As I sit at my computer, typing this between tears, I ask myself what breaks a person so they have to walk away from rescue. There are many times I think I come close to having to step back, I know of many rescue partners who have thrown in the towel and could no longer carry on. Rescuers all have different reasons for this move; financial, personal matters, health, family, burnout, depression, age, and I’m sure there are more I do not know of.
We lost Jane today, a very dear beautiful little rescue Jack Russell soul. A pretty girl that had not had a good life, bred to death, came to our rescue pregnant at eight years of age, and gave birth to two stillborn puppies. Jane’s spay was a success and she was in the best of hands, she healed and recovered well. She mourned the loss of her puppies keeping her two stuffed toys close, but she soon was back to her old self. Jane was loving, kind, sweet, gentle all the things we appreciate in our Jack Russells, and of course enthusiastic for her tennis ball. She had a home; she was ready to sleep in someone’s bed, watch television on her human’s lap, eat the best food, given special treats and coddled because she was loved. Then the unthinkable happened; she crashed. Some underlying condition probably manifesting itself for quite some time causing stillborn puppies that resulted in her hemorrhaging weeks after, then losing her life. Our vets did everything, but she was going to suffer a slow painful death and we know she deserved better. So she was held in our arms and she crossed the bridge knowing she was very special, loved to the last minute and very much cherished.
These are the times I ask myself if I have the strength to keep going. Can I carry on with all the heartbreak that rescue brings? There is no one particular thing that makes you reconsider what you are doing. It is not just the ones you lose, the ones that are old and sick that people give up and you nurture for a few days, a few weeks or maybe a year or two. It is not the ones that come in that we are unable to repair, not the ones we have to turn away because we have no room, nor the ones we could never adopt out safely. I am not even sure if it is the ones that touch us more profoundly for some inexplicable reason. However, maybe those ARE the ones that break you.
For all of the amazing families that have adopted from Jacks Galore, for all of the heroic people who have adopted JRTs from us who have passed unexpectedly, but have trust in us and come back to adopt thereafter. For those who have adopted the seniors and loved them deeply, for those who have had enormous patience with the feral and fearful, the many that have proven to be less-than-perfect but even those that have gotten jacks that were amazing from day one. Certainly, for those adopters who have come back 1, 2, 3, and even 4 times to adopt another JG jack; that is faith and a deep belief in our mission.
This summer we are making some major repairs to a small portion of our kennels, they are old, worn and no longer able to be managed. We will close a few kennel spaces that are no longer viable. Then we will begin the slow down. We will take in fewer jacks than we have in the past. For many years, we have taken in almost every jack that has asked to come; tried to accommodate them all. The ill, the seniors, the healthy, the aggressive, the homeless, the rejected and the dumped. From shelters, from animal control officers, from individuals, from the paper and Craig’s List.
Sanctuary will always be here, we ALWAYS will take back our alumnae, our adopted jacks that need to return to rescue, ALWAYS there for those that once graced our lives if the need arises. ALWAYS. We made a promise to our adopted dogs they can always come back, no matter the reason why – they will always have a home – because life happens.
After losing her life, beautiful Jane made us think. She brought us joy, we saved her and then we did not. Rescue is rewarding, it is fun, exhausting, tiresome, joyful, frustrating, draining, but in the end oh so satisfying. We hope that you will continue to support what we do, help us repair part of our dilapidated kennels and stand by our work, however small we become.
Rescue needs YOU, JG needs YOU, without you we would NOT keep going, but for a short time we will still do our best to save those we can. Thank you for sharing my sadness, for sharing my tears for losing Jane and for always making me smile again with pictures, funny tales, and the success of a JG jack once settled in their homes.
You all help me let the sorrow pass – you are my heroes, you help the jacks that need us. Thank you.