Dog rescuing comes with lots of consequences. A houseful of dogs, for instance. An ever-growing dent in the balance of your bank account. A fast-track education in veterinary medicine—and the basics of Zen philosophy. Some of these consequences you might expect; many you probably don't. Like how you'll start judging others by their attitude toward dogs. Or how your priorities will shift... All of a sudden those when I win the lottery dreams become less about yachts and round-the-world trips and more about buying a piece of land and turning it into a dog sanctuary.
Most of all, though, you’ll begin to notice a broadening of your perception. A certain universality.
Rescue, at its core, isn’t about a love of dogs. That might well be what brought you to it, but, once you’re in it, you’ll realize there’s a weird alchemy at work in your soul. Rescue, you see, is about compassion. And compassion is universal.
|Prince said it best. (Bon voyage, Your Majesty.)|
Compassion doesn’t restrict itself to a certain breed or a certain size or even a certain species. Compassion for one is compassion for all. It will happen before you know it; maybe your vet will raise an eyebrow the first time you show up with a pigeon or lizard or hamster, but by the time you start coming in (or calling them out to the middle of nowhere) with a horse, a goat, a deer, a… well, whatever form of life needs your help (and theirs), they’ll know to expect you with the broad-spectrum vet kit.
The thing is, not every vet can deal with any animal, or any emergency. And your local dog shelter will probably balk at housing a raccoon with a broken leg. So here’s my advice to you, dear Rescue Padawan. Do some research on the wildlife in your area. Are there any species that, like raccoons or possums, might be considered pests? Those are the most likely to cross your path in need of rescue. There might even be organizations devoted to their protection and welfare; many offer brief trainings or information sessions, even online.
Your focus might well remain on dogs (or cats, or whatever started you rescuing), but consider this your fair warning: even if it does, it won’t be only there. Prepare yourself.
P.S. — The rescue yesterday went... well, okay. The plan was to get two females to bring them in for sterilization, but we only managed to get one. Like I said before, though, one really does need to celebrate every little thing, so I'm looking at this as a 50% success rate :D I'll write more about it, and share more photos, later. For the time being, here's the little one we did catch...