Retiring from a major police force has taught me to be trained, prepared, and equipped for the bitter side of life you see in the shadows of the criminal element. But it did not prepare me for the things I now see at times. In that realm, you see things that first shock you, but you become hardened and pass it off. There is some justification in that element because you see the outcome; people are sentenced for their crimes and misdemeanors. In my new world, you see the end results of a happy family and a truly content dog, which is very rewarding.
I remember when Clancy's Dream was asked to help in a situation not too long ago, and it was pretty bad in northern Indiana. The owner of the dogs approached us wanting help, at that point, you think about the end-results and remember, "it's only about the dogs," not the people. Many people worked on this issue, and in the end, everything worked out, and 20 dogs were saved. All the dogs were helped medically, and all test and procedures were cared for. It cost thousands of dollars to do this, but in the end, every penny was worth it when all the dogs were protected, and they are now part of a happy family.
This Saturday, we picked up Ashley because she is pregnant, and they need help with this litter. When someone reaches out to us, it's hearting breaking for the owner because they can sometimes feel that they have failed, but I tell you, it takes a lot for them to make that call for help, probably a lot harder than we know. While we never pass judgment, we're grateful that they have thought of the dogs and their needs, no matter how hard it may be. When the dogs are relinquished to us, they always get a handshake or a hug, and they are comforted knowing they are doing the right thing and thinking of the dog. A bond is formed, and they know we are here to help in any way we can, and we can be trusted.
Just in the last year, Clancy's Dream has assisted with dogs in ways we never have. While we have been involved in helping dogs from a shelter or a private individual, we now have supported in other ways. In several situations, not only have we assisted with dogs that needed help, but we also have spayed, or neutered personal dogs that were at the residence. With the number of dogs in shelters and the need to help, I don't believe we will never get a handle on the rescue situation. I now see that their needs to be more done to control the overpopulation. In my opinion, rescues, shelters, and groups cannot even stay even with the numbers. No matter how many shelters we build, or how big they are, they will fill with unwanted dogs. The last time I was at the Indianapolis Animal Shelter, they had 987 dogs in their facility.
Ashley is loved and will be whelped by Clancy's Dream. She will be spayed and returned to her owner, and we will see that all the pups find the perfect home. While this is a new experience for her, and us, we can be assured that Mom and puppies will be safe and sound.
"I must ask, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?" asked the somewhat startled wise man who was walking down the beach.
To this, the young man replied, "The sun is up, and the tide is going out. If I don't throw them in, they'll die."
Upon hearing this, the wise man commented, "But, young man, do you not realize that there are miles and miles of beach, and there are starfish all along every mile? You can't possibly make a difference!"
At this, the young man bent down, picked up yet another starfish and threw it into the ocean. As it met the water, he said,
"It made a difference for that one." Loren Eiseley
Years ago, when we got our first dogs, I had a different outlook on life. I am so pleased, and with the help of friends who have our same passion, we have helped find Border Collies a good home. Not only does it change the life of the dog, it changes the life of the family receiving the dog, but the real benefit is that it changes the person rescuing the dog, and this last Saturday "we saved another". Only with your help and people who have this passion can we accomplish anything. At one time, I did not care and only “talked the talk” and when I realized that I needed something more, I “walked the walk” and my life changed, when I “bend down, pick up a starfish”… There are more dogs than I can imagine that needs help, and we can't save them all but to that dog we help... it does. Ken