What does it mean to be an animal rescuer? I can only explain based on our own experiences. To see a mama dog come from an animal shelter with her puppies to the first time is when we are first introduced. Many times, she will be protective, perhaps irritable, hungry, tired and even exhausted. Those first few hours are not usually reflective of her personality. When we receive the rescue animals, we provide a warm, safe place to stay, food and water. We greet with open palms, open hearts and big hugs. We try our very best to give them all a bath within the first 24 hours to get rid of fleas, ticks, and to closely observe for abuse and clear away any matted hair. The puppies are usually sleeping but mama recovers within the first 24 to 48 hours. Just to have quiet is a relief for her. Trust is important to establish right away so she knows we are on her side. To see the transformation of each litter from when they come to us to when they are about to leave us for their forever homes is why we do this. They narrowly escape life threatening situations and are ultimately matched to their own human families. Sooooo…..it is my job to assist all God’s creatures. I take on new family members without plan, thought or selection. I have bought dog food (and treats, leashes, and collars) with my last dime. I have patted many mangy heads with my bare hands…..with knee deep baths with what started as clean water and ended with black, muddy, flea infested water. I have hugged someone “vicious” and afraid. Once that hug is given and accepted, there is no more “viciousness”. Just one mama hugging another mama. I have fallen in love a thousand times and I have cried (hard) into the fur of a lifeless puppy. I am an animal rescuer. My work is never done. My home is never quiet. My wallet is always empty but my heart is always full. We save each other. Thank you for the opportunity to touch one paw at a time.