As I sit down to write this, I’ve just received the news that the family wishing to adopt Muffin has been approved for her adoption. They want to bring her home the next day. Which happens to be 2014 New Years Eve.
For Beaver Creek Farm Sanctuary, the animal rescue charity Brent and I co-founded, its the end of BCFS year one and the beginning of another. Muffin’s good fortune and impeccable timing is just too perfect an example of what was, for me, 2014-to-the-extreme. Cheers, fears and tears all in one and the same (never simple) event.
You see Muffin has wiggled her way into my heart. Yes, they all do. But the damaged eye, broken spirit and fragile body with which she first arrived was the kind of challenge that ends up in a particularly strong bond. We brought her back from a grisly non-existence to know love, life and joy. Now I must allow her passage to her forever family, as I’ve known all along.
Fostering is temporary. Each animal that passes through the doors of Beaver Creek Farm Sanctuary takes a little part of my heart on their way to their forever home.
Muffin’s end-and-beginning is just the last annotation on this year’s calendar page. Flipping back through the pages, I’m awed by just how much 2014 has been a revelation for me. I’ve laughed deeper, cried harder, smiled wider this year, and at times sat in silence as my heart bled for the tortured souls that I could not help.
My hands have held the faces of happy dogs who are bounding towards loving forever homes. My hands have held the body of a three legged dog who grabbed life and and learned to run. My hands have held the head of a dog so sick the most humane thing left to do was comfort him as he died.
I’ve looked into the eyes of dogs who have given up on life after years of neglect and gave them hope. I’ve given direction, provided guidance and made the best matches I could between people and animals.
My heart has rejoiced, delighted, grieved, been destroyed and rebuilt so many times in 2014 alone. My mind has faltered and my steps have landed heavy. I’ve limped and harangued lobbying for peace, tolerance, compassion knowing I would only ever win small battles and never win the war. But knowing the small battles add up keeps me whole.
I’ve accepted the odds and listened to the haters. I’ve taken strength offered by strangers and gained comfort in the paws of another. Its people that somehow manage to rebuild my heart and give me the strength to go forward with this dream of saving animals. The same horrible creatures – people – that destroy souls through factory farming and puppy mills, also have the capacity to rebuild my faith and belief in goodness. I can’t ignore the irony as I laugh and weep at both sides.
2014 has been an amazing and eclectic year for me. I’ve grown as a person and a warrior to my cause: to help the animals. I’ve simplified my goal and complicated my life. I’ve drawn in strangers and made new friends. There has never been a year where I’ve lost more and gained so much. There is no way to put into words the checks and balances that have done nothing but hardened the metal of dedication.
Ask how my 2014 was? I can honestly say it has been the best year of my life. Today, I’m still standing in 2014 looking forward to a daunting 2015 with a more little faith, a little more hope and a lot of courage.
I’m happy to never to have sat on the couch alone. I’m happy to have had little heartbeats at my leg, hip, foot and chest.
Time often flies by – unless one of our animals was sick and then the clock ticks incredibly slow. But I would not trade a moment in time. I wouldn’t take back a single dollar, I would not miss a single tear and my only wish is that I could have saved more.
As the inaugural year of Beaver Creek Farm Sanctuary comes to an end I give thanks to all the donations that made this year-in-the-extreme possible, to the volunteers who come out to support our work, and to the animals that are patiently waiting for love.
Do your part. Make a difference. Donate a dollar. Share some time. Lend a little expertise. From my own truth, I can honestly say that the life you save in doing so just might be your own.
– Amy Bremner, Co-Founder, Beaver Creek Farm Sanctuary