Those who know me personally, know that I am an incredible animal lover and that I am a volunteer for an amazing, pro-life shelter. The Lucky Lucy Foundation. For those that don’t know me, Hi, I’m Megan. Here is how my story of self-discovery and acceptance started with the website www.luckylucy.org
In middle July 2015, I started looking to adopt a dog. I already had one at the time, my golden oldie and my softy, Domino. I wanted to adopt because I am a supporter of rescues and shelters and that sterilisation and education is incredibly important, especially because of the unwanted dogs and cats that find their way into the Animal Welfare system. Especially here in South Africa, where breeding is illegal unless you are registered which people really don’t seem to care about. These poor animals suffer.
Some of them never leave the shelters and live out their days without knowing what a loving home is and a warm bed is.
I had heard of the Lucky Lucy Foundation before and decided to browse the website and see if there were any dogs that spoke to me. I had a top three, of which Chester was not number one.
An animal chooses its owner, if the connection is there, it will never fade. The minute I laid eyes on Chester at the Lucky Lucy Foundation adoption day, I knew he was my dog.
On September 5th 2015, I was blessed with a black bundle of fur, Chester.
I did not know this then, but I needed him as much as he needed me.
I went back the following Saturday, September 12th 2015, to volunteer for the first time. I’ve been a volunteer ever since then.
Our usual Saturday volunteer program includes walking all the dogs, our rehabilitation dogs as well as our packs. It includes helping out with tasks such as creating structures for shade and wind protection for our dogs in their camps, cutting down trees and whatever else needs to be done.
You see, when I adopted Chester, he was quite an insecure puppy and I was an insecure person. He mended what was broken in me and what needed fixing – the hurt, the feelings of being ashamed, the fears of never being good enough for anything and most importantly, the sadness I felt about many things which included my health – and in return, I slowly helped build up his confidence.
Together, we learnt things. I have anxiety, which leaves destruction in it’s wake some days and Chester too, has separation anxiety.
I always joke and say that my furkids (yes, I call them my kids) have evolved into four legged versions of me. Domino with her arthritis and knee problem, like me with my Rheumatoid Arthiritis and damaged knee, and Chester came with anxiety, like me.
On my first Saturday at the Lucky Lucy Foundation farm, I had the privilege of taking Chester’s mom for a walk. He was a lot like her, afraid and unsure of people. I don’t blame her, she had had a very hard life.
Once Chester settled in, he started to gain confidence. His tail was no longer between his legs and he walked with his head up and chest out. Watching him blossom and grow under my careful guidance helped me grow and become confident in who I was.
It showed me that I was good at something, I was good at nurturing and protecting and helping.
You see, when I work with an animal, what draws me to them are their eyes. Their eyes tell me everything I need to know but they also show me how much of myself I can see in that animal.
The damage and fear and insecurity – these are things I know so very well. Since a young age.
I am always drawn to the ones that need extra attention and a soft presence. The ones that need dedication and time and a soft hand. These are things that I needed in my times of sadness and that I still need.
People don’t always understand what makes me feel the way I do about animals and people don’t seem to think that it is something important but it is what makes me, me.
I was two years old when I first said I wanted to be an “animal doctor”. Since a very young and tender age, I was always drawn to animals and animals to me. My mom loves recounting times from when I was incredibly young and how animals were drawn to me too. “It’s your gift.” is something that she always says.
I am at the farm whenever I am off from work or when I can assist with something. Last week, I spent three days at the farm and that still isn’t enough to tide me over until I am there again.
I found my footing and purpose again when I started volunteering, when I adopted and when I invested my heart and soul into the Lucky Lucy Foundation.
They say that you save two lives when you adopt. The life of the animal you are adopting as well as the life of the animal that will take its place in the shelter.
I think that three lives are saved. The life of the animal you adopt, the life of the animal that takes its place, but also your own life.
I was lost when I found Chester and Lucky Lucy Foundation. I was consumed with so much pain and so much fear but when I joined the Lucky Lucy Foundation, not only did I find my Chester and this year, my little kitty Phoenix, I found myself in the eyes of the animals that call the Lucky Lucy Foundation home.
I fell in love with my passion again, I fell in love with what I have always been good at – animals – and I found more people like me.
So three lives were saved on the 5th of September 2015, Chester’s and mine and the dog that took his place at Lucky Lucy Foundation.
These photos were taken in the cattery a while ago. At Lucky Lucy Foundation, we do not do cages so our cats and dogs have ample space to live in comfortably. (Our catteries are so amazing that even I would like to live there.) Our two ladies that run the cattery, Patrys and Caryn, make sure that this is a safe haven and a place of love and comfort for the feline residents.
For further information, please go to http://www.luckylucy.org
To adopt a dog or ten, email@example.com
To adopt a cat or ten, firstname.lastname@example.org