Animal Rescuers: Sometimes We Have to Say No

I had a migraine yesterday. So bad that I could hardly see, and was near tears most of the day. I still walked, brushed, fed and played with the dogs in my care. I didn’t do much else, but the dogs were taken care of.  Come 8:30 pm last night I was ready for the day and the pain to end. So I broke down and took some meds, along with a sleeping pill. And started getting the dogs ready for bed.  The phone started ringing immediately, in my pained state, I thought it was the business line, so I ignored it. A few minutes later the neighbor, my mom’s cousin, showed up in his UTV.

Animal Rescuers Normal Interactions

The phone started ringing immediately, in my pained state, I thought it was the business line, so I ignored it. When the answering machine picked up, I realized I was wrong and it was the home phone.  A neighbor calling.  I knew what was coming next.

A few minutes later the neighbor, my mom’s cousin, showed up in his UTV.

“We found a dog. (My Great-Uncle) Howard told us to get a hold of you.” He said as I trudged out the door, holding back dogs as I did so. “Is it one of yours?”

“Nope, all of my dogs are accounted for. What breed?” As if I would be calmly answering my door if I didn’t know where every dog in my care was.

“Don’t know, just a little fat one. Kris thinks it’s a girl. Howard said you do dog rescue?”

“I do.  And normally I would be happy to help, but I’ve got a migraine, and can’t drive tonight. I just took some meds and a sleeping pill. If someone can keep her safe until morning, I’ll get her to a rescue then. I have 13 dogs in the house right now, I can’t take in another one tonight.”  I’ve got about 20 minutes until my migraine meds have me either knocked out or babbling like an idiot if I fight the drug induced sleep.

Introducing a new dog into such a large pack takes patience and care, not a drugged up me trying to get everyone settled before passing out.  It wouldn’t have been safe for myself, the other humans and dogs in the house, or for the new dog either.  Especially for the new dog.

He huffs and puffs a few minutes. “What about your garage?”

“We don’t even let our own dogs in our garage.  There’s too much for them to get into. He (Man of the House) just changed the oil in the trucks yesterday and hasn’t disposed of the old oil yet. He also leaves out for work at 4:30 am, so I can’t ask him to take her to one of the rescues for me.  Can someone keep her safe overnight? I can come and get her in the morning.” (When I haven’t just drugged myself into oblivion…)

They had all day to contact someone

I saw on Facebook this morning, that the dog had been found yesterday morning, but they waited until almost 9 pm to contact me.  At 6 pm, I would have happily transported the dog to someone who had room for her, even with my headache.  But once the meds are taken, I can’t un-take them so that I can safely drive. Man of the House just learned this on Wednesday night when he called at 9:30 pm and told me he needed a ride at about 2 am.  I had taken a time released sleeping pill.  There was no way I would have been safe to drive just 5 hours later. He brought the company truck home, and at 8 am the next morning, when I could drive safely, I followed him in to return it.

Sometimes I think that people forget that we have lives of our own.  We don’t, or at least we try not to, spend every single second of our lives rescuing animals.  We have families, jobs, pets of our own, and we occasionally try to maintain friendships that have nothing to do with animals.  We can’t be on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Animal Rescuers always want to help

We always want to help, but sometimes, as was the case last night, we simply can’t.  I hate to say no in a situation like that.  And I fretted over it until my drugs totally knocked me out.  I felt bad.  But I would have felt worse if I had taken in the dog, and something had happened to it, or my own family and animals already in my care.

On a normal night, or even earlier in the night, I would have taken the dog and found it a place to stay for the night until I could get her accepted into a shelter or another foster family.

We are only human.  Each of us can only handle so many animals. We only have so much space.

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