I have been involved in animal rescue since I was a kid (although I didn't know it at the time) when I would bring home stray dogs and cats and beg to keep them. In a chaotic household of 5 kids (at least 3 of whom undoubtedly had ADHD, present company included), only one pet at a time was manageable, so off they would go to the pound. I was innocent of their probable fates at the time, and naively believed they would all find good homes.
So when it was time for me to go out on my own, and I was able to have my own pets, I always wanted the homeless ones. Even if I couldn't ultimately keep them, I would work hard and find them a loving home. Everyone of my pets has been either rescued off the streets or adopted from a shelter and they have each filled up my heart with their unconditional love. But that's not the only thing they have done for me. They have each and everyone taught me lessons that have shaped me into a better person, because I have learned to give unconditional love in return. What a blessing they have been, because otherwise I would not know how to reach beyond my natural selfishness and self-centeredness.
ChloeSo I do my little part to take care of fellow humans who are in need, but I really feel like I have been called to take part in caring for God's angels on earth - those furry, daily reminders of unconditional and grace. I am so fortunate to have gotten involved with Animal Haven, a small organization crammed into an old ranch house. I started off as a member of the Advisory Board and stayed on as a volunteer and more recently a foster parent. In the time I have been part of this great organization, we have set our mission to become not just a no-kill shelter, but to model how other kill-shelters can evolve to becoming no-kill.
So what does this have to do with Christmas? It has everything to do with it. In the Christian faith, we believe that God came to earth as an infant whose job was to teach us what it means to love fully and unconditionally without judgment, to take care of those who are in need, and to dedicate our own lives to this purpose.
The shelter director just sent out our year-end numbers. We have broken all of our previous adoption records this year. In January, they jokingly set a goal of adopting out 2008 animals, not really expecting it to happen. Not only did they reach the goal this year, they have exceeded it and now think they can reach their new goal of "2080 for 2008"! With this joyful news came the following video about Muttley, a miracle dog. His story has touched me so much - as badly as he had been neglected, and then so badly injured, this wonderful creature is so full of love and joy. I haven't heard if he has a forever home for Christmas yet, but he is in foster care and being spoiled rotten!
So I believe that everytime one of God's angels is rescued, Christmas - the true meaning - happens all over again. I love each and everyone of you who show your support for animal rescue, in any way at all. When we help them to find them find loving homes, we are giving them the opportunity to make us all better people through the love and grace they bring in touching our lives.
Best wishes for the warmest and most loving holidays ever!
From me and my angels