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United, we stand; divided, we fall.
Friday December 30, 05
Such A Thing, But The Difference It Made Was Grave
3 cheers for Ginny!!!
Finding this story on little Ginny reminded me of earlier this year - February, to be exact - of when I helped find a home for an adoreable little Australian Shepherd mix. I met little 1-Eyed Jack at the shop where I purchase food and toys for my own cat as he was there along with 4-5 other cats and dogs from a local pet adoption program the shop hosts each weekend. As one may surmise from his name, poor little Jack was completely blind in 1 eye, and his other eye severely impaired rendering him with nearly a 90% loss of sight. (Apparently, it is not uncommon for Australian Shepherds to have vision problems as it is hereditary to their breed.)
I had to skip all the drama of where he tore at my heart-strings in the few brief minutes I spent with him as I needed to tear myself away before I made a tearful, blubbering fool of myself. I could tell that Jack was very affectionate and craved human contact; and even though he couldn't see clearly he was very aware of his surroundings and the presence of those petting him. As much as I wanted little Jack for myself, knowing that I could give him all the love and attention he would need and most certainly deserved, I knew apartment living was not best suited for an animal that would require a back yard, and one which was also nearly blind. So, after I pulled myself away from him and headed back home, the friend I was with commented that he was shocked knowing what an animal lover I am that I didn't spend more time with Jack, and that I just seemed to act indifferent. "On the contrary!" I replied, and had to explain that if I stayed another moment watching him interact with Jack as he knelt down and hugged him tight I'd have become an emotional mess, much in the same manner as I'd done when as a child I'd chanced upon an injured animal. As an adult I had long ago resolved that no longer would I allow a child's sense of helplessness determine the fate of an animal's life or well-being. Thus I consoled myself by seeking out ways in which to find Jack a good home; if I could not take him, then I would find someone who could...
Alas, I found myself getting nowhere fast when I'd contacted both friends and family asking them if they knew of anyone who'd be interested in sharing their home with what seemed to be a very sweet dog, yet had special needs. It all seemed rather hopeless as their responses reflected problems. A few people told me their job site had discontinued the use of a community bulletin board. A few of my friends seemed to think Jack would eventually find a home, so why was I getting involved...Of course I was only contacting people who consider themselves animal lovers, but I could not help sensing this I'm too busy vibe from some of them.
Coincidentally, a week or so later I'd read an article by a local columnist who adores little dogs (Jack was about 30 lbs.), but she also stressed how she doted on mutts, but particularly those with some physical handicap as well, emphasising "especially a dog missing an eye"!!
"That's it!" I thought to myself..."I'll get the word out by contacting this columnist..."
I soon got a response to my letter, and after a few emails exchanged with the columnist's editor asking for my permission to print my letter, my letter was indeed published a few weeks later! Calls flooded in to the pet adoption place about little Jack's plight and his need of a good, loving home. And even I received a few calls from old co-workers - also animal/dog lovers - who tracked me down to tell me that they'd seen my letter and how proud they were to see me taking such a pro-active role in animal welfare, and that they were also sending their own best wishes and luck for Jack's finding a good home.
In a mere matter of a few weeks Jack was adopted by a couple who fell in love with him. I'd received an email from the director of the pet adoption shelter which was sponsoring Jack, telling that me that his new family had even already taken him to an eye specialist for animals in order to determine if he needed any immediate medical attention. I was very happy to hear they could afford Jack's medical needs as that was also another one of my concerns of why I knew I could not have taken Jack - I'm always skint enough as it is, but it would not have been fair to Jack if he needed imperative eye surgery somewhere down the line and I was not able to afford it. I really had to put Jack's best interests first above all else.
And those who came off as I'm too busy...now had a tone of surprise in their voice when I showed my published letter and its *rewarding* happy results, which goes to show the lazy mentality many have of, nothing changes anyway/anything, so why bother? - as if it was a worthless effort on my part. That kind of attitude goes against United, we stand; divided, we fall. It's no wonder the world is in such turmoil.
I must admit that I do miss many things about the years of my being a veterinarian assistant, but there are so many other ways in which one can improve/change an animal's life. Animals like Ginny and Jack are only a few who have shown how they improve/change our own lives by touching us in ways most people could never do...
So in reviewing this past year, I would have to say that being a part of helping find dear little 1-Eyed Jack a loving home was for me the highlight of 2005.
Best wishes to everyone for 2006!
p.s. As soon as I learn how to use my new scanner I'll see if I can post photos of Jack on here; he is such a little cutie - our friend Sullen can attest to that! ;)