Oprah once said, "Where there is no struggle, there is no strength." I found this quote while looking up quotes about struggling. Weird thing to look for? Sure. But, not so weird when you feel like you are struggling with something.
You see, I am a person with very few passions in life. I think that because I have few passions in life, I feel very strongly about them. One of those passions is animal welfare. If you are a regular around here (or know me in person) you know that the MilShelb (my miniature Dachshunds) are my life. Many would call them spoiled. I don't think they are. I really think that Jake and I work hard every day to give them the life that we feel they deserve. They have good, wholesome food to eat because we want them to be healthy and strong. They have regular visits to the vet because we believe in preventative medicines. (And, we both believe in the saying, "If you can't pay the vet, don't have a pet.") They sleep in the bed with us because they deserve to be in a soft warm bed at night. They are loved and adored beyond measure. They deserve it. Because they add more joy to our lives than we will ever be able to repay.
I realize that not many people take pet-ownership to the extreme that we do. That's ok. It's not necessary for you to bring your dog into your bed. It's certainly not necessary to buy expensive food (unless your dog has health problems like ours do). It's not even necessary to be so crazy about going to the vet that the vet tells you that you are overprotective. It IS necessary, however, to provide shelter, food, healthcare, and attention for your pet.
It breaks my heart to see animals who have been dumped at shelters. I am struggling with this. Not that it is anything new. Shelters have been around for a LONG time (sadly). They are becoming more and more over populated. The people who work at and volunteer for these shelters work hard. They know that there is a greater purpose to their work and their lives. They don't always "win the battle" so to speak, but they are out there fighting the "war" every single day.
The thing I am struggling with is I want to help. I want to do something... anything! I feel helpless. I would love to have another dog. Heck, I'd go and adopt 10 more right now if I were only following my heart. However, that is not a good idea for us. We cannot afford to have another dog and continue to provide the material things MilShelb are accustomed to, nor can we pretend that we will continue to be able to provide the attention and time that MilShelb currently get. (Which, I will admit, is not nearly as much as I would like since we both work full-time jobs.) Either way you slice it, MilShelb would get the short end of the stick and that's not right. They are always our top priority. They have to be. So, I am left with the desire to help and I don't know how or what to do.
This has really been weighing on my heart. It kills me that so many animals out there need homes. I am sure one day we will adopt another dog or 2, but now is not the time for that. I know there are other ways to help. I just need to figure out what is the right way for me to help. I have debated going to the shelter and helping on the weekends and in the summer. I am just not sure I can handle it. I have thought about collecting things that they need (like blankets, etc). I am doing some soul searching about this.
If anything awesome pops into your head about how I can help, please give me some ideas!
Until I figure this out, I will just say to everyone to please, please, please help stop the over population by spaying and neutering your pets! Please love your animals. Bring them in and make them a part of your home, life, and family. You cannot imagine how grateful they will be to you.