Ladybug and the art of Rescue and Adoption

It’s been a week since my world lost a beautiful little girl.

This may strike some who do not have animals of the four legged variety in their life as a bit much, but most of you will completely understand.  It struck me as I endeavored to let people know, people like her vet, and people who knew her and looked forward to her affections whenever they came to visit.  There was genuine sadness at the vacuum of loss.

I thought about how she had been someone else’s pet, and then someone else’s, and that she had been chipped, and when found, the last owner of record had said they had given her away but didn’t really want her.  Until the evidence proves otherwise, I believe micro chipping is a great resource for both two and four-legged creature.  I am also a believer in rescuing animals.  They cannot help their place in life and how they wound up in that place.  I tell people if they are looking for a specific breed of animal to go to the shelter or contact a rescue.  From the smallest to the largest you’ll find the creature you’re looking for.  I promise.

And a rescued animal knows.  They know they’ve been given a second chance, or third.  And while it sounds a bit sacharrin-tinged, their wants are short list:  They want to Love, they want to be loved, they want to feel safe, and they want it to happen in their forever home.  I have begun the process of looking.  Not as a replacement, but because I know the world is filled with creatures looking for a single chance to prove to a human they are the perfect companion.  The shelters and rescues have them all: puppies, kittens, younger dogs and cats, and older senior animals.   I met several older animals, one seven, one nine, and one 11.  And they’re beautiful.  Everybody wants a puppy or kitten without fully understanding the work involved.  Many people don’t go to shelters and rescues because they either don’t think of it or are working off misinformation on the  conditions of a shelter or facility.  I’m not telling you how to spend your money when it comes to our companions and friends of a furry nature, but you are removing a wide spectrum of options and doing a tremendous disservice to yourself and the animal.  I have met several animals in the past week who have displayed every sort of wonderful temperment from energetic to laid back.  Shelters and rescues benefit from the time donated by volunteers who come in to assist in basic care but also to walk and exercise the animals and to spend time with them training them.  These animals by and large have a tremendous aptitude for learning and for wanting to please.  A wagging tail says it all.  I believe they know what might happen if they don’t find a home.

Ladybug was my little girl, and as a four-legged child she was better behaved in public than a lot of two-legged children.  A close friend of mine asked me if I thought it was too soon to look for another animal; I needed to give myself time to mourn.  Another mentioned that this would give me the opportunity to enjoy my free time.  Time is something we have and share when we’re wise about it.  Time is the sense of knowing we have done something right and can be pleased with the outcome.  Time is the blank slate the Creator has given us to make the world a better place, and leave it better than we found it.  I have of late spent considerable time wondering what I can do to make my world and the world in general a better place.

Ladybug was a rescue.  When she came into my life she was an older rescue.  She had been a stray wandering the streets.  Everything I wrote about her in the last post was absolutely true.  She was sweet with every animal she ever met, even for a short time fostering a small clutch of tiny baby possums, who slept pressed against her stomach as she herself slept curled around them.  Ladybug was gentle in every aspect except eating.  She ate like she was starved, but she liked food.  Who could blame her?

To those concerned, I am going through my period of mourning, I assure you.  The tears still readily come when not called when my mind drifts to her.  I had to toil through the effort of vacuuming the house recently because I found tufts of her hair and as silly as it sounds, I was concerned I was banishing all evidence of her presence.  And in a gesture that might seem certifiable to some, I have set out her water bowl. In case she’s thirsty she’d have something to drink.

I have been touched by those who have read about Ladybug and shared their own heartbreaking stories of loss.  Her memory lives in my mind and her energy lives in my heart.  Saying goodbye to her was one of the hardest things I had to do in a long time.  As I touched and caressed her and comforted her in her transition I believe it brought some small measure of relief to us all.  And I know that for her to say good bye it was even harder because she wanted to leave the world as she found it: a world filled with Love and affection and hope.  In those moments she was not alone, nor were we.  I cried the whole trip back, alone with my grief.  There is so much I miss about that beautiful little girl.

All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful:
The Lord God made them all.

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