|One last hug at the airport as Kali's new life begins|
They are starving. Sick. Injured. Infested with parasites, inside and out. They are afraid, as victims of abuse and neglect often are. They are exhausted, searching for something, anything, to eat, and for a place to shelter from the ravages of weather.
In countless communities around the world, homeless dogs live—and die—all around us. Some people see them. Others don’t.
If you’re one who sees, your heart breaks, and sometimes, if you can, you have to do something about it. Help one of them, or two, or more.
As a dog foster guardian you worry about whether or not you’ll be able to pull it off. Can you provide proper care? Do you have the time and the money? Can you find loving families for them if you can’t keep them yourself?
You might exhaust yourself and your resources in the conviction that in the end the treasures in your care—those diamonds in the rough that someone threw away, and that so many others didn’t see (or didn’t want to see)—somehow will find the safe, happy future they deserve.
The rescue miracle
To some, it might sound simple, but what it amounts to, in most cases, is resurrection. The animals you take in are often near death—physically and/or emotionally—and it’s up to you to bring them back to life.
It’s nothing short of a miracle when it happens. With your help the pieces of “trash” that someone tossed away—essentially condemning them to death—beat the enormous odds to find safety and love in adopters’ arms.
This week, during Easter season, a time that for many symbolizes rebirth, I had the pleasure of experiencing that miracle first-hand. The adopters of Kali, a starving, limping dog I’d found on the streets of an island in Greece, fostered for three months, then re-homed with the help of Danish rescue group Graeske Hunde, emailed me from Denmark with news of her new life.
That note sailed me over the moon with joy. Two days later, I’m still walking on air.
From near death to a bright new life
Just a few months ago Kali had one paw in the tomb. The veterinarian who spayed her (thanks to funding from local rescue group Kefalonia Animal Trust) told me that if Kali had stayed on the street a little longer, she surely would have become pregnant, and because of her dislocated hip—an old, untreated injury—the difficulties of carrying and bearing the puppies quite likely would have killed her, and with excruciating pain, at that.
She’d have been dead by now.
Instead, through an international effort that included a foster mom, two rescue groups, lots of help and advice from friends across the globe, and ultimately a wonderful adoptive family, lucky Kali managed to escape the canine Grim Reaper.
If you care about animals, it’s easy to lose hope. Daily, there’s story after story about all that they suffer worldwide.
But because a group of just a few people worked together, Kali rose up into a bright new life.
Her “rebirth” renewed my faith in the power that each of us possesses, especially when it’s pooled with that of others, to right wrongs, remedy suffering, and give animals in need the kind of lives they all deserve.
Even if you can’t rescue, foster, or adopt, you have that power. It can be used for something as easy as speaking gently with friends and family about the importance of responsible pet care, sharing links on social media about needy animals and about animal issues, volunteering at your local shelter, or donating a few bucks to hardworking rescue groups.
Your power can make miracles, and in return for your help in resurrecting a life, those miracles just might breathe new faith, strength, and joy into your own.