While perusing the internet the other day I found this story:
In 2007, in the village of Patok, Albania, a wolf had been captured from the mountains and was being held in a cage. A villager put a donkey in the cage with the wolf, intending that the donkey should become a live meal… but that didn’t happen. Instead, the wolf and the donkey became close companions, refusing to harm each other and cohabitating peacefully in the cage. After a flurry of media attention (including a successful petition from Care2), the Albanian government intervened, and the wolf was returned to the wild. The donkey was allowed to live out its life in a comfortable open pasture—and the wolf still passes by sometimes to see him!
I don’t know about you but I love this story. On so many levels it has something to offer. First and foremost is the friendship that developed between the two animals when one was there to be the food that would sustain the other, but instead became a companion to share his days. His need for companionship outweighed his need for a meal. That should give you an insight into what is happening to your animals when you put them in an enclosure to spend their days, alone and lonely. Mammals are social animals by their very nature and need to be part of something bigger than just themselves. That need is greater than the need to eat. Ponder that for a while, then think about how you treat your own animals. If you have one, outside, in an enclosure, or even inside if you’re gone more than you’re home, then get them a companion. It is important for their mental and emotional health. And yes, animals have emotions, just as we do. Remember, we’re ALL mammals. Underneath the outer layer we’re all cut from the same cloth. The second big thing that grabbed my attention was the fact that through a successful petition the people of the world were able to convince a government to intervene in the living conditions of the least of them and set them free to live out their lives as they were meant to live rather than being caged. The wolf was released back to the wild and the donkey was put out to pasture, to live a life as their nature intended instead of penned for our pleasure. The people of the world made a difference in the lives of two animals that had no voice to speak up for themselves. Making a difference through a petition. Hmmmm. Think of the power you have when you join ranks with others that are outraged by what is happening in the world. That brings me to the third big thing that grabbed my attention in this little story. Joining together to state your claim gives you more power than attempting to do anything alone but it took one person to begin that journey that brought about huge change, at least in the lives of this donkey and this wolf. One person. One person saw an injustice and got the ball rolling by putting a petition out there, asking other like minded people to join them, and they convinced a government to intervene into the lives of the least of them among us, a wolf and a donkey. God bless that person. They saw an injustice and rather than sit back and allow it to continue got outside of their comfort zone and did something. Through them the world was changed in a positive way. We’re still talking about it today, some seven years later. That’s huge. You have that power within you. Rather than sitting back and allowing animal abuse to continue, you have the strength and ability to make changes that have the capacity to change the world. My favorite saying is “if it’s to be it’s up to me.” I am constantly unfriended by friends and family alike because I choose to bear witness to a part of life they prefer not to see. Does it hurt my feelings? You bet. They would rather have no part of me than to bear witness to that they prefer not to see. Does that stop me? I don’t give it a second thought once I get over the hurt of being abandoned for my passions. I have been accused of being cruel and torturing them for bearing witness to the cruelty that is being done to others. Unfriending me does not make it not so. Not looking doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Turning away would make me complicit in the abuse these animals are suffering. I might not be able to save them, but at least I can bring their plight to the attention of others and perhaps, just perhaps, there will be someone that sees my posts that is in a position to make that change. Remember, if it’s to be it’s up to me. I am responsible for making a difference in the world around me. On judgment day I will stand and say I did not turn my back on the least of them, I did my best to be their voice when they had none, and hopefully I made a difference. It doesn’t matter if I’m successful, it matters that I tried.
And never forget, it’s only through you that the Randolph County Humane Society continues to save lives, one by one.