My sister is overwhelmed

My sister’s the introspective type. She’s also the type who just puts down her purse and gets things done, which is part of what I love about her. She doesn’t work but she keeps herself busy with a number of projects, and right now, she’s rescuing dogs.

My sister lives in San Antonio with her husband, two dogs, and four cats. These are animals she’s rescued because she just can’t bear the thought of their not having good homes. The problem is, she can only rescue so many dogs, and apparently San Antonio’s pet rescue network is nowhere near as strong as ours in Austin. Their no-kill shelter has a waiting list to get in, and there are only two animal cruelty officers for the whole city.

So what happens is she’ll come across a case of dog abuse and take it upon herself to help the animal, sometimes climbing a fence to give it water, fresh food, some attention, and a new blanket or some shade. It’s the kind of thing we all want to do when we see an animal who needs help, but we don’t do because we don’t want to get involved – or arrested.

She’s been doing this a while, but she’s totally overwhelmed by all the cases of abuse she comes across. And I’m not just talking about dogs with warm water, I’m talking about dogs who suffer disease, starvation, heat exhaustion… really horrible, preventable things.

I tried to talk to her last night about other ways she can act that will have an impact. She said, “The thing is, Monica, I don’t want that job. I don’t want to do it.”

And yet, it depresses her to witness the cruelty.

I think everyone needs to find that point of action where you start to feel a little more in-control, where you feel comfortable that you’re making a difference. For some people that satisfaction comes from helping just one, feeding one, rescuing one animal. But for my sister, that’s not enough. And yet, she doesn’t want to do more, not because she’s lazy – she is nowhere near lazy – but because she’s overwhelmed.

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