A Moving and Eloquent Message
Below is a moving and eloquent message from Ron H., a long-term supporter of and contributor to the Thulani Program. His message says it all.
So, the question got asked again. Why would I give money to help a group of people that spend their time trying to “fix” a bunch of dogs that are close to death anyway, particularly when “nobody wants a dog that’s in that condition”?
I’ve spent a bit of time myself way closer to death than I care to remember, and I don’t recall any of my loved ones saying they didn’t want me anymore because of the condition I was in. But, you say, that’s not the same. People are worth way more than dogs. Agreed, but the fact that people are worth more than dogs does not lessen the value of dogs any to the person who is thinking clearly.
When you can stick a monetary value on love, then you can stick a monetary value on a dog. But trying to come up with a monetary value for love is folly at best. The whole point of love is that it transcends those things that are merely material. If you are fortunate enough to have a loving relationship currently, or have had one in your past, I dare say you value that relationship more than you value whatever your checking account balance was the last time you looked at it. True?
No my friend, love that is real demonstrates itself somehow. That is why I believe in putting money, time, and work into the Thulani project. Still not convinced? You can read extensively on GSRNC’s web site about what the Thulani Project accomplishes for German Shepherds. But let me offer a word picture for your consideration about what the Thulani Project (and all of GSRNC’s work) accomplishes for the people who make GSRNC what it is.
The duties of my job entail talking with technicians from literally everywhere in the United States. I’m “phone buddies” regularly with roughly 400 different people. Who are the happiest ones? They’re the ones who talk with me about their dogs. And the folks who work rescue for GSRNC will uniformly tell you that they would not trade the joy of the work they do for ANYTHING. But one does not really “understand” until one experiences rescue first hand.
The first “rescue run” I took opened my eyes extensively. I found myself in a shelter on the central coast of California, being handed an 85 pound mass of fear, pain, and suffering that once was a dog. He was so frightened he could not even look at me directly, and he sat in the back seat of my truck shuddering from fear for the three hour drive to our vet. He wouldn’t even touch a freshly cooked hamburger. We gingerly got the dog through a preliminary exam at the vet and headed for the home of the woman who was to handle the dog’s foster care. She sat with the dog for 45 minutes before he would allow himself to be touched. Once the dog was in the door of her home, I left for my home and tried not to think about what I had just seen. I was absolutely sure this dog was never going to have a “real life”.
Three months later at a “rescue picnic”, I was comfortably seated talking to friends. Suddenly, I realized that I was not the only one eating the hamburger that I was holding in my left hand. My friend from the central coast, now known as Carl, had sought me out in a crowd of roughly 100 people, and was now taking a “rain check” on the hamburger I had offered him three months before. His “foster Mom” was still about 20 feet away, on the other end of his leash, trying to catch up with him. I quickly conceded to the proposition that said hamburger was now Carl’s, and spent the next 20 minutes sitting on the concrete with Carl in my lap, witnessing the results of what happens when 85 pounds of fear, pain, and suffering is transformed (by love) into 93 pounds of happy, loving, confident, social butterfly doginess.
This then is why I support the Thulani project. If you want to help with a few small miracles, I would happily suggest sending a check. If a chance at the joy of seeing your heart be changed by love sounds interesting and you have some time to give, I would happily suggest contacting GSRNC, and asking where you fit in. And if you are held back by feelings of insufficient knowledge or lack of ability, I would encourage you to go forward with contacting GSRNC. Nowhere will you find better teachers or finer people to learn from. It’s easy to be good when all you have to do is gently stroke fuzzy dog ears.