See all the fantastic work of Animal Aid Unlimited by viewing our past posts at:
I communicate regularly with Erika, joint founder of the superb AAU; and she sent this very sentimental message tonight. Use the above link if you wish to make a donation to this superb rescue organisation.
Even if, when you give to help the animals here, you are not consciously thinking “this gift is in memory of xyz,” it possibly is, in a sense, given in their memory—a tribute to the way they have shown us, given us profound, unforgettable, sparkling new love. And then they left us one day. If ever that sense of “he had to go;” “she needed to continue her journey” “they are angels called home,”—whatever phrasing comes to you, your heart pleaded for things to be otherwise, but in the end you said goodbye. Yet they stay in your heart.
I feel like whatever I do for animals, whether very modest and small (like fundraising for their food) or very spectacular and grand (like cleaning a LOT of poop and pee over the years) – some aspect of my service is done in the memory of someone(s) I have loved and had to say goodbye to. Or maybe it is not really right to say “in their memory”—it’s more like, they gave me the fuel I need now. They poured themselves into me and their sweetness somehow multiplies, grows, never fades, never leaves us, and then somehow merges and blends with other love we have for other animals, and for one another.
So I want to share with you right now that I fostered a dog—Bebe—for the first time in ages, inside the house in the beginning of October. I’d had sort of a moratorium on foster dogs because I have so many animals just outside the gate in Animal Aid, and they always triggered a trauma in the cats. But for some reason I decided to foster an abandoned little French bulldog-y type of about, I guess 2 years. She had one eye, severe anemia, seizures, rolling fevers and she wasn’t house trained at all. I don’t know if she’d ever spent time outdoors. She trembled if a voice was raised. She would pee inside and then try to hide. You could guess the history. We thought, at first, that maybe she had an infection somewhere, causing fever that triggered seizures. We treated her with antibiotics and anti-seizure medication. For a happy week she seemed to be on a recovery trail. Her fever went down, she got a bit of energy and even chased balls and trotted around the house and always ate like a trooper. But suddenly, she fell apart. This time her fever raged and she couldn’t hold down a drop of food. There was blood in her stool. We gave her drips that increased the production of blood plasma, liver tonic, antacid, anti-seizure medication, anti-nausea medicine, multi vitamins, –but after 2 weeks she was almost comatose and we had to say goodbye.
It astonishes me how much I miss her. I live in the midst of 400, 500 dogs, and dozens of them are absolutely my darlings, but Bebe I fell in love with like an explosion. Now, sitting here writing this, my arms are oddly empty. My fingers feel pointlessly efficient, no longer having to contort myself to reach the keyboard without her pug nose and bulging eye and velvety fur interfering with me on my lap. Without glancing down to see her ears that so innocently, so humbly flattened backwards like a blush. And best of all, her complete melting on my lap, to sleep, to dream, pliant in her total trust.
She came and left my life in less than a month, but time has no meaning in love. Habits, yes; we may miss some of our habits and they intensify with time, but I’m not talking about habits. I’m talking about the miracle of love that overtook me somewhere, somehow during these few days of cleaning her pee at 4.30 in the morning, her effort to be just a good girl, just the best girl, shining so brightly through her one protruding over-bred eye.
Well, now I have shared this episode with you and I feel a little better because I know, even if you can’t find time to write me back, I know you know. I know you’ve been here in your own version of this feeling of emptiness.
And I know, too, you’ve gone on to love again, (and again,) even more familiar with love, even more, ever more. We have these Beings to thank for that gift of love which is at the heart of all the animals you’ve helped save with your donations. How beautiful they were, how beautiful they have made you.