Every year people make New Years Resolutions. They make resolutions to eat healthier, exercise more, drink less, keep in touch with loved ones more, etc, etc, etc. While these are all well and good (and I could certainly benefit from the first 2) they don't really make a difference and most of the time only last a week or two. I won't lie. I do this, too. I think last year it might have been to be more positive. (Which, if we're being honest here, and I am, is a silly thing for me to do because I really am a pretty positive person. I do truly try to see the bright side of things and I try to do good for others when possible.)
In the Bible (Luke 6:31) it says "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." I really try to keep that in mind. I try to help others just like I would want help and, sometimes, end up being much nicer than others are to me. Whatever. I want people to be nice to me, treat me kindly and with respect, and so that's what I give them. Am I perfect? No. Do I fail sometimes? Yep. (More than I care to admit.) Sometimes I find myself in the middle of a sentence and realize it should have never started to come out of my mouth and, unfortunately, many times it is at Jake when I am upset about something completely unrelated to him that he has nothing at all to do with.
The point of this entire post is that there is a big problem in America. A problem that breaks my heart. One that hurts me deeply. One that I want to do something about. That problem is the large number of homeless animals. I know I have written on here before that I want to do something to help. I do cross-post things and try to help places network for their animals. People think I am crazy because Milly and Shelby have a better life than a lot of people I know. They have an awesome life. Why? Because I believe in doing unto others as I would have them do unto me. I believe that my parents raised me to love others regardless of their social status, race, religion, or (in this case) breed. Milly and Shelby were not pound pups. They were given to Jake and me by his parents. If we didn't take them they would still have had loving homes and would still be happy and healthy. However, there are many animals out there who don't get that chance. I have come to the conclusion that I cannot have another dog right now. That is not fair to Milly and Shelby. I have accepted that and am trying to be a "big girl" and put them first. And, being perfectly honest, that wouldn't even put a dent in the problem I'm talking about.
Of course, you could argue the story of the starfish which I believe fits teachers and animal rescuers alike. You can make a difference for one animal at a time and that makes a difference. I am a teacher. I spend my day working that way. I try my best to make a difference for the 18 people in my room every single day. It is tough, but I truly believe in what I do and I put my heart and soul into it. There are many things I would change about teaching if ever given the chance, but there is nothing I would change in my room, because I am able to do the most good in my room with my kids every day. I love my job.
I know to truly make a difference for these animals, though, you have to start at the top. There are so many people "in the trenches" so to speak working (much like I do) every single day to make a difference for one. To get that one a home. To work for that one to get out of the shelter and into foster, rescue, or a home. They work hard. They give their heart and soul to that job. I am amazed by people like that. To say that I don't have the stomach for it is an understatement. It would kill me (and I mean that) to know that if I didn't find that one a home it would be put to sleep. Goodness. I think I would turn into a cold hearted person. Not them. They just keep going. They just keep doing. Because they know they have to. They know if they don't no one will. They know if they don't then none of those animals will have a chance. Here's the thing. There needs to be someone who has the time (and they certainly don't because they have to keep working to find the animals a way out) to make a change. There has to be a change. I am not saying the entire country is going to make a change. I know that is a silly, unrealistic thought. What I am saying is that I want to find a way to change the laws in South Carolina. We still have gas chambers for these animals, for goodness sakes! That is ridiculous! We need to find a way to better educate people about having their animals spayed and neutered. We need to find a way to have more no kill shelters and less homeless animals. I know there is way to do this. Many countries do not have this problem. If they don’t have it, we shouldn’t either.
I know that this all sounds like what we need to do, should do… you know, shoula-coulda-woulda stuff. But, it is important and something has to be done. I don’t know what yet. I don’t know how. I don’t know when. But, I do know that my resolution (along with keeping my house clean) is to work on this. I am going to research and become better educated myself… and then I am going to form some ideas… and then I am going to figure out the next step. I tend to bite off more than I can chew in my day to day life, but I am taking this seriously and in small steps. We shall see. So, for now I am starting a new blog to tell people about things I’ve learned and am finding in my research.The new blog can be found here: http://milshelbmomsknowledge.blogspot.com