Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Day 248; Get Better Because Someone Needs You

Marsha, the marsh rescue

Someone Needs You

This is a blog about wellness and transformation. It’s most basic assumption is that the only person you can change is you. However, when you do transform; becoming a better version of yourself, you light a pathway for others to follow.
Yesterday, I had the opportunity to witness this in my own self and family.
I had just completed my floor exercise (leg and abdominal work, not the gymnastic kind,) when my cell phone rang. I was thinking that someone had perfect timing. I was amazed to see the picture of the cardinal on my phone. My sister Chris is not fond of having her picture taken, but she loves birds, hence the representation.
Now, Chris and I live in the same house. Chris is definitely not one of those folks who calls or sends text messages from another room, so I was truly surprised by the call.
When I answered she was speaking rapidly, telling me to go to the kitchen window. She said that something was under the bird feeder eating the fallen seed. “It looks like some kind of dog, but it’s all dirty and I think it’s hurt,” she said.
I went to look but the unknown animal had limped over to the drain spout by our back door. I could not get a good look from above, but I could tell that it was trying to get water from the rain spouts.
I called for my young adults who were still asleep, but when they heard that some kind of animal was in need, they kicked into high gear. I was amazed at how quickly everyone moved into action.
My sister, the cleaner and even more germ aware than I, threw down gloves for my protection. I ran and grabbed some of Othello’s food; he’s the pure bred mutt who lives with us and barks only when he doesn’t know or care for someone.
By the time I made it outside, the animal was nowhere to be found. I whistled and called, and saw nothing, but my children did not give up the search.
My son went out on the dock and then came running back into the garage. He grabbed a long two by four and when I asked why, he told me that the animal was a little dog and it had gotten stuck in the marsh. He and my daughter ran faster than I had ever seen and went to the rescue.
My son dropped the board into the marsh to have a place to stand. The tide had gone out but the earth was wet and extremely muddy.
I could see the little dog trying to get away. It was trembling and afraid. I told the kids to get him out while I ran to call our friend Piera. She is one of the best hair dressers and I’ve ever known (the others are her mother and sister and my sister Tiph,)and she’s also one of the most amazing animal rescuers on the planet. Piera vacations in her mother’s homeland of Panama for the purpose of getting medical care for animals of poor people.
I left her a message, and ran back to see if the kids had had any progress. When I did, I was rewarded with the site of my son and daughter coming towards me with a battered and shaken Chihuahua-looking dog. She had a rather pronounced cataract and smelled horribly. My daughter told me that she had shot tags from the animal hospital nearby.
“What would Piera do?” I wondered out loud. “We have to take her to the hospital and then we get to keep her,” my 19 year old said in the voice of a 3 year old.
We rushed to the car and got her to the hospital, calling my sister to tell her where we had gone. Once there we remembered that it was a holiday and saw that the hospital was closed, but I also remembered that they boarded pets, and figured someone must be there. I knocked and called out until help arrived and soon learned that it was a good thing we did.
When the young woman took our little marsh dog from the car, she saw what we hadn’t; her collar had gotten tangled under her front paw and had sliced into her side. The arm was only barely attached and I could see the raw flesh and bone.
I began to cry and couldn’t stop. I didn’t understand my own emotions. I love our Othello, and have love for animals in a general sense, but I could not understand the pain that I was feeling. It went deep to my core and I wept loudly.
The young woman thanked up and told us she would be in touch, but I could not stop crying.
My daughter lightened the mood by singing the Sara McClaughlin song from the animal rescue commercials, the ones we all turn away from. “In the arms of an angel, may you find some comfort here.
I told them that I was proud of them and we said a prayer for the doggie I called Marsha since she was rescued from the marsh.
It was a rather exciting morning, but I also saw it as transformative. My sister Chris---not a pet person, was moved to rescue a pet. My children---not morning people; were moved to move and I was moved to tears.

As we take care of ourselves, our heart opens to a world in need and we are better equipped with the right folks, the right thinking, the right course of action to step up and help those in need.

Be you, be well, be better.
Bertice Berry, PhD.

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