Friday, January 09, 2009

The Starfish Story

Today I am contemplating Tanner's life story so far: the injury, the infection and illness, the lack of care, followed by his rescue from the mill and well-intentioned but inadequate care... to the point where he found his way to Airedale Rescue ( and into the vet's office where he received the life-saving medical intervention.

I thought about how many others like him are languishing and dying in puppy mills, or have made their way to pet stores with underlying serious health issues that aren't apparent to buyers. How many had a good start in life but due to unfortunate circumstances aren't getting the care they require. As the economy falters many people aren't able to spend the money on veterinary care. We receive dogs in rescue which have old fractures which were never treated and set. We often see mange, intestinal parasites, leaking bladders - conditions which can usually be resolved fairly easily and with minimal cost, but people just aren't taking their dogs to the vet. We see dogs that have never enjoyed the comfort of a house or real companionship, banished to living under a porch or in a dog house no matter how awful the weather. It breaks my heart. I wish we could save them all.

Today I looked up a familiar story to give me a better perspective on why we do what we do:

The Starfish Story
Original Story by: Loren Eisley

One day a man was walking along the beach when he noticed a boy picking something up and gently throwing it into the ocean. Approaching the boy, he asked, “What are you doing?”

The youth replied, “Throwing starfish back into the ocean. The surf is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them back, they’ll die.”

“Son,” the man said, “don’t you realize there are miles and miles of beach and hundreds of starfish? You can’t make a difference!”

After listening politely, the boy bent down, picked up another starfish, and threw it back into the surf. Then, smiling at the man, he said…
I made a difference for that one."

If you are interested in making a difference, in helping with the costs of caring for these "starfish", please contact me or check these websites:

We rely on donations and the proceeds of fundraisers to be able to provide life-saving treatment to dogs like Tanner.

Click HERE to read some happy endings.

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