When my mentor challenged me to do this writing exercise (Challenge), it did not occur to me how reflective it would be…how far I would dig into the stories and events that produced the lessons. I am pretty sure HE knew. He just didn’t tell me. He is sneaky like that.
We say that hindsight is 20/20 – that there is perfect clarity in looking backward.
I am not sure about that. I do know that there were certain things I knew to be absolute 20 years ago…15 years ago…10 years ago…yesterday.
I never wanted to be my own boss. (Entrepreneur)
I never wanted big dogs (Dogs)
I never wanted to be a Factor.
OK – to be fair…I don’t think anyone has ever said “When I grow up I want to be a Factor”. Astronaut? Sure. Princess? Sure (not me, but sure). Empress of the Planet? Absolutely. No one actually says Factor.
And yet, here I am – a partner in a factoring firm and an obsessive big dog person.
So, where did the rescue thing originate?
July 2008. More than 50 dogs were confiscated as part of an animal abuse/neglect case in Santa Cruz. I became obsessed because the dogs were Corsos and Rotties. After several weeks of blitzing the local paper and shelter, I got permission for a small group – 5 of us – to help assess and spend time with the dogs.
It was heartbreaking. It shifted something in me – good and bad. That was the day I knew I was supposed to “do something”. It was also the day my heart hardened because I realized and accepted that they can’t all be saved.
These dogs (30+ adults, dozens of puppies and several pregnant females) were in every state of abuse, poor health and fear. They were terrified, sick and feral. There were several that even we would not attempt to get close to (which says a LOT about the shape they were in). Those we could, we put leashes on, walked outside, pet and brushed.
Sadly, most of the adult dogs were humanely euthanized. There were, however, a couple of success stories to come out of this nightmare. One was “Truck”. Truck got his name because he was found abandoned in an old truck, living on his own waste. He was the first dog we met that day. A purebred Corso, he was not afraid of the shelter. He took us in, one by one, and decided we were his. We were humbled by his resilience and determination. A week later, he was adopted by friends.
In no time, Truck was healthy, living his life with a family who adored him. He became a true ambassador for the breed.
I said goodbye to Truck last night. Even though he needed help to get comfortable, we snuggled and he let me brush and pet him…just like that first day. That sweet old man – that resilient, amazing, loving, loyal boy who endured atrocities only to find love, joy and comfort in the arms of his very own family – will cross over the rainbow bridge today.
None of us will ever be the same.
Lessons? Where to start…
Hindsight is really just a jumble of puzzle pieces – of the stories that make us who we are. It is only 20/20 when we take the time to fit the pieces together.
The process of putting the puzzle together is the point.
Sometimes, it is OK to be sneaky like that…