Animal Rescue is probably one of the most soul destroying yet rewarding jobs any human can choose to take on. You can't help but fall into the hearts of these sentient beings and you will do almost anything to help take away their pain and suffering. We stumbled upon this poem written by Ashely Owen Hill and shared by a dear friend that I have never met but hope to meet one day, Trix Strathakis.
Animal rescuers cant help but intensely experience all four the emotions a human has, every day, over and over again. They dont just experience it in a quick moment, they go into it, feel it, taste it and live it. And trust me, it is not fun, it's just what they do.
This is a very serious and dangerous place to go into in your mind, as many people have committed suicide in this profession. The other most common profession known for this is the veterinary industry. Our vets grapple with these emotions day in and day out, but have to remain strong and put up a brave face all the time. They started - like animal rescuers - with a good heart and great intentions to try and help save the animals of our world we live in. Then comes the ugly side into the picture, the one we thougth we knew how to handle, one two three maybe four times is sort of managable, but then it starts to eat you away from the inside. That invisible pain that only you can feel and nobody can see. Then the other part is to deal with the human-factor. People critisising and breaking you down, but you have to just march on! Because you might just be able to take that pain and suffering away for ever. There is always hope in the eyes and heart of a rescuer, always. It is what keeps them going.
This poem is dedicated to all animal rescuers out there. I hope that one day, someone will be able to devise a program that can help these special people cope with what they have to do every single day.
Animal Rescue Explained
The neglect changes you.
The abuse hardens you.
The suffering breaks you.
The ignorance angers you.
The indifference disturbs you.
The injustice destroys you.
On a daily basis…your faith will be tested.
Your heart will be wounded....
Your soul will be altered.
On a weekly basis…you’ll question yourself.
You’ll question your strength.
You’ll question the world.
On a monthly basis…you’ll fall down.
You’ll get up.
You’ll go on…
On a yearly basis…you’ll look back…
You’ll see faces…
You couldn’t save them.
You’ll learn to mourn.
You’ll learn to trust a little less.
To do a little more.
To fight a little harder.
You’ll learn to try.
You’ll learn to fail.
You’ll learn when to hold on.
When to give up.
When to let go.
You’ll learn who you are.
What you stand for.
Why that matters.
Then… at times… you’ll forget why you matter.
You’ll question what you’re doing.
You’ll wonder if it’s worth it.
But…here’s the good news… When you forget…
When you question…
When you wonder…
All you have to do…
Is take a look around…
And you’ll see them.
You’ll see their faces.
You’ll see their smiles.
You’ll feel their love.
In their eyes, you’ll see their journeys…
You’ll remember their beginnings…
You’ll know how far they’ve come…
You’ll remember when they didn’t know you…
When they didn’t trust you…
When they’d given up.
You’ll remember how you healed them…
How you loved them…
How they loved you, too.
And as you look back…
You’ll want to move forward…
For them… and because of them.
In your darkest hours, you’ll look around…
To find the differences made…the hope given…and the lives saved…
Because you existed.
In those moments, when you look into their eyes…every doubt will be erased.
Every question will be answered.
Every worry will subside.
Because in that instant…in each of your hearts…
You both share the very same thought: “Every bit of pain was worth it…for this moment here with you.”
And honestly…no matter what else happens…
Those moments hold all the strength you need…
To keep going.
Rescue is pain.
Rescue is joy.
Rescue is worth it…because they are worth it.
And that’s the honest truth.
~ Ashley Owen Hill
Thank you Ashley for what you do for the animals in your world. We share your passion and your pain and are happy to share your story to the people of our world too.
Juanita - Editor PHC Magazine