Facing Adversity‚Äč

The word sounds as onerous as adversity itself. Thomas Carlyle, an 18th Century Scottish philosopher said "Adversity is the diamond dust heaven polishes its jewels with." 

It's a phrase I wrote down early in the process of trying to build this advocacy site, because the AskMrFrisky effort was actually born of adversity. In an odd way, adversity is a good thing, providing the necessary force and motion to propel us into a new place. It's our choice if that place is good or bad.

Adversity is something many companion animals face every day - in homes where there is neglect or abuse; or a lack of love, food, water, shade, warmth, or medical care. They may face it in overcrowded municipal shelters where there is no space in the kennel to turn around, or play, or walk; and even face euthanasia due to lack of space. Sadly, the recent arrest in Tennessee shows that neglect, lack of food, water and proper medical care can even happen at a rescue facility.

When faced with adversity, animals - unlike us - cannot redirect that energy; they do not have our choices. When faced with adversity, they must suffer silently. Some lose hope; some never give up even at the bitter end.

This difference is one of the reasons for AMF. It is also why I have always focused my personal rescue efforts on those animals that are often labeled "unadoptable" and slated for euthanasia. We understand each other; I know how much it means when someone takes the time to show you a little understanding, support, and compassion.

Companion animals depend on us to face adversity for them, so they can survive hoarding, abuse, neglect and retain hope. At the very least, so that in the end they finally know what love is, because we are there for them in the final moments - no matter how hard that may be for us to face.

This type of adversity continues to spur me forward in my mission to advocate for every animal in every shelter, worldwide. I chose to make it worldwide, because homeless animals know no borders.

My tagline of "Adopt, Love, Give" is more than a twitter hashtag. It is a creed by which I live my life, and face adversity for the animals.