestly don't think I could work in a shelter enviroment.

However, I find it ironic that at times when I do feel any bitterness, it's never towards the animals, but people.

Some people get genuinely piss*d off when we require a home visit for the placement of an animal. Some people make you take time off from your job to meet with them, then never call nor show up. Some people want dogs for some pretty strange reasons IMO (the stories I could tell are not made up). Some people don't realize that their current pet doesn't want another pet in the house. Some people get mad because you ask them questions. Some people only want an American Pit Bull to breed (along with other breeds). I could go on... sorry for that rant:eek:

what we don't have rather then we do. Which is a little bit backwards
Welcome to the U.S. You'll find this is not always the case overseas.

On the other hand though, keeping that 'humanity' is part of what makes a good rescuer I think.
Ironic in my case at least that it's the animals that help me keep my sanity. That and having an awesome wife helps:D
 

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I honestly don't think I could work in a shelter enviroment.

However, I find it ironic that at times when I do feel any bitterness, it's never towards the animals, but people.
It's interesting because as sad as the overall shelter status is, I'm not usually sad when I'm THERE. I'm happy because despite the horrors the dogs may have gone through beforehand, I know that for a least a brief moment I can help them. I get to help the animals who in turn offer me so much love, and that tends to overshadow the depression that I might otherwise be apt to feel.

And yeah, I totally get the people thing. It's not the animals of course, because they didn't have any control over the situation. I find myself rolling my eyes more times then I can count some days, and having whole rants/conversations within my head about such and such person and how ridiculous their actions, thoughts, whatever are. But on that same day, I may encounter someone who truly embodies that charity spirit that makes it all worthwhile. We have a lady that comes to our shelter now and agian purposefully seeking out the overweight, old dogs to adopt because those are the ones she feels need rescuing and those are the ones likely to be left behind. And while they are in far less quantity then those who frustrate, the quality of them is much more worth remembering. If that makes any sense.

I think we all have occasional moments of bitterness - I just don't want to be one of those people who adopts it as a constant state. I don't want to 'lose faith' in people, as others seem to do.

And no worries about your rants lol. There are plenty of times when I do the same :)

Ironic in my at least that it's the animals that help me keep my sanity. That and having an awesome wife helps:D
Well of course them too ;) The forgiving spirit that most animals seem to possess is really what keeps me going. But even with that, I couldn't do it if I thought I was fighting a losing battle. So remembering that there are other 'good' people out there is another tool in my 'this is how I keep from falling into a black pit of despair' tool box lol. And it does help to have someone around who understands!

Lol, thanks Digit!

I'm just realizing how spirity and sentimental this post sounds lol. I'm not normally such a mushy person but I guess talking about this stuff has that effect. It's the dogs, they rub off on you :)
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
But even with that, I couldn't do it if I thought I was fighting a losing battle.
I've found in life that it does not matter if you may think you're fighting a losing battle, but knowing that you tried.

I'm just realizing how spirity and sentimental this post sounds lol. I'm not normally such a mushy person but I guess talking about this stuff has that effect. It's the dogs, they rub off on you
Don't worry about it;) I've mentioned to my wife that due to numerous reasons, working with animals has helped me get closer to my God.

Another part of my "coping mechanism" is realizing that we're all here on this earth for such a short time. I rationalize that those animals that I can't help will be in the same place as I will be in a blink of an eye.

As Will Rogers once said, "If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went."
 

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Well, you're right, that's true enough. I suppose even if it WERE a losing battle, you make a difference for those that you do help and in the end, that's really what matters.

That's a good way of thinking about it :)
And I've always loved that quote. So true, so true.
 

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I am also involved in rescue work and I get that feeling when I'm trying to decide who comes to the rescue with me and who stays behind. It took me a little while to come to the realization that while I can't save them all, I just changed the lives of the ones loaded in my car that day. It's not a lot, but it's more than enough to keep me going back :)
 

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I am involved with rescue, although not as much as I would like to be, and I know the feeling. I get emails all the time about dog after dog in desperate need of a miracle. It sucks because there is nothing I can do. I am 19 and live at home with my parents. They are very tolerant, but logical. they know we can only have so many pets. I like fostering, but it never seems like enough.

When I am not in a position to actually take in a dog, I try to help in other ways. I walk dogs in shelters and I help people I know who are looking for a dog find one. My new favorite way of "helping" shelter animals is to train my dogs to be really good dogs and take them places. When people say anything about them, the first thing out of my mouth is that they came from rescue. One of my favorite things to think about is a poem I read once. It pretty much sums up my feeling about rescue:

An old man was walking down the beach just before dawn. In the distance he saw a young man picking up stranded starfish and throwing them back into the sea. As the old man approached the young man, he asked; "Why do you spend so much energy doing what seems to be a waste of time?" The young man explained that the stranded starfish would die if left in the morning sun. "But there must be thousands of beaches and millions of starfish, exclaimed the old man. "How can your efforts make any difference?" The young man looked down at the small starfish in his hand and as he threw it to safety in the sea, he said; "It made a difference to that one!"
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Craven

You're a much better man than myself. When I was 19, the only thing I cared about was myself. Nice to know that their are young people like you out there.

I get emails all the time about dog after dog in desperate need of a miracle. It sucks because there is nothing I can do.
I know that feeling. The people who regularly send me those e-mails actually irritate me to an extent for different reasons.

Guess what started this whole rant off is that in a split second decision, I made the choice not to at least try at the same time when I was coming home after droping a dog off at a new home.

Then again, one could argue with all the need our fellow humans need, why waste time on animals? (don't worry, I have that one figured out at least in my own little mind:D)

Nephews were staying a couple of nights and we were out playing with some of our dogs. One being "rescued" and the other in our "foster care" (for an extrememly long time). Both dogs had horror stories but are now both completely socialized.

As sad as I can feel about the moments that I feel like I havn't done enough, looking at these pics lets me remember the times and effort both my wife and I have made, and how some of those starfish have gotten back into the ocean:D

1.jpg
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I've felt horrible about not giving to panhandlers in the subway... walking right past them without looking, because if I look in their eyes the guilt is stunning.

But the way I feel about volunteer work is this... You do what you can, and make a difference for those that you can. You are only ONE person.

I felt that way when I visited nursing homes in high school. My mom would ask how I could handle it; it was so depressing. I said, "Well, I know I made a difference for the time that I was there."

It's like that story that circulates on the internet about the little boy at the beach, throwing starfish back into the sea to save them. His father says, "Son, you can't possibly save them all." And the little boy picks on up, throws it in, and says, "I saved that one!"

Regarding that lost dog you saw, 1. It may not have actually been lost. 2. Someone else could very well have come along the next minute and picked it up. You never know what happens the moment your back is turned.

Thanks for all you do! I couldn't possibly work with animals all the time, it would get me too down. I teach and deal with students at a community college, and they have some pretty heart-wrenching stories as well, particularly the ones struggling to finish school while raising babies or caring for younger siblings or ailing parents.

P.S. I just noticed someone else mentioned the starfish story. Too late!
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
I've felt horrible about not giving to panhandlers in the subway... walking right past them without looking, because if I look in their eyes the guilt is stunning
I kissed my first $20 away over 15 years ago. I've found for myself, if I can give, it doesn't matter what the person does with the gift, but knowing that I gave. Keep in mind, I don't go broke doing it.

I felt that way when I visited nursing homes in high school. My mom would ask how I could handle it; it was so depressing. I said, "Well, I know I made a difference for the time that I was there."
The aussie mix in my previous pics went to a nursing home with me for some time. The look on the peoples faces when they saw Shadow (the aussie mix's name) was probably more giving to myself than those who saw her. People who are in nursing homes who have no families need something.

Regarding that lost dog you saw, 1. It may not have actually been lost. 2. Someone else could very well have come along the next minute and picked it up. You never know what happens the moment your back is turned.
I've been doing this long enough that I'm a realist. I now know for a fact that the dog is not lost and no one picked it up. Chances are, someone had abused it (after encountering it last night).

That's my problem. I've seen what abused dogs can turn into with the proper guideance and care. The American Staffshire Terrier in my previous pics (which everyone calls a "pit bull", which there is no such animal by the way) was found under a trailer shot at with a bb gun while trying to take care of 6 puppies. Only two puppies survived. Out of 50 or so dogs I've worked with in six years, that dog (in the pic) is by far the most obedient, loyal dog I've ever known (and sometimes still so scared). With the proper care and guideance, a dogs potential is unlimited. And so is the love it can give.


I teach and deal with students at a community college, and they have some pretty heart-wrenching stories as well, particularly the ones struggling to finish school while raising babies or caring for younger siblings or ailing parents.
If you work with resuce dogs AND know what TPR means (in social services) I sincerely think you will find the corellation between abandoned dogs and certain children uncanny.

People don't usually need a license to get a dog or have children.

Guess what makes this hard for me is that I feel God has put this creature in front of me after leaving another creature to live it's life with a loving family (although the circumstances with this family may not of met my "full" requirements to ensure care of the animal). Yet another philosophical debate on what "requirements" should a family meet to get a loving , trained dog (if you've been there, you know what I mean).

I've left the live trap out after an unsucessful previous LONG night, and I know that some others care enough to call me. I've tried, and that's all I can ask of myself. I'll probably cry if the dog is hit and killed by a car, but as metnioned before, in a blink of an eye we'll both be in the same place and perhaps I'll meet her:D (yes, corney, dumb and stupid, but you can say the same about faith).
 
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