And yet, I am happy. I have my mission, my purpose in life. As a nurse, I heal. I help people to live longer, happier, healthier lives. In my off time, I ease the suffering of animals as best I can. I adopt; I train; I volunteer. I may not make any revolutionary changes to the world, but I do make it a better place. What I do may not be unique, it may not be huge - but it is important.
Photo of Mikey and me by Paige Reyes
This summer, I joined an army of A Rotta Love Plus volunteers at three Get Your Fix! fairs. We teamed up with MNSNAP and local vets to provide low cost or free spays, neutering, vaccination, and microchipping to inner city dogs, mostly rottweilers and pit bulls. Our year end totals included 156 rabies vaccinations, 189 DHPP vaccinations, 63 spays/neuters, and 110 microchips for dogs and owners who otherwise would have been unable to afford these basic care items. We also exchanged owners' old, worn, or inappropriate equipment for new leashes and collars.
This picture of me vaccinating an East St Paul pit bull is from Sara Nick's camera
For those of you who might not know, Mikey is a product of the first Get Your Fix! fair in North Minneapolis. He had been thrown over the fence of the local "dog lady." Unfortunately, this sweet lady was elderly and not able to provide Mikey with what he needed. She brought Mikey to our fair, and luckily, we were in a position to help her out. It was fate.
It's easy to judge the person who dumped Mikey over that fence, but mostly, I pity them. What a difficult decision! To understand that you can't provide for your puppy, but to not have anyone responsible to send him to, and to know that sending him to animal control would be an almost certain death sentence. How hard it must have been to leave him on the other side of that fence not knowing what would happen, but praying that you'd made the right decision. I wish I knew who Mikey's first owner was so that I could tell them that Mikey is safe. He is loved. He will be cared for and protected and happy as long as he may live.
A picture of Mikey at his most recent adoption day by Paige Reyes
Because that's what you see at these fairs. These people may not have much, but they sure as hell love their dogs. And they're grateful for the opportunity to do right by them. We might not have a lot in common with each other, but we all love these dogs, and that's the kind of bond that transcends income, age, language, and race. Love is our lowest common denominator, and it makes us all allies. It may even make us friends. And that makes the world a better place.
A boy and his dog at the St Paul fair from Sara Nick's camera
Me and a happy client in North Minnepolis by Paige Reyes
"How lucky are we that no one need wait a single
moment before starting to improve the world."
~ Anne Frank