|Blissed-out Kali in Denmark, getting some love from her sweet new mommy, Anna Lise|
It’s a fact of life that women do a lot of the heavy lifting in the world of animal welfare, especially when it comes to the rescue and fostering of homeless dogs and cats.
Certainly there are armies of men working hard too. I am privileged to know many of them personally, and look forward to saluting them on Father’s Day.
Today, on Mother’s Day, it’s the legions of ladies—in all their caring, nurturing glory—who are most on my mind.
These dedicated “mothers” of needy animals feed the hungry, medicate the sick, and bandage the injured.
To heal their emotionally traumatized “patients,” they whisper and cuddle, or, if necessary, they just sit and quietly wait for the moment or the day when the animal feels secure enough to approach.
To deal with the never-ending supply of canine and feline energy, these ladies walk the equivalent of marathons, throw barrels worth of balls, and dangle countless toys in front of little whiskered noses.
And let’s not forget the scooping of the poop. We’re talking in the tons.
Then there’s the heartbreak. No matter how hard they try, sometimes an animal doesn’t make it through an illness. Or even when all goes perfectly, and their foster dog or cat finds a fabulous forever home, there’s the agonizing heart-wrench of saying goodbye.
Two special groups
In the past few months while living on an island in Greece and rescuing two dogs myself, I’ve had the good fortune to work with a couple of extraordinary animal welfare groups, the Kefalonia Animal Trust here in Greece and Graeske Hunde in Denmark.
Without financial and moral support from those groups, I might not have been able to help those two dogs, Kali and Diamandi. They might still be out on the streets, suffering or dead. And I might have had to endure the worst heartache of all—the one where you’re powerless to help, and you’re forced to walk away.
In the coming days I’ll continue my tribute to Kefalonia Animal Trust and Graeske Hunde, who are among the thousands of organizations around the world who somehow manage, on skinnier than shoestring budgets, not only to save the lives of animals but also to buck up those of us who care about them.
For now, I’m wishing all of you ladies who rescue, foster, and/or nurture animals … OK, and the gentlemen too (why not? all animal caregivers need as much appreciation as we can get) … the happiest of Mother’s Days. Oh, and also a day off from scooping the poop.
ALL PHOTOS AND TEXT BY KATERINA LORENZATOS MAKRIS (unless otherwise noted)
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