An upate: Ema has a surgery date – October 27th! I am especially thankful for this, and I’m trying to think of the two week waiting period as a time of reflection and grace.
I have numerous things that I am thankful for every day, but this year seems especially poignant to me, because this year I have Ema.
I am thankful that Ema’s original owner was willing to turn her over to rescue. I am thankful that he reached out to us, that he was willing to take the time to search for us on the internet, make contact, and to allow us to take custody of her. I am thankful to everyone who reaches out and asks for help from a rescue, rather than just dumping their pet at a shelter, or selling them on Kijiji.
I am thankful to Eva, who drove across country, seventeen hours each way, to rescue a puppy she had never met at the request of people she didn’t know. Eva is testimony to the power that the internet can have to be so much more than just entertainment – she is testament to how we are all building communities, making bonds and even sometimes making a difference. I am thankful to every rescue volunteer who has ever offered to drive, foster or care for a dog in need.
I am thankful to Ema’s first veterinarian, Dr. Melissa Boyle, who knew enough to say to us “I don’t know what’s wrong with Ema – let’s send her to someone who can help”. In a time when so much of what we read about veterinarians is dismissive, or accuses them of being money hungry, Vets like Melissa restore my faith in the veterinary profession.
I am thankful for Dr. Minors, another veterinarian who gave of her time and her expertise to help Ema, and who gave us answers to the hard questions about her health and her heart. I am thankful, even more so, for Dr. Minors’ willingness to donate her time to Ema, when she didn’t have to and wasn’t even asked to. I will remember Dr. Minors everytime someone tells me that all vets are just mercenary opportunists, and I will be thankful that I know this isn’t true.
I am so very, very thankful to every single person who donated towards Ema’s care. Without you, I wouldn’t be sitting here anticipating Ema’s surgical date – instead, I’d be sitting here worrying about whether or not we could afford to pay for it. I am thankful to all of those people who said “I wish I could send more”. I am thankful to every child who said “this is my allowance, for Ema”. I am thankful to everyone who said “I want to help to save her”. We are told, every day, that the internet is making us all more distant, that it has made us lose our sense of community. I don’t believe that, and I don’t think you should, either.
I am thankful to every blogger and Facebook friend who helped me to share Ema’s story, and who keep up the good fight for all of the dogs in need. Sometimes you might think “I can’t do anything to help rescue”, but every time you share a story, tweet about a dog in need, write about a rescue fundraiser and help us to get the word out there, you ARE part of rescue, and a valuable part that I am thankful for.
I am thankful to Charlotte Creeley, and to the French Bulldog Village, for stepping up and saying “We’ll help care for Ema, if your rescue can’t afford to”. Charlotte and FBV are a beacon of hope to the French Bulldogs that would otherwise have no one to champion them. I am thankful that Charlotte is a friend to French Bulldogs, and even more thankful that she’s been a friend to me and to my dogs over all of these years.
I am thankful to Sean, who had NO idea what he was getting into when he started to date me, even after I’d warned him that the dogs come pretty much first. I am thankful that, no matter how many times I’ve said to him “We need to take care of another rescue”, he’s never said anything back to me but “How can we help?”.
I am thankful to Ema, and to every other rescue I have ever taken care of. They have taught me patience and fortitude. They have amused me, touched me, made me laugh and sometimes made me cry. They have allowed me to see the very best in people, even if it means I’ve also had to see some of the very worst. Caring for foster Frenchies is a gift, and I am thankful for it every day. They add to the joy that I get from my own dogs, and they make me even more comitted to this breed, and to the friends I have made through it.
I am thankful for time. I am thankful for every day I have with Ema, and I know every day is a gift and a blessing. I am thankful to be able to share time with Ema, and to have time with her. Ema has taught me to think in terms of moments and seconds, not weeks and years. I am thankful for that, and I am thankful for her.