To Blog or Not to Blog, That is the Question

DSC_2184A little persistent birdie has been ever-so-kindly nudging me to blog.  I dunno.  Is the blog thing done?  Do I have anything to say that is of any value, really? Will the stress of keeping up with a blog, and keeping people engaged and wanting to come back for post after post, push me over the proverbial edge?  On the other hand, random thoughts tend to coalesce in my brain under one general heading: that would make a good blog entry!  Much like I started mentally framing every aspect of my day into Facebook status updates (only after first joining Facebook several years ago; it has mostly gone away now thankfully), I tend to think in terms of blog topics.  They aren’t all dog-related — just any topic.  If I start thinking about anything for very long, it starts to form into a blog topic.  But there ARE a lot of dog-related thoughts … and possible blog topics … that derive naturally from the percentage of my daily life that is wrapped up in all things canine.

Several years ago, I kept a blog to document some things that were going on with my little girl.  A friend had done something similar with her own child who had medical issues, and less than a year after she started blogging, there I was setting up my own blog to update friends and family on Annie’s condition.  (You can check out the blog and learn about dilated cardiomyopathy, the number one cause for heart transplants in children, at The blog was personal, of course, by its nature. It was cathartic.  It helped me sort through tumbling, emotion-filled thoughts and information as we lived one day at a time with a baby who had been given a horrible, horrible diagnosis.  But time went on, Annie did remarkably well, and when things calmed down dramatically, the need I had to blog seemed to go away and I gradually stopped updating it altogether.    DSC_1522

Here I am, several years later, and with a completely different life.  Asked one time by a reporter (that sounds WAY more huge than it actually was — it was for our little hometown newspaper) how I got into rescue, I had to pause and think about it.  I suppose there are plenty of people that set out to get involved in dog rescue purposefully, and I was one of them — to a certain extent.  However, I did not set out to get THIS involved in rescue. It all stumbled, whirled, swirled, pushed, shoved, and snuck around me until I had my own non-profit, had moved my family for the rescue, and was spending huge portions of each and every day tending to some aspect of the rescue.  Looking back when the reporter asked, though, I suddenly saw so clearly that I got involved in rescue when Annie’s health crisis had calmed down to a dull roar and the demands of caring for her on a daily basis were not as huge as they once had been.  Still, there     were (and are) so many unknowns with her condition, and I could have driven myself crazy with the constant worry and fear.  I NEEDED something outside of myself and my own head, something that would keep my brain busy.  It gave me something that spoke to my soul, something that meant something to me (and, I think, the greater good), and something that pulled me out of what so easily could have become a mind-numbing vortex of constant worry and fear.DSC_2929

When Annie was a few months shy of her second birthday, I thought it was time to adopt a new pup.  We had lost our middle dog unexpectedly at the age of seven, while I was pregnant with Annie.  (Holy hormone roller coaster! No pregnant woman should ever lose a pup.)  Our older dog, my Tasse, was 14 and had slowed way, way down to the point that she looked up when Scott showed her a tennis ball and didn’t jump down off the bed right away.  😦 Britain, our other dog, was 9, and starting to act as old as Tasse.  He also happened to be the worst running partner dog I had ever had the displeasure of trying to hurdle over for an exhausting few miles of stop-sniff-cross-in-front-of-Mom-and-see-if-I-can-make-her-bite-it-in-this-busy-intersection.  I was looking to put a new spring in Britain’s step and find a new running buddy for myself.

I contacted Canine Commitment of Maine and made arrangements to “just go and meet” a litter at the transport truck.  Corazon (Spanish for heart, putting a positive spin on our obsession with all things heart-related since Annie’s diagnosis; “Cora”) came home with us that day.  Victoria, the amazing woman who ran Canine Commitment in Maine, was there and we got to talking.  She was my age, her kids were the same ages as mine, and I have to admit I thought: “Wow, I really want to do something with rescue again, something to help.”  Victoria was driving down from her home in Maine to meet the transport truck in NH at least a couple times each month. I innocently (BA HA HA HA HA!) said to her:  “You know, if you ever need help meeting the transport or having a dog picked up, you should call me.”  Yep, pretty sure Victoria recognized a fellow crazy person.  Two weeks later I picked up my first pup for her.  Two months later I had 18 dogs at my house for two nights.  That was hilarious, until it became more hilarious that at one time 18 dogs actually had sounded ludicrous. You see, by the time four months had passed, I routinely had 15-20 dogs in my house.  In my tiny, tiny house.  My one-level house that didn’t even have a basement.  (Oh, my poor husband.)DSC_2891

The rest, as they say, is history.  I’m pretty sure people in the rescue world say that phrase laughingly when related to getting into rescue, though.  It is often compared to the mafia, you see. Once you’re in, you’re in.  It’s addicting. It’s oh-so-hard to get out.  I know people look at some of the craziness I deal with and wonder why the heck anyone would continue to do it.  Continue to do this grueling, unpaid, all-hours-all-holidays gig.  I look at my kids sometimes and think how quickly they are growing up, and how often I’m in the kennel or sitting at my laptop instead of playing Monopoly or hunting down a fun park or museum.  I grimly open the weekly Travel Zoo e-mail in a bout of self-flagellation, knowing vacations are few and far between.  And yet, I’m not quitting.  I’m trying to figure out how to do more.  How to expand the shelter building and DO MORE.  Why?  Because now that I have done this, now that I have taken a step towards being actively in the “solution” column in my own tiny, tiny way … I can’t not do it.  I can’t look at the hundreds of faces in the e-mails and posts I get and not know that I am doing what I can.  Because I am.  Every day.  Trying to do what I can.DSC_3916

It has felt a bit like “Field of Dreams.”  That quote goes through my mind a lot … “Build it and they will come.”  Well, I got the ball rolling.  And they have come.  Amazing, selfless people have come to help.  To be a part of the solution.  Volunteers, rescue partners, friends, donors, adopters.  It takes all of us.  That is what Canine Commitment is about . It is about all of us, coming together, working together, to save one more, five more, twenty more.  And then getting up tomorrow to do it all over again.

So blogging.  Yes.  I have some thoughts.  🙂  Now if I can keep that birdie egging me on and reminding me to write … yeah, maybe, I can get into this again.  I do love to write.  And I love rescue and dogs.  Kinda sounds like a match made in heaven for me, huh?


(Photos: Top, Cora at the beach.  Annie and Cora, Annie and Cora sleeping, two photos of some early guests at my home in Bedford.)


1 Response to “To Blog or Not to Blog, That is the Question”

  1. 1 Amy McC January 27, 2014 at 12:40 am

    Love it Ross!!

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