When the Going Gets Tough: A Volunteer’s Perspective

In honor of National Volunteer Week and in preparation to participate in BlogPaws Conference, it’s fitting that I share this poignant description from a volunteer involved with animal rescue.

Rescue explained
The neglect changes you.
The abuse hardens you.
The suffering breaks you.
The ignorance angers you.
The indifference disturbs you.
The injustice destroys you.
On a daily basis … your faith will be tested.
Your heart will be wounded …
Your soul will be altered.
On a weekly basis … you’ll question yourself.
You’ll question your strength.
You’ll question the world.
On a monthly basis … you’ll fall down.
You’ll get up.
You’ll go on …
On a yearly basis you’ll look back …
You’ll see faces …
You couldn’t save them.
You’ll learn to mourn.
To grieve.
To sob.
You’ll learn to trust a little less.
To do a little more.
To fight a little harder.
You’ll learn to try.
To hope.
To pray.
You’ll learn to fail.
To succeed.
To accept.
You’ll learn when to hold on.
When to give up.
When to let go.
You’ll learn who you are.
What you stand for.
Why that matters.
Then …  at times … you’ll forget why you matter.
You’ll question what you’re doing.
You’ll wonder if it’s worth it.
But … here’s the good news …
When you forget …
When you question …
When you wonder …
All you have to do …
Is take a look around …
And you’ll see them.
You’ll see their faces.
You’ll see their smiles.
You’ll feel their love.
In their eyes, you’ll see their journeys …
You’ll remember their beginnings … You’ll know how far they’ve come …
You’ll remember when they didn’t know you …
When they didn’t trust you … When they’d given up.
You’ll remember how you healed them …
How you loved them … How they loved you, too.
And as you look back …
You’ll want to move forward …
For them … and because of them.
In your darkest hours, you’ll look around … To find the differences made … the hope given … and the lives saved …
Because you existed.
In those moments, when you look into their eyes … every doubt will be erased.
Every question will be answered.
Every worry will subside.
Because in that instant … in each of your hearts …
You both share the very same thought:
“Every bit of pain was worth it … for this moment here with you.”
And honestly … no matter what else happens …
Those moments hold all the strength you need …
To keep going.
Rescue is pain.
Rescue is joy.
Rescue is worth it … because they are worth it.
And that’s the honest truth.

~ Author unknown

[Special thanks to my friend and devoted animal lover, Yvonne DiVita, for sharing this beautiful tribute.]


  • Valerie Antonelli April 8, 2015 Reply

    How true this all is. And, yes, there are some days I want to throw in the towel & give up but then I think of them & keep trucking on because I don’t want to let them down. We are a rare breed. Just wish more people could feel this way about these wonderful creatures that God put here for us to love, enjoy & care for.
    Thanks to all of those out there that do care about these creatures!
    Will share with others like me!!!

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