AC Pup pays tribute to rescuers

November 8, 2013 

I have so much respect for people who rescue animals. I’m so thankful there are people out there who will help animals in need.

Whether it’s to help a turtle cross the road or to pick up a dog or cat obviously lost, it takes special people to put their hearts on the line to help an animal at risk. Because there’s no guarantee the animal will survive, the heart of a rescuer is broken on a regular basis.

And that’s why I admire rescuers so much. No matter how many times they deal with unpleasant situations that don’t end well, they still get out and try again. They truly realize every life is important, and they do what they can to protect the vulnerable.

We’re really lucky to have so many rescuers in our area. They’re brave, strong and resourceful.

I happen to know that firsthand. I’m surrounded by rescuers in my family. My parents, aunts, sister and brother-in-law are all devoted rescuers.

In fact, just last week my mom, Tracie VanDeWalker, spent almost a week doing rescues of every sort. She was on vacation from her job and was expecting a quiet week of relaxation.

She had these visions in her head of sleeping late, pampering herself and enjoying time away from work. Unfortunately, that just wasn’t going to happen.

That’s the funny thing about rescue. It never happens when it’s convenient, and it happens when you least expect it.

First of all, she was dealing with a tiny kitten found somewhere in the engine or wheel of a moving truck. Luckily the kitten was brought to my mom and, of course, she took him in.

Then there was the mama dog that died after having 10 puppies. Sadly, two puppies died right away as well. My mom took the eight surviving newborns and sounded the alarm to other rescuers in town. Several people appeared to take home puppies to bottle-feed.

As of this writing, even after a gallant effort, there are only two puppies surviving.

There have been many rescue tears shed over this situation.

Then the notice came about a kitten stuck in a storm drain for four days. So my parents and Aunt Patti rushed over to help. After crawling into the drain and setting a trap, the kitten was safely rescued.

Although this was not the quiet vacation my mom planned, she was glad she could help animals that needed her. She would do it again if the situation arose.

That’s the great thing about people who are sincere about helping animals. They step up to the plate without fanfare. Most of them do it without complaining or calling attention to themselves. They just go about their business of protecting God’s creatures. I have a feeling it makes God smile.

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