I'm often asked this question: "Isn't it hard to let the animals go to their forever homes after you've nurtured and loved them, particularly when they come to you so broken?"
The answer to this is: Yes. It is.
But it's not about me.
We love these animals with all our hearts. We must love them deeply and madly in order to heal them. We must undo the tremendous damage that has been done both physically & mentally before we welcomed them into our care. To see them embark on their new journey is always bittersweet. However, this journey is not about me, it’s about the bigger picture...the journey we take with these micraculous beings, is, for me, indescribable, a wild ride and a complete privilege.
Really Literally's is a journey of LOVE - A journey of INSPIRATION. Our sweet & spunky, itty-bitty, courageous, geriatric, tiny-morsel, half-jawed love nugget, RL, will step into a new adventure with a family who’s going to shower him with love, and spoil him rotten.
This half-pint has had quite a life's journey. He came from the OC shelter…with a story of neglect as he was about to be destroyed - nobody wanted him. Why was he tossed away like trash - let's think about this and strive to be better and do better... He is 15+ (we will never know his exact age - he was emaciated, has no bottom jaw, a heart condition and most importantly he had no light in his eyes - the sparkle was gone…
We make each broken busted love nugget a promise - we will love them madly & be their proxy for change and comfort, for whatever time they have - - - be that a few days, months, hours, years...We had a few setbacks, but we did not give up & neither did RL. There was a moment I worried he wouldn't make it, but he did. His spirit is healed, and his little body is as healthy as a busted love nugget will be…which means it’s time for him to go home.
This is always a bittersweet moment for us, because we grow to love these special beings with all of heart, ALL OF IT. This is how we heal them, BY LOVING THEM MADLY. I will miss RL, I will miss the way he looks at me, the way he licked my face (there is nothing quite like uber-tiny half-jaw kisses, his beautiful eyes, so full of soul and love and new-found spunk and sparkle… his speedy little run and quirky little bow legs..the way he would get so excited and dance around when I came in the door… our morning smushicorning session, his squeaks, his love… I will miss all of it. He became my co-pilot everywhere I went. My theory was this : : If we could keep him close to our hearts (literally), show him love - provide him with the best medical care & spoil him rotten - he would heal and know life as love…and he does indeed now know life as love; he spreads it everywhere he goes! Julie is his soulmate; RL deserves this opportunity and so does she.
The love nuggets will continue their journeys in their forever homes and continue to reach countless others through the stories they carry with them. Theirs is a story of survival, of love, of change, of inspiration. We cannot continue to Band-Aid problems in our society and then blame the shelter systems and everyone else. We need to step up to the plate - we need to be creative, we need to forget about pointing fingers, and instead create solutions! We try our best and if we fail, we try again and again and again until an animal’s life is saved - we love madly...
I believe we all want our society and the shelter systems to reach their full potential, and we have a responsibility to help transform our communities & our shelters into places of love, care, beauty and kindness. There is an equation to make this happen, and there are systems all over the United States doing just this. Each animal we take in changes our lives and inspires us. We document their stories to inspire you. We take them in because they have no one else. We take them in because we are determined to show them love and kindness and dignity. We take them in because the time to change the world and create a nation of LOVE is NOW. Together we can and together we will… and together, we are.