Origin – the source of growth, vitality or the beginning of something’s existence, the point at which something begins. Homeland – A person’s or a people’s native land.
It is time. It is past time. Next week we make the pilgrimage to the place of our rescue’s birth in the foothills of the Appalachians, Harlan, KY. It was on this same journey over six years ago that Safe Hands was born. It was there that Safe Hands took root, anchored. It was from there that we returned a stumbling toddler learning how to walk. It is our sacred place.
We have friendships there, grown through years of fighting alongside each other, comrades in arms. We have grown together, learned together, and together we have made a difference. Together we fight for those who suffer from the “backlash of somebody’s lack of love”. We speak up and speak out, we speak softly to those cast out. We tell them nothing’s going to hurt them now. We pull them back from the edge. We turn the lights back on, ignite the fire of desire for a better way and better days. Walking into the shelter feels like going home.
It is time for the pilgrimage.
The last year, 2012, was a long one. We embarked on new journeys and ventures, we experienced huge growth and rescued and rehomed almost twice as many dogs asthe year before. The everyday demands of keeping up with the growth and change took a toll. The eyes shining brightly, tap dancing wigglebutts and merriment and mirth from our rescue kids made it all worth it. Our fall 2012 trip fell casualty to our year and the balancing act it became.
The saying is that you can’t go home again. But I’d argue that sometimes you need to go home. It is time. Next week we go back to the Homeland, to our origins, where our roots grow deep and strong. I will walk into the shelter where four of my kids came from. I will walk to the kennel run that housed Sampson and I will remember standing outside the gate seeing his enormous liquid brown eyes for the first time. I will walk to where I first found Albert curled up and waiting for the crack in the floor to open up and swallow him whole. I will see where Imogene huddled in the corner, a tiny lost soul whose whole world just came crashing down. I will see Hudson and Tillie,Casey, Clementine and her baby Sawyer, my heart girl Truly. We will embrace our friends, meet new people,and a whole bunch of new kids waiting for a way out of the place they are living in.
This is where you can be amazing. This is where you can join with us and step up, speak out, make a difference. There are many ways to help. We will be bringing supplies to the shelter and we will gratefully accept donations for them. In particular they can use puppy and kitten food, canned dog and cat food, Esbilac (puppy milk replacer) and KMR(kitten milk replacer) and kitty litter. They appreciate toys for the puppies and kittens too. I know this is a bigger item, but if anyone has a laptop they don’t use anymore that has video capability they are in need of one in Harlan. Jenn’s computer fried and it’s been difficult for her to get us the photos and videos that save the lives of so many homeless dogs and cats. Donations can be dropped of Saturday at our Adoptable Dog Meet & Greet at Fetch Delivers Warehouse at 2303 Kennedy St. NE in Mpls between noon and 2 pm or you can email and we can figure out our closest volunteer who might be able to take them and get to our loading party!
We also need foster homes for our return. As amazing as the trip is, it is also long and tough. The toughest part is meeting all the dogs, looking into their faces, their hopeful eyes, and not being able to take each and every precious one back on the van with us. So this is your chance to be amazing, for the dogs and for us. If you are able to provide safe haven for a time and take a foster dog when we return please let us know. They need it now more than ever. So do we. Our return date is Sunday, May 12th in the morning.
Please share and spread the word. You never know who might be inspired to join the cause or who you know that might know someone looking just for one of the kids that is going to come home with us! If anyone is interested that has not fostered with us before please fill out the foster application. As they say, “operators are standing by”. We will get back to you asap with details on the foster program to see if it’s a good match for you.
Check back this weekend and next week for many more photos.
I am in awe of the organization Safe Hands has become. It is because of each one of you. It is because you spread the word, donate your time, donate money, open your homes and hearts. It is because you care. I love our group. As different as we all are, at our core we have something that is the same. We join forces and together we are a force to be reckoned with. We have spared many, many lives, cheated death, made dogs whole and made whole families. We have created change, learned to change, changed lives. We have found friends, found a community and founded a family. Thank you all for being part of this big, crazy, wonderful and amazing journey.
Take good care,