A childhood dream has come true! I remember as a little boy my mom and I would dream together about having the resources to be able to rescue every unwanted dog we found and provide it food, water, shelter, medical care and unlimited love.
This dream fit comfortably in my animal-orientated-compassionate heart and was intensified by some animal related trauma.
A horrific scene from childhood remains burned in my mind. I couldn't have been older than about ten. I was riding in the car with my mom as we travelled the highway at about 60 mph. A short distance in front of us we saw a mother duck leading her family of ducklings into traffic. Time slowed as we watched the ducks get slaughtered one by one under the wheels of passing traffic. Feathers spread across the lanes. My heart wrenched in pain as I felt the overwhelming feeling of my powerlessness, there was nothing I could do to prevent what was transpiring. My mom and I vowed to somehow attempt to rescue the animal if we ever had the opportunity again.
One day back when I lived in Vermont, I was heading to an early breakfast meeting when I found a loose dog wandering dangerously in the traffic lanes of the interstate. I could not just leave it to a horrible fate, so I pulled over and somehow managed to get it out of traffic without getting either of us killed. I shared some of my pancakes with the hungry and very friendly dog and then brought it to the local vet. I later learned they euthanized it due to its age and condition. I was devastated.
A few years ago, while working in my yard I discovered a seriously wounded cat hiding in the bushes. Unsure what to do, I allerted the staff at the nearby veterinarian office (which is adjacent to our house.) Several staff members came immediately over and retrieved the cat. I learned later the cat was injuried beyond repair and was suffering greatly, so they did the humane thing and ended it's pain.
December 31st, 2009 was the day my dream came true. An abandoned house-cat had appeared on my in-laws doorstep a few days earlier, hungry and freezing. We learned it had first appeared several weeks prior. After checking into the nearly nonexistant animal control resources in rural Indiana we decided the best option for the little guy was to take him home with us. So we flew him home with us with the intent of either giving him a home with food and all the love he could want or finding him a good home. This lovey, sweet guy soon became known as Theo, which is of Greek origin and means "a gift of God".
I had been desiring a lap cat and a candidate for a therapy cat for a long time and Theo is both of these. Theo and I are currently working toward becoming a registered Pet Partner team through the Delta Society.
It may have taken 30 years, but my dream has come true, I have directly made a difference in the life of a suffering animal and in doing so have received a great gift.