Dealing with rescue animals is dealing with the unknown. We don’t know their past, their medical condition, their training if any. We are bringing a complete stranger into the shelter and starting from scratch with a relationship that is tenuous at best. All eyes are on the newcomer but we are responsible for their success or failure. We have certain proven, repeatable processes that we use to tame and acclimate someone new and with few exceptions, even hard ferals can usually be brought around. Patience, love and process.

Someone can have all the patience and love in the world but if their process is wrong they can be viewed as obnoxious and stubborn. A person can try to feed the homeless and drive them away if they make them stand in the pouring rain to receive a sandwich on a napkin and steaming hot coffee in a wax-coated Dixie Cup. They’ve made hundreds of sandwiches and gallons of coffee, their heart is in the right place but their delivery is off. Consequently, their mission failed.

We’ve all seen people do strange things and wondered, “What were they thinking? Have they no common sense?” We judge others on their delivery based on how we would have approached the situation, giving no regard for their heart and intentions.

When we see people doing something “wrong”, our reaction might be to shake our head and walk away or we might say any of the following:

1) “What an idiot!”
2) “What you should do is…”
3) “Why don’t you try…”
4) “This way works for me…”
5) “That’s good. Maybe we can also…”

If you are like me, you’ve probably heard and said them all and the first four are wrong because…

Philippians 2:3
Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves.

“That’s good. Maybe we can also…” encourages from inside the circle of effort. Let’s become involved and take an active role rather than criticize or offer “I am better than you” advice. If all we have to offer is advice, our heart may be in the right place but our delivery is off and our mission fails.

Guilty. [raising hand] I am guilty.

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About the Author

Joyce Ellis is the CEO and Caretaker of WarmFuzzy's Animal Shelter & Sanctuary. She was born with the vision, the Energizer Bunny who keeps going and going. She is Fuzzy1 of all WarmFuzzy's.

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