Monday, December 22, 2014

Best Shot Monday: Remembering Mollie

Mollie, photographed November 11, 2013
Working in animal rescue is an interesting journey. You start doing it because you love animals and you want to find a way to help. You think, "Hey, I have a skill that might help homeless animals find homes," whether that skill is your eye behind a camera, your ability to talk with someone about the benefits of adopting a shelter pet, or your gift for matching a shelter visitor with just the right dog or cat.  Regardless of your reasons for getting involved, I think that there are times when every volunteer's heart gets broken. It may be an animal you work with who so clearly shows the signs of past abuse or a happy-go-lucky pup who just steals your heart with kisses but for some reason simply does not get adopted and spends far too much time in the shelter waiting for his or her forever home.
This week many on our volunteer and staff teams are suffering from a broken heart. This is Mollie, whom we all fell in love with and worked so hard for. We lost this beautiful girl today.  And that is the sad truth of rescue: sometimes dogs like Mollie just can't be saved. Mollie came into the shelter more than a year ago showing signs of abuse. It took weeks and weeks for staff and volunteers to help heal her physical wounds and earn her trust, but once we did, her beauty started shining through.  She got to enjoy time in the sunshine in the play yards, and even more so, on field trips with dedicated volunteers who regularly took her to the Jacksonville Arboretum.  In her time with us, my guess is that Mollie experienced more love than she ever had in her past. It was clear her past experiences had scarred her deeply, so deeply that perhaps she wasn't able to overcome them.  Though our hearts are broken, my heart is broken, we'll continue on.  And with Mollie in our hearts and in our memories, we'll fight just that much harder to save the next one who's faced her circumstances, and try just that much harder to help her overcome them.

I've never trusted people who don't like animals, and I'm sorry if you are one of those people. You are truly missing out on a special bond if you never take the opportunity to give it a chance. (And I believe there is a special place in Hell for those who abuse animals.)  Those who aren't animal lovers may not know about the Rainbow Bridge, which I first shared here.  But I know.  And I believe.  And that's where beautiful Mollie is now, chasing butterflies under bright blue skies, enjoying the feel of the green grass under her paws.  No more shelter walls for you, dear girl. Run free, sweet Mollie, run free. You are loved by so many.

I'm so grateful to all the staff and volunteers at Animal Care and Protective Services, and I feel blessed to be a part of that team.  The love and compassion they show for the animals that come in their doors every day is inspirational, and I respect them tremendously for dedicating their lives to those who have no one else to fight for them.
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Mollie, photographed April 6, 2014


Jane said...

That's so sad about Mollie! Thank you for all you do to help find good homes for the shelter animals!

Melody said...

Those eyes said so much. So, sorry this happened to Mollie. I can't read about rainbow bridge without getting emotional.