It's been one of those weeks in rescue where not one single thing can go right. We are constantly faced with disappointment, guilt, stress, and yesterday, I almost gave up.
I sat down with my husband, tears flowing from my face as I told him that I think it's time to say goodbye to the rescue. I was feeling that my full plate of responsibilities was causing me to do a half-ass job -- I'm not being the best mom or step-mom I can be, I don't feel as though I'm being the best wife I can be, or the best employee, and what hurt the most is feeling as though I can do MORE for these dogs than I'm doing now because I'm not able to dedicate my full attention to rescue and that I'm taking away from what these dogs could be receiving from other rescues.
To put into perspective on the week from hell. We had 2 dogs returned and we're desperately seeking sponsorships for our upcoming Gala, coordinating our move from our current office to our new facility, organizing what we NEED for the new facility, revamping our volunteer and foster groups, scheduling a much-needed Leadership Meeting, prepping for our Subaru Adoption Event PLUS like twenty-five million other things on my "to-do"list. Oh, totally forgot, I'm hosting a garage sale fundraiser that consists of dozens of people dropping off their oldies-but-goodies to my house so I'm labeling, organizing, pricing, etc.
That's just rescue -- my weekends consists of caring for a 1-year-old, painting her room, attending my step-son's baseball games, cleaning up cat barf and dog poop, and attempting to keep a semi-clean household and keep up on laundry so everyone has clean underwear!
Don't get me wrong, I freaking LOVE chaos. My life would be so boring without it, BUT yesterday, I was debating on if I overdid it. Have I added so much to my already overflowing plate that I'm beginning to completely lose my sh**?
My husband, a silent hero for putting up with a wife of madness, talked me off the ledge of giving up and helped put the fire back in my passion for rescue. He told me all the right things! Other than my husband's motivational speech, I remembered WHY I started the rescue in the first place.
I lost Barnabee two winters ago and the day he passed he took a little bit of my heart with him. You do not know the true meaning of "man's best friend" until you have a companion. If you haven't seen his adorable mug on any of our marketing materials yet, then I'll be sure to add plenty of photos to the bottom of this post. Barnabee was a gift for my Great-Uncle Verne. His farm dog had recently passed and he was looking for a new companion. My mom and I drove hours in the dark to a backyard breeder (yes, yes I know it's horrible but I was like 10 and my mom and I didn't know better) to pick up a $25 puppy. The house was dark and the yard was filled with chicken wire, makeshift cages filled with puppies of all breeds. He brought us over to the "German Shepherd Lab" puppies and I quickly grabbed the winner and my mom and I ran like hell out of that place!
Barnabee lived with my family for a few months until he was old enough to live the farm life. During that time, he ignited my love for animals. When the time came, he went to live with my Uncle and we visited them on the weekends. I still considered him my dog although he was technically my uncle's.
Fast-forward 13 years when my uncle needed to enter an assisted-living facility that only allowed dogs 50 lbs and under. Clearly and very noticeably, Barnabee exceeded that weight limit. The thought of bringing Barnabee to a shelter wasn't an option as the dog had never once been in a kennel. He had never been surrounded by dogs nor in a loud environment. The loudest and most crowded place he was introduced to was our Thanksgiving gatherings at the farm! Living with many of our family members was also out of the question because Barnabee didn't do stairs. Seriously, he had never climbed more than 2-3 stairs in his life.
I told my boyfriend at the time (now husband) that he needs to buy a house with me like tomorrow so Barnabee could come live with us. Obviously, he was a bit shocked. "Oh ya, and we have to get engaged too because I told myself I would never buy a house with someone I wasn't engaged too". Well, we got engaged, bought a house and Barnabee moved in the day after we signed the papers.
It was that situation that made me consider the alternative to Barnabee's future. I saved him and boy did I freaking love him. He was my entire life and so much more. He is my WHY and he is why Grey Face is here today.
Rescue isn't for everyone - it's only for those rare breed of people who have an overwhelming amount of passion for animals and can tolerate a lot of bulls*** drama. You meet some great people and even more amazing animals.
Barnabee gave me my reason WHY I started this rescue in the first place and give me the determination every day to continue to rescue his senior friends without other options.
Barnabee is my WHY.