Suffering in any form is a huge trigger for me. Animal suffering is a trigger so big that I almost instantly spill over the edge, very little warning, just simply gone.
I take huge precautions that the average person probably doesn’t in terms of limiting my exposure to any information. Current events, politics, visual images or stories retold by friends at a gathering are heavily censored items. I do not watch the news. Ever. The chosen stories are tragic and sensationalized for the purpose of gaining followers (translating into more money) and rarely report anything truly noteworthy or with purpose. After all, how many house fires, bodies in the river, assaults can one really stomach without just losing their noodle? These images most likely will pass right through the average Joe but its totally different for a trauma survivor with PTSD and huge anxiety issues. Mostly, its like someone took a branding iron and seared the image into my brain. It stays there and hurts for a very long time.
Thank goodness one can limit/pick/choose what they read on Facebook. And I really struggle with the agenda of the animal and rescue organizations which often cite cases of abuse, not exclusively for gaining readership but in an effort to inform and rally support for a cause. Somewhat different in my book. Such is the case of Norm, a dog found near death, barely breathing, in a weeded area in St. Louis city during a record heat wave of temperatures over 100 degrees. This dog was found so mangled that the rescuer angel and saint, Randy Grim of Stray Rescue of St. Louis, recognized immediately that this dog was not only a victim of a dog fighting ring that operated in the area but it had been used as a bait dog. What? Did I hear that right? My brain winces and sizzles… At the mere mention of the word “bait”, I was gone….eyes glazed, mind numbing gone.
What kind of soul-less creature would purposely and maliciously use another for the purpose of entertainment of such a vicious nature? What kind of person is so removed from their essence to set out to harm an animal in such a way? Then it hit me. I knew those people. I knew those men. It wasn’t a reach to remember that I not only knew them but experienced their cruel and selfish acts. Acts perpetuated for the sole purpose of their depraved pathology and base pleasures.
This story is just ripe with metaphors for me.
One of the characteristics of a psychopath is having a lack of empathy for another, showing no remorse or guilt. The people who participate in baiting dogs against each other and leaving them for dead, are psychopaths. And here I am again, totally having to find a way to hold onto myself as the world starts spinning around, just because I read a story about a dog rescue.
So the actual manifestation of a person who rescues is so enamoring to me, that although Norm’s story is gruesome, I can’t get enough of the giddy feeling of liberation that I feel when this dog is carried to safety and ultimately to a well equipped facility who will give it round the clock emergency care. I’m absolutely mesmerized and am carried back in time to many childhood moments of near breakdown, pleading with the divine for help, for a rescuer.
Norm hovered for days near death. Hundreds of people prayed for him and left messages on Facebook wanting continual updates. I couldn’t get him off my mind. During this time, with the image of Norm branded on my brain I ultimately emerged with the final thought of this post. Could a soul, animal or human, stripped of dignity and depersonalized so savagely, come out of the experience anything less than a monster? Would this animal ever be able to trust or lead any kind of life resembling normal or worthwhile? And the obvious parallel is how do I?
I’m going to let the photo below speak for itself to answer that question. Hope is renewed.