It seems like it was only yesterday that we got a call that there were 2 puppies at animal control that were going to be shot. Could we possibly do something? Although we weren’t set up for it we decided that we should do what we could.
A quick trip to animal control yielded not 2 little puppies...but 8 little puppies…and a pregnant momma dog. Not really having the “facilities” for them, we probably should not have taken them all on. I remember standing there, looking into their hopeful eyes, feeling a sense of hopelessness build up within me as I realized I did not have it in my soul to save some and sentence the others to death. They all came home.
Again, we did not have the facilities for a number of rescues. We had some chain link and we had some chain link fence rail pipes. And some wire. No posts, no kennels. Although I am surprised I didn’t fashion something out of duct tape (that’s just how I roll) we did end up using a post pounder to force the pipes into the ground and wrapped the chain link fence around them. Between the soft ground, mud, and trying to hurry, our unique compilation of pipes and rag-tag fencing soon took a type of shape. Due to this first set of “kennels” being gravitationally challenged, we fondly named it “Vertigo Kennels”.
To say we were off and running would be such an exaggeration….but it does seem like once there was a place for the unwanted animals, they came in from everywhere.
I remember one winter having 3 sets of puppies living in our bathroom. The cleaning was never-ending and when the puppies were all adopted, I tore up the linoleum and threw it away. The puppies were not to blame…they were thrown out of vehicles in 3 separate areas on the Hi-line area of Montana. During the coldest week of winter.
This may be a good time to point out that the founders of RezQ Dogs are NOT wealthy.
The first years were tough. We threw up our hands many times. We quit many times. And we never followed through many times. For some reason, we endured.
I remember running out of money and supplies. I remember using newspapers to clean up puppy messes because we could not afford paper towels. I remember running out of trash bags, then using and running out of shopping bags to put refuse in.
We both remember the heart ache and arguing when we seemed to be at an end.
Then, slowly, people would see what we were trying to do and we would get a donated bag of dog food…or some paper towels…or sometimes, just a little therapy by having a shoulder to cry on.
The bright spots were and still are very much appreciated.
I remember getting nearly 30 rescues and wondering, frantically, what in the world we were going to do with this many rescues to take care of. And I clearly remember what the answer was.
As I write this, we are hovering at around 80 rescue animals. We have 7 sets of puppies. We still have a deer and horses. The rescue parrot is home here forever also.
It has been a wild ride. It continues to be a wild ride.
And still, when things are tough, I know what the answer is.
It is you.
It is our fellow rescues. It is the person in England that could only spare $3.00 but wanted to make sure we got it. It is the wonderful friend and neighbor that knew our vehicle is near death and drove the hundreds of miles to do a transport for us. It is the vet that has come to know we were calling before looking at the phone. It is the supplier that “forgot” to bill us when he knew we were nearly broke. It is the people that don’t have much yet send us a small bit of every pay check. It is everyone who supported us through the floods we went through.
Our days are still long. We are way over on numbers this year. We have not been able to move to a new location or put up permanent structures. We have a hole in the floor of one of our rooms because a dog food storage shelf went through our flood-water weakened floor. We carry on, even usually with a smile…and we know why. It is all of you.
Even though we can never really express our appreciation, please be assured we are only here because of you. We started with a small idea. You turned it into a dream. You invited us into your hearts and homes. You shared our trials and tribulations and rejoiced at our successes.
Although it doesn't again even begin to reflect our true appreciation, please let me reach way back in my history to someone I loved and looked up to. My grandfather. Whenever I did something that made him proud, I could see the pride in his eyes...and he would simply say what I am going to say to you all.
“You done good”.