What do I have to say that others might want to hear? That is the plaguing question I constantly have running through my thoughts. Then I try to remember, that my writing is a creative outlet for me, not for others. I didn’t set out to reach the masses, I just wanted to write about my journey and personal life lessons. If my journey or thoughts help someone else, that is an amazing bonus and truly what I would like to happen. As a high school friend recently told me, “I shared my story and journey in hopes that it would help others.”
I am making this post in part to get your input on posts. You can message or comment if there are topics you would like to see discussed or questions answered…disclaimer this will all (obviously, but iykyk) my personal opinion, unless otherwise stated. SOOOOOO………the floor is open. I am all ears and can’t wait to hear what you have to say. I can assure you that unless I have your permission, you will not be mentioned by name or identifying facts (I was a read ahead and practice the paragraph kid too), so I understand nerves!
If you are writing and want an outlet to have an audience or just a guest post, I am here for it!! Just let me know and we can get to working on it immediately!!
I recently started watching a new series on Netflix. I am not going to mention it just yet because I am still in the middle of the series and to be completely honest, still processing a lot of it. It did make me want to think of creating a series on a topic to post and build from there, although that has absolutely nothing to do with the show at all….ehhh, that is my brain for you.
I am honored and thrilled that you are reading my post(s) – first time or returning – truly. I hope you will be on the lookout for upcoming posts!
Remember to always practice random kindness and senseless acts of beauty.
There are few things in life that I can say for certain will happen – hunger, sleep and death. It could never rain again or the sun might not shine, happiness is not guaranteed and life can deal some shit hands sometimes. I hate knowing that in a short amount of time, because honestly even forever wouldn’t be long enough, that I am going to have to find a way to say goodbye again….
This time my goodbye is for George. If you don’t know George, you truly are missing out a little bit. George loves unabashedly, enjoys all the foods, and has perfected the cuddle and snuggles. I could go on and on about how wonderful George is, or how unfair it is that something out of our control is going to make us have to say goodbye so soon. Why are goodbyes so hard??
In 1993, Patty Loveless released the song, “How Can I Help You Say Goodbye.” It is a progression of a young girl moving away from her best friend, that young girl growing up and going through a separation from her partner, and then the death of her mother. In all these times her mother asks how can she help? The truth is nothing truly helps for a goodbye – whether it be from death, or separation or some other change. One line says “it’s ok to hurt and it’s ok to cry,” and it is ok to not be ok.
It will take some time for me to be ok, but one thing I know is that I will eventually be ok. I’ve had some big goodbyes in my lifetime and I’ve managed to get through them all. Knowing, even more so because it is extremely evident, that the remaining time with George is so finite, it has changed my view on life. Life is too short to be miserable, not just one or two bad days, but consistently not happy, NOT OK! There are a lot of options for help to get things better. Do not be afraid to make a change because of the unknown, live like George. Remember to reward yourself for even the small victories, remember to take time to “stop and smell the roses” along the journey, and above all practice random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty.
I know this was a little off course from my previous posts, but honestly 2022 was a year full of gut punches. I’m working on my outlook for 2023 and hope to come out with a few less bumps and bruises. This means being more honest with myself when things are just plain crappy and when things are great. Acknowledging both is one change in my mental health journey and it’s helping me so far….I’m still learning to let go of things that are not in my control and rolling with the punches a little easier. I’m blessed to have a great support system, but that doesn’t mean I utilize them. I’m a silent sufferer you see, and don’t want to “be a burden.” I’m learning and trying to be better about that as well.
So if you are one of the “waiting for a sign” type….HERE YOU GO! Make the change, take the class, binge watch a silly show over the weekend, go out, stay in, just try to make yourself happy in a healthy way! It truly is just one step at a time.
I didn’t know what to expect as I drove through the streets of a rougher part of town. All I knew was that my husband called and said he needed help – I’m always worried he is going to be robbed or beaten up or worse. So when he calls, I drop everything and get to him as quickly as I can. These calls have resulted in me crawling under an abandoned crack house (not an exaggeration), crawling as far into a drainage pipe as I could get, and searching railroad tracks – all in an area that has made more than one appearance on the TV show First 48.
I parked my car close to an abandoned building next to the railroad tracks. I take a deep breath as I start to exit my car. As I get out of my car, Kyle motions for me to stop….I’m instantly nervous because I can hear music blaring in the background and someone yelling to Kyle from a house across the street. As I stand next to my car, unsure of my next move, I see them – the reason I am standing in the middle of the street in a bad neighborhood – 3 tiny puppies and a mama dog that is still a puppy herself.
You see, he’s been feeding this group of dogs for almost two months by this point. It has taken this long to gain their trust to get close enough to try and catch them. This is why I got the phone call, it was GO TIME! We were going to finally try to get these dogs off of the streets and to a life of “no more bad days.” We didn’t know how long it would take to rescue them and didn’t care, all we knew was they deserved so much more than a life of roaming the railroad tracks and sleeping in a scary, abandoned building.
Izzy (mom), Asher (boy), Sawyer (girl) and Ryder (girl) all came to the Yonke household that day. While we can end the story there with the happiness of them being off of the streets and knowing they will receive the care and love they deserve, their story is far from over – it was actually just beginning. After they are rescued, they enter foster care. This includes time for decompression and adjustment, as well as seeing the vet to get treated for any issues – including spay and neuter.
It took lots of conversations and finally seeing one too many dogs on the street and in terrible situations, but I convinced Kyle that we could foster dogs to try and be a small part to help. Fostering dogs is no small commitment, it is the hardest, but most rewarding thing that we do. We have cried, laughed, been cussing mad and exhausted, but we would do it all again every single day. Fostering animals makes a huge difference. Most animal rescues and shelters are in dire needs for fosters – even short term! The animal rescue that we work closely with in town even covers all medical expenses for the animals. You just have to commit your time and love.
This group was not our first time fostering – far from it. It was by far the most challenging group we have had to date. This group was so nervous and scared of people that I would have to open the door and hide just so they would go outside to potty. It took a couple of weeks for them to get comfortable being around just us……4 foster dogs and 3 dogs of our own? It was a LOT of work. For the first couple of weeks our 3 and the 4 fosters had to be kept separated – just to make sure for health reasons. This also meant that Kyle and I had to split our time with each group. There was a lot of trail and error too. This was our first active group of mom and pups…..whew y’all. There were days when it was really hard, and even frustrating…..kind of exactly what I hear having human kids can be like. (Kidding – kind of).
Skipping ahead for length’s sake: After a while, it is time for the group to be placed as available for adoption. Asher goes first and he is currently living his best life. He has a fur brother and gets to go on trips and loves the boat! Sawyer was then adopted and is being spoiled by her human siblings – 2 sisters and a brother. Izzy was still nervous around new people. Because of this, we did reach out and she was placed in a new foster home and adopted a couple of weeks later. That leaves Miss Ryder.
Ryder was and still is by far the most skittish of people. She is a dog’s dog – Snyder is her favorite. The first time a potential family to adopt came to visit, she ran away and hid – zero interest. This was her behavior for most of her interactions with humans, except for us. Being the last one of the bunch, we started letting her interact with our pack regularly. She began to come our of her shell and she was adopted by a family that was ready for a dog to be added. We discussed, extensively, about her backstory and being nervous around new people. We even kept her a few extra weeks to help her get used to them with visits and shirts they wore in her crate. She lasted less than 3 days at their house. She was so nervous and decided the best option would be to hide in their garage under some stairs. Kyle had to crawl under the stairs to get her out and bring her home. (I want to mention here – the family is not fully at fault. It happens and I’m glad they reached out to us. Each dog is different and requires different needs. So be prepared for a commitment to do what is BEST for the dog, even if it is not best for you.)
Yes, I said home. As soon as she got to our house she ran around the back yard, her tail was wagging so hard I thought she might fall over. She played with the dogs, ate and fell asleep on the couch. She let us know by her actions, she was home. She is the happiest dog I have ever met. She wakes up and her tail immediately starts wagging – each time she wakes up, even from naps. She back talks – especially when you tell her to stop being rowdy. There was no way that Kyle and I could let her go somewhere that she would not be comfortable. That is why we currently have 4 dogs. While she is still nervous around people that aren’t Kyle or me, she is making progress – slowly.
This is the part where people always say is why they could never foster. “I would want to keep them all.” Yes, you will. But not all dogs are for you, some are, but not all. You can keep one or two (or more) of your fosters for 10-15 years and that is awesome. OR you could keep one or two and foster countless more -helping more, loving more. Each time we foster a dog and they find a family – I cry. I cry because I am so happy they found their family. I cry because I am sad they won’t be here for me to love on anymore. I cry because I am tired and need a break – but I cry because it is just one of thousands that need help.
There are many ways to help make a difference in animal rescue. The obvious is monetary donations – always good. Fostering – always good. Volunteering – always needed. Like and share social media posts – easy and free. Reach out to local animal rescues, you never know what needs they have and how you can help.
While this story was about Ryder’s Rescue, it is just one of many! I will be sharing more stories of rescue, foster and adoption as it is a cause that is deeply important to me. If you have questions let me know, I’d be happy to answer or find the answer for you!