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The Starfish
One day a man was taking a sunrise walk along a beach. In the distance he caught sight of a young woman who seemed to be dancing along the waves. As he got closer he saw that the young woman was actually not dancing, but picking up starfish from the sand and tossing them gently back into the ocean.

"What are you doing?" the man asked.

"The sun is coming up and the tide is going out; if I don't throw them in they'll die," she replied.

"But young woman, there are miles and miles of beach with starfish all along it--you can't possibly make a difference."

The young woman bent down, picked up another starfish, and placed it lovingly back into the ocean, past the breaking waves.

"It made a difference for that one," she replied.

- Author Unknown -

Current Month
Jan. 6th, 2007 @ 02:29 pm Secondary PTSD
Current Distraction: "How to Save A Life" - The Fray
There is a VERY interesting article here about a study at the University of Georgia which showed a higher rate of secondary PTSD in social workers than in the general population. Is anybody still reading this community?
Oct. 22nd, 2005 @ 08:00 pm (no subject)
I want to post something really eloquent about how pissed off I am, but that's just it:
I'm too pissed off.
Kissin cows!
Oct. 4th, 2005 @ 11:07 am (no subject)
Tiger, tiger, burning bright...

Saturday was a particularly difficult day. It was a combination of Chioke leaving us to persue a different career, having to PTS Peanut for just being Peanut, and losing the tiniest foster kitten I've ever had to care for. I partly blame myself for the kitten. I left both my fosters in the temporary care of another bottle-feeder for 3 days. When I got them back, the little one was very sick. I wanted a break from them for a few days but when I gave them to Barbara for a week I felt so sad that I almost changed my mind. I should have changed my mind. Now I keep wondering if it was me, Barbara, or just the kitten's health that caused her death. We've lost kittens before but this one really hurts.

We put Peanut down the day before. He had terrible food allergies that caused open sores around his neck and on his arms. He was also very institutionalized. He hated being out of his cage and ended up pooping and spraying all over his room at his foster's house. It probably took about half an hour for him to stop breathing after being given the injection. He fought for as long as he could to stay awake. It's hard to watch a healthy cat die. They panic when they realize what is happening and all you want to do is hold them and tell them it will be alright but you can't because you could get bitten pretty badly. Poor sweet kitty - all because you didn't meet the requirements. I stayed with him as long as I could. I asked GH to meet him on the other side and watch over him, and I left while he was still sleeping peacefully but had not yet stopped breathing. It's nice to know someone on the other side - someone who loves the animals as much as I do. I know they are in good hands when they get to where they are going. So I have one very healthy foster kitten left. He's curled up in a ball on a heating pad on my bed. His fat little tummy is full of warm milk. He sleeps most of the day. I hope he's dreaming of good things to come.
Aug. 25th, 2005 @ 12:10 am love, death, delusion, poop
Current Mood: draineddrained
Current Distraction: my pet rat grinding his teeth contentedly
this is what most of my days consist of. unconditional love for the animals i work with, death of my friends who are deemed unfit for human 'consumption'/ adoption, deluding myself from the harshest truths of my daily work reality just so i can get up the following morning & do it all over again, and lots & lots of poop which i scoop & monitor for bad stuff & take samples of & get excited over when it's all back to normal again.

i've always been a sucker for animals. since the day i was born they were the only creatures i ever felt who really understood me, and vice versa. humans were always quite strange & alien to me, and even to this day, the only ones i'm truly able to connect with are also animal-people, those who are half-human half-critter. i got my bachelor's degree in Animal Bioscience & have had all sorts of odd jobs throughout the years working with the 4-leggers, the finned, the feathered & the furry. i've worked with every kind of animal ~ from salamanders & fish to dogs & cats, from pigs & cows to crustaceans & fruit flies. nothing shocks me anymore, and nothing disgusts me. except voluntary human ignorance, apathy, & cruelty of course.

i don't know why i continue to do the work i do, work that perpetually destroys me on a daily basis, forcing me to re-build myself all over again while still wounded & bleeding from all the heartaches of the past 30 years of my life. but somehow i get up every day & do it all over again. maybe i'm just an emotional masochist, hungry to suffer for the creatures i love. maybe i'm just wired this way & can't possibly imagine doing anything else. maybe i'm just too chickenshit to go out into the world & find a "real" job that might actually pay me what i'm worth so i could build a little nest egg for my future & live comfortably for once in my life without having to scramble from paycheck to paycheck, a job that would bore the bejeezus out of me perhaps but would never make my soul bleed. or maybe i'm just stupid & don't know what the hell else to do with my life.

whatever the case, i've come too far on this path to de-rail myself now & start upon something new, even if that were an option. i don't do this kind of work because it makes me feel good about myself, or gives me the righteous satiation of living immersed within some altruistic idealogy. i die a little death each time another friend of mine gets put to sleep, no matter what the reason. i weep for them, i lose sleep wondering what i could've done differently to help them, their eyes still burn in my head long after their last breath, their memories haunt me daily, it never *ever* gets any easier, & time does NOT heal all. but several of the folks i work with help make it all bearable somehow, and the dogs & cats who DO make it are well worth all the pain & suffering caused by the ones who don't. it's a constant balancing act, and some days are far darker than others... but in the end, i honestly can't imagine working in any other field than animal welfare. i may not last much longer at my current place of employment, but i know i will *always* work with animals in some capacity. they are my sanity & salvation, love death delusion poop & all.
ugly dog
Aug. 16th, 2005 @ 11:21 am (no subject)
Last night I couldn't sleep. I kept thinking about the looks that Rollo, my foster dog, was giving me while the sedative was kicking in for his euthanasia. It was like he was blaming me for this, that I had been at fault for his death. I wish I could have told him how hard I tried to keep this from happening.
Kissin cows!
Aug. 2nd, 2005 @ 10:16 pm See, this is why...
I got into work on Monday and found a cardboard box with a urine-soaked pillow stuffed into it sitting on the grooming room floor. I assumed we had something dumped on the property. There was no sign of anything "stray" in the room so I figured it was probably a dead something that had been taken to the freezer already. Shortly after I threw the box away, my supervisor came in, looking a little flustered. She was on the verge of tears, and when she told me what happened, so was I. Apparently, she was the one who found the box. Inside was a plastic bag and inside the bag was a very dead puppy. She was grateful that the puppy was already in a plastic bag so she wouldn't have to touch it. She lifted the bag with the puppy out of the cardboard box and found a dead cat underneath. Ah, a two-for-one, she thought. After getting a plastic bag to put the cat in, she knelt down to pick up the cat - and it blinked. Shock, then horror, then panic, in that order. She grabbed the whole box and ran to the vet. They had no idea how long she had been in that box, the crushing weight of a dead puppy on top of her. They couldn't save the cat. She couldn't move, couldn't meow, couldn't do anything but blink. They quickly made the decision to put her down. Thank god, she was released. I don't know why some sick psychotic fucker left them here. If they didn't care enough to bring them here when they were alive, why take the time and effort to bring them to us when they're dead? Why bother? Why torture us with this kind of thing? If you don't give a shit about your dead animals, put the box in the trash. Put it in a dumpster. Bury them in your yard. Don't show us how stupid and cruel and sadistic humans can be. I don't want to know all the ways you can fuck up a life that you should be responsible for. I don't want to clean up your mess.

Cross-posted lots