that little dog Norm….

Even though Norm lost one leg, he is adapting well to having  3…

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.

The word “rescue” has huge meaning for me.  The obvious points to my blog title but the concept of a rescuer has always been incredibly alluring to me.  When one is a child who is being molested/abused/violated/shamed, it is the only thing you can imagine.  That child’s ultimate hope isn’t for great toys for Christmas, ice cream for dinner or a vacation to Disneyworld.  That child wants to be heard and rescued. Plain and simple, they want relief.  And I’m speaking for myself and probably other surivors when I say that the concept of having a figurehead in your life so strong and emotionally together, that they come to rescue you from a horrid situation, is so far fetched that it borders on fantasy.  From my experiences, its far more likely that a superhero will swoop down and intervene than for an actual rescuer to manifest in an abused child’s life.  Cynical yes, but sadly, fairly close to the truth.

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.

After days of growling and biting his caregivers, he licks the face of Randy Grim, the man who rescued him.


About Rescuing Little L

Documenting the pieces of my journey...recovery from childhood sexual abuse and cruel ignorance...the effects of those incidious acts through adulthood... until the grace of recovery transcended the trauma and shame of my past, making it possible to return to Rescue Little L.... View all posts by Rescuing Little L

16 responses to “that little dog Norm….

  • revrannulf

    All the hope in the world can be seen in one dog licking the face of a gentle human.

    • Rescuing Little L

      So true….just melts my heart!

    • WordsFallFromMyEyes

      I agree. Animals – well, those with the character to be pets, at least, are born to love and purr, and play and bring delight to those who watch them running in circles chase their tail. And then you get humans who turn all that around.

      Yet, for the bub to turn BACK around & lick the face of a loving one… well, we could all learn about turning around.

  • the warrioress

    Gosh, this story about Norm and the agonies he endured, paralleling with your own, is heart-wrenching. I know exactly what you mean about animal abuse being a trigger, but I had never thought of it this way before until you brought this up in this posting. It makes so much sense! It could be why I am an avid animal rescuer and find that I often love animals far more than people; I see much more love within them, more purity, selflessness, etc., you know what I mean?

    Abused animals, abused children…. only God knows what they both regularly suffer. Wonderful post, poignant, important.

    • Rescuing Little L

      So you are an animal lover too?! I always appreciate your feedback as I never know when I’m rambling on about the same old thing…trying to pay attention to the situations that keep calling on me over and over….Love so much that you enjoyed it!

  • Nancy Fellenz

    Again, your eloquence steals my breath away. The parallels are so sad and so real. Much love…N.

    • Rescuing Little L

      When I read these comments, I still wonder who you are talking to…in my head I don’t feel eloquent at all….but I rely on the kindness of my blogging pals to help me through this….Again, I love writing for y’all….

  • Wholly Jeanne

    psychopaths – even that word doesn’t sound harsh enough to be adequate, and yet i don’t know a word that has been invented yet to tag such a despicable person. some folks call people like this cowards, but i think that’s mostly because some people can’t wriggle out of that perky dress long enough for anything else. and yes – heard, seen, and rescued. i heartily agree with you – that’s what most people of any age want. i guess i’ll spend the rest of my life wondering why on earth that’s such a difficult thing.

  • Cathy

    I am a social worker that has worked with child abuse and neglect for over 20 years. This article spoke volumes to me. All living, feeling beings need love, protection, and nurturing. Animals do have a way of overcoming tremendous pain in their lives. They teach us how to forgive, they do not carry regrets and dwell on the past or fret about the future. Human beings are so much more complex and the scars of abuse run so deep. I am an animal lover and advocate. I have been a volunteer at SR. I see the outpouring of love and compassion for these precious fur angels and I have to ask myself why we do not see this same committment to our abused, inpoverished and hurting children. If only we could mentor a child, donate to their education or an opportunity that will be unavailable to them because they can not afford it. We also would contribute to stopping the cycle of abuse. Where you see child abuse you will also see animal abuse! ( Your comment:”From my experiences, its far more likely that a superhero will swoop down and intervene than for an actual rescuer to manifest in an abused child’s life. Cynical yes, but sadly, fairly close to the truth.”) These children like our our abused fur friends are the most innocent and vulnerable among us with no voice and both need our help!

    • Rescuing Little L

      I really appreciated your comments Cathy! And couldn’t agree more that our children, elderly, animals etc. all deserve dignity and compassion…and our help! That story touched me so deeply regarding the resiliency of spirit whether it be animal or human. Take care of yourself and bless you for working in such a difficult field while retaining your perspective so well. I, too, am a social worker and nurse, quite a burned out one I might add….tending to my own wounds seems priority now. I understand the emotional pull of such a courageous career.

      Stop by anytime!

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