Something amazing is happening on Facebook.
It all started one week ago with a simple post made to our Facebook page. The post read:
"Bad, bad news...the rescue transport van broke down on Sunday and it looks like the transmission is gone. Replacement cost for a 1999 Ford Windstar is prohibitive. This may be the straw that broke the camel's back..."
At the time, I was despondent. Things had been going so well...adoptions were picking up, we were catching up on the bills, now this. I thought, maybe it is a sign that my rescue days are over.
My friend and former adopter, Peggy, offered to try to start a fundraiser to repair or replace the van, but I said no. It's one thing to ask for funds for the dogs but something else, I felt, to ask for money for a vehicle.
I guess Peggy didn't see it that way.
That evening, the strangest thing happened: I started gets emails from pugs. The pugs were named Frankie and Moosey. I later learned that Moosey, who lives in England, was the ringleader. The emails were in the cutest language and, well, I LOVE pugs so I could not resist following their posts and answering them. It seemed something was going on behind my back. As I followed the emails, I saw postings for an online auction.
The phone rang. It was Peggy.
"Melanie have you looked at the auction site?", she asked. I had not. "You need to go there. There are over 200 people on it already."
The folks on the auction site were emailing each other, emailing other human friends, and other four-legged friends who all had Facebook accounts. They were posting items to help us get back on the road. Some I knew, many I did not. Lots of the participants were former adopters, which struck so deep a chord I just blubbered. I had never witnessed anything so awesome. Maybe, I thought, my interpretation of events had been premature.
Since then, I have spent literally days in tears. "Overwhelmed" is the word that most frequently comes to mind, but even that does not describe how I feel.
Hundred of peoplehave donated items. Many people have made direct donations to help us. Those who could not, offered prayers and kind words of support. As Wayne and Garth would say, we are not worthy.
My friend, Sutton, who is a Native American shaman, helped me put it in perspective. "This is done out of love. You should accept it the same way."
It's not easy for rescue people to feel deserving. To paraphrase a line from Annie Hall, "If there's one guy starving somewhere in the world, it puts a cramp on my evening". That's how we feel about animals. No matter how much we do, we always feel we've fallen short. Our little rescue is no more deserving than a thousand other rescues out there fighting the good fight every single day.
In my 16 years of rescue, I have been to puppymills and dog auctions. Tiny rural shelters where no one cared about the animals in them, and others whose workers seemed to perform miracles with almost nothing. I've met the absolute worst of the human race. But I can also say I've met the best. Over 500 of them are here tonight.
Now, it's the eve of the auction's start, and I want everyone to know something.
No matter what happens, you have given me hope. I will never, NEVER forget this.
In every dog I pick up from the side of the road, every blind, 10y/o pug I take in when no one else will, every old, sick or injured animal who finds respite in this rescue from today forward, there will be a part of you. You will be there beside me. That animal's safety will not be because of one person, but because of 500-plus people.
I'll never feel alone again. You are the finest, all of you.
Thank you, thank you...