Category Archives: animal rescue

Our Pets Can Teach Us

Jack is a day late and a dollar short with his guest post this week – – –

In contemplating how everyday life has changed for us and most other folks, I’ve been observing how it goes on pretty much normally for our pets.


Our rescue dog Bruce has always been happy to get his exercise running around our big backyard and spend the rest of his time sleeping in his favorite bed. Every now and again he gets walked up and down the alley beside our house where he can enjoy different smells and that continues normally too.

Our cats are used to going in and out at will and know to stick to the yard or close by. So no real change for them either. It’s true that our most recent cat recruit, Buddy, has some health issues and that has meant a couple of vet visits. The arrangements for attending the clinic are a bit different, but I don’t suppose Buddy notices!

Our neighborhood dogs are all being walked as usual, although their humans are observing social distancing rules, but again I don’t suppose the pets notice much difference.

Our previous canine and feline friends probably knew the contrast between work days and weekends when we had the bookstore in Big Stone Gap, but when we moved here to Wytheville our routines changed. I finally really retired and Wendy worked much more from home. So our new ‘brood’ only recognized this new regime for us which likely won’t seem to change much from day to day for them.

Oh that it was as simple for us –

We are usually pretty social and sociable types, but now there are no weekends away, no shared meals with friends, no unannounced droppings in. Days tend to be much the same regardless whether it’s a weekday or a weekend. We do pay more attention to our neighbors than before but always while observing social distancing and our careful quarantine rules. I suspect that our pets see little difference for now, while we are beginning to get a bit ‘stir crazy’. It’s beginning to dawn on me that we won’t be going back to ‘normal’ for a long time, if ever.

Perhaps we can learn something from our animal friends?

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Filed under animal rescue, between books, Big Stone Gap, Life reflections, small town USA, Uncategorized, Wendy Welch

Hannah and Job

hannahSometimes you can’t cry, because once you start you will not stop.

Normally I’m a pretty natural crier, but I have not cried since COVID 19 became a reality in our lives. There’s too much to do.

The first weeks were getting protective equipment to medical people. Then it was looking at our lives and putting in a garden, getting in more supplies for clinics later, upping our game with local meat, egg, and dairy supplies, revamping what we thought was a fairly locally sustainable lifestyle to fit a harsher lockdown. Preparing, in essence, for fall to be worse than now, with more people needing help, and wanting to have that help ready.

And then one of our cats disappeared. Hannah, the tiny tortie with half a tail and twice the attitude, walked out Saturday morning and didn’t come home. We put up signs, walked the neighborhood, searched the ditches and culverts. Nada. She disappeared. Never mind, we told ourselves; life is full of so many people losing so much these days, it isn’t fair to have the luxury of tears over this smaller loss. Keep going.

Today the rain came down in buckets, and I woke this morning with a heart heavier with fear than looking for its usual hope. My devotions have been uplifting these past few weeks. I take a Christian worldview oddly informed by my many Muslim friends back in Britain; we are in God’s hands, for better or for worse (which is a very Muslim approach to God, not the Christian ideology that those who worship Him can expect preferential treatment from Him). The most important thing in life is not to come out on top but to be a living example of Jesus’ mercy on Earth. So what comes, comes; it’s how we deal with it that is most important. Job 13:15 and all that.

But this morning during my devotions I started crying. Over Hannah, our missing cat. Because sometimes everything one mourns–the sense of loss for a way of life taken for granted, the belief in my own efficacy to meet challenges–all those big things slide down into one little thing. I sobbed for my missing cat as though nothing else had ever mattered.

A few hours later, she walked in, dry and happy and not a scratch on her. Demanding lunch.

It’s okay to cry. It’s okay to mourn. We’re dealing with some heavy trauma, kids. Our times are in God’s hands, and sometimes the cat comes back.



Filed under animal rescue, Life reflections, Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap, Uncategorized, Wendy Welch