We Are Never Prepared To Have Some Rugs Pulled From Beneath Our Feet

Natalie Allen

Why is it that we become indebted and dedicated to a cause?

What is it about the “thing” that we focus on that makes it the thing that our world revolves around?

I currently have a visa case to work on, a home to rent out to someone, my life in California sitting waiting for me to take action on next swings. I have a book tour to plan.

5 weeks of unopened emails and starred emails hanging out taking naps and drinking coffee waiting for the day I show up. I have an intern to guide. A website to update. New items for my company ready to go up.

5 weeks who I had 48 hours to leave California, that was hard but manageable. 3 days after being back my boyfriend couldn’t hack the distance and uncertainty and called off our relationship. That combination I didn’t stomach so well.

We are never prepared to have some rugs pulled from beneath our feet.

I cancelled my month, paused my clients and went into my heart to feel. My personal life required all of me. I don’t do that—I’m driven and ambitious and integral and accountable and I love to show up.

Then I dove into guest hosting the retreat here in El Salvador 2 weeks who which I always turn off the rest of my life to be present for. It was amazing and I started to feel my legs again working with women here.

Then I fell in love with this street dog—a fiesty senior whose been on the streets for a long time and have taken it upon myself to see a happy ending for him.

I feel a little crazy the last few day, spending 12 hours a day contacting vets, buying him flea medicine, asking locals about his story, trying to find a foster home. Trying to trap him with a muzzle for his vaccinations.

I have worked with non profit and organizations volunteering for 6 or 7 years and I don’t believe the solution to street dog over population is flying dogs out of countries or spay and neuter campaigns.

I believe the solution is working within a community long term to educate dog owners on the value and worth of their animals. Working with the people who own these animals.

The non profit I volunteered for does 10 year projects that involve so many different aspects—speaking to elders about the problems (rabies kills some humans through dog bites in certain communities) how they euthanize without the money to pay for euthanization (it costs $67 dollars to euthanize a dog in El Salvador, not many people can afford to feed themselves let alone put down an animal that is suffering). They charge a small amount of money at their spay neuter and rabies campaigns (which is important because it sends a message that dogs have value if we spend money on them). They go into schools and work with kids on how to treat their pets and what to do if they are attacked. The point is that at the end, they won’t need forever support because hopefully it will have sunk in. And then hopefully they can walk away silently while sustainable change hums through the streets.

I’ve volunteered raising money and in person at the campaigns in Guatemala but it’s been a few years since I’ve been involved and for some reason even though I don’t think “one offs” are a solution and we need to think bigger, I’m stuck on this one guy.

I’m not demeaning people who rescue animals from other countries, it all helps and thank you to all everyone does. I just believe that sharing education on pet accountability is the sustainable long term way to change.

So now I’m on this mission, with this sweet sap of a senior who is fiesty and independent and I’m laughing at myself a little.

This was meant to be my healing and regroup time.

I should be pouring my energy and heart into finding out where I’ll live in a few weeks, or what steps to take with my visa case, or surfing my brains out, or replying to all those god damn emails but I can’t seem to.

All I can do right now is pour myself into this soul, who I’m not even sure he wants all of the things I wish for him at times.

If my life’s work wasn’t poetry and writing—I would be on the streets working with animals.

I go through great suffering when I travel because I feel conflicted in a large way. Don’t be surprised if you someday find me lost on the streets of Central America, after selling everything I own to help the paws.

It torments my soul that we can step over animals in suffering on our vacation while we look at a menu—their skin and face full of mange. Little black eyes looking up for help to be ignored for the daily special.

How can we step over suffering?

Why is it we pour our souls so feverishly into some things and not others? Why are we grabbed by the stomach of our hearts and flung into things with an unshakeable and at times wildly crazy loyalty? Why is it that we take the oars and fixate on the horizon and paddle like hell when much of our life is saying, “Figure your shit out for you.”

Perhaps figuring this four legged out is figuring me out.

Or perhaps I’m just crazy. TC mark

Janne Robinson

Follow me on Instagram for more updates and writing and buy my book, This Is For The Women Who Don't Give A Fuck!


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