When I was a kid, I remember my dad once telling me a story about a man who one day was walking along a beach at low tide. The sand was covered with star fish that had been beached there as the tide went out. The man was picking up the star fish one by one and throwing them back into the ocean. A stranger approached the man and asked what he was doing, and the man replied that he was saving the star fish. The stranger chuckled and said there are so many here, you can’t possibly hope to make a difference throwing them back one at a time. With that the man picked up another star fish and threw it back into the ocean. He told the stranger, it made a difference to that one.
In a previous post, I wrote that I do a lot of rescues with wolfdogs. Most are from irresponsible breeders who breed pups and then try to sell them without having any homes lined up beforehand, which is a big mistake with wolfdogs. These guys make incredible companions, but they are definitely not the right pet for everyone, so having homes lined up when you breed a litter is essential. Anyway, a lot of the pups that haven’t been sold are 3-4 months old, haven’t been socialized, and are more trouble than they are worth to the breeders. So with the help of a friend, we go and get those that need help, get them vet care, and either keep or rehome them depending on the situation.
Many people argue that that doesn’t make a difference because the breeder will just breed more, and I can see the point. Today though I went and walked a white female that I had helped rescue recently, and as we were walking around the yard she stopped and reached up and put her paw on my arm and her eyes met mine. She then rolled over onto her back with the happiest look in her eyes and gave me a look that begged for a belly rub. As I laid beside her and rubbed her belly, her face was so happy she may as well have been smiling. I looked at that face and the pure joy there that stemmed from a clean enclosure, food, vet care, and love. I smiled to myself and thought, it made a difference to that one.