Author Brandy Herr Brings Us the Second in her Second Chance Farm Children’s Book Series with “Emma’s Second Chance”

Second Chance Farm is a real-life rescue in Granbury, Texas, dedicated to helping animals with physical handicaps. Author Brandy Herr is determined to share their stories in the best way she knows how: through a children’s story and picture book series.

Emma’s Second Chance is her second book of the series, and she’s excited through it to raise awareness for both deaf dogs and the rescue who helped Emma along to a wonderful life.

Buy on Amazon | Buy on Kindle | Buy from Createspace and $1 Will be Donated to Unchained Melodies Dog Rescue

Interested in an autographed copy of Emma’s Second Chance or Honey’s Second Chance? You can order them direct from the author at this link: http://www.whochainsyou.com/books.html

About the Book:

Emma, a deaf hound mix, thinks everyone deserves a second chance at life. After all, she’s one of the lucky pups who got to start over—thanks to a kind woman who rescued her after her family dumped her along the side of the road.

Emma learns what it’s like to love again, finds herself not one but two caring families, and even gets the chance to pay it forward, becoming a real-life hero in the process.

Based on the true story of Emma the rescue dog, Emma’s Second Chance is perfect for kids young and old. Who Chains You Publishing is proud to release children’s books that are fun, educational, and stand tall as a voice for the animals.

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About the Author:

Brandy Herr was born near Dallas, Texas. She graduated from the Pennsylvania State University with a major in public relations and a minor in theatre. She now lives in Granbury, Texas with her husband, Matthew, their rescued dogs, Pillow and Luna, and their rescued cats, Emma and Goblin. She currently has three other books available: Honey’s Second Chance, Haunted Granbury, and a short story featured in the collection Nine Deadly Lives: An Anthology of Feline Fiction. Learn more about Brandy and her work on her website at AuthorBrandyHerr.com and follow her on Facebook at Facebook.com/AuthorBrandyHerr.

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About the Rescue:

The mission at Second Chance Farm is to offer quality care and a place of refuge for abused, physically handicapped, aged or homeless animals. Second Chance Farm, an open space facility, helps protect the quality of life of these animals while improving their well being through prevention, education, intervention, placement and lifetime care, so they can live out their lives with dignity, respect and love. Visit their website to learn more at SecondChanceFarmGranbury.org and follow all their exciting adventures at Facebook.com/SecondChanceFarmGranbury.

Buy on Amazon | Buy on Kindle | Buy from Createspace and $1 Will be Donated to Unchained Melodies Dog Rescue

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Don’t Miss Brandy’s first book in the series, too, Honey’s Second Chance!

Buy on Amazon | Buy on Kindle | Buy from Createspace and $1 Will be Donated to Unchained Melodies Dog Rescue

Who Chains Us as Animal Advocates? What Stops You from Making Your Best Strides for the Animals?

Cow

When one applies the “First, Do No Harm” principle to everyday life, feeling a need to extend protection to animals is a no-brainer, and should be the obligation of every human on the planet.

What is “Do No Harm”?

From Reflections on Ethics by Paul Sharkey: It is commonly believed that the principle “First, do no harm” originated with the physician’s oath and is circumscript with the practice of medicine. It did not and it is not. As a moral principle, refraining from doing harm is both much more fundamental and much more universal than that. It forms the very foundation of the moral teachings of the founders of at least two of the world’s major religions and was so central to the life and teachings of Socrates that he literally chose to die rather than transgress it. Fully understanding, appreciating and following this principle is, I believe, key to following a life which is at once, fully human, fully alive, and fully virtuous.

Unfortunately, many people in our world—including our current government—do not live by this motto, and regularly visit harm on both humans and animals without sparing it a second thought. For those who do agree with “Do No Harm” (in theory at least), the welfare of animals is not considered important enough to fall under the principle, and so they apply it solely to humans.

The result is that very few folks who are not actively involved in the animal movement outwardly agree with or support broad protective efforts on behalf of the animals. They are all too quick to brush such efforts to the side in order to advocate for the ‘important human issues’, or dismiss them out of hand.

Where does that leave animal activists and rescuers? “Chained”, and full of negative emotions such as anger, frustration, and fear.

Who Chains Animal Advocates?

Any campaign on behalf of the animals has more than its fair share of adversaries. Law enforcement and society at large actively protect animal users and abusers from every walk of life. This includes but is not limited to: dog chainers, animal food producers, animal food consumers, rodeos and circuses, and pet animal mills.

All too often any human who helps a suffering animal ends up arrested.

There are very real emotional hurdles for an animal advocate to conquer in order to take a stand for the animals. These include, but are not limited to, the following five areas:

1. Fear of Standing Up and being Physically or Mentally Attacked by Animal Abusers

When one decides to take a public stance against any form of animal use and abuse, a primal fear of death must first be mastered before an advocate can and will put him/herself on the line for others. The chances of suffering either physical or emotional abuse for taking a stand for the voiceless is at virtually 100%. People who abuse animals without a thought have no compunction about doing the same to any human who gets in their way; therefore, those who desire to advocate for animals have to first face their fears and decide to act anyway.

2. Fear of Arrest

Any activist or rescuer working on behalf of animals faces arrest if they are engaged in front line efforts. Being arrested and dragged through the court system is not only scary, but affects one’s career and life outside of animal work, one’s pocketbook, and can even end in a felony and jailtime. That’s a lot of fear to get past in order to do what anyone with a heart would consider ‘the right thing’!

3. Anger that Even though there are Cruelty Laws on the Books, these Laws Don’t Protect the Animals

Virtually every state has cruelty laws on the books that go along the lines of “every animal must have food, water, shelter.” Not only do these laws often get completely ignored, any activist or rescuer who—forced to make a life or death decision on behalf of the animal—takes it into her/his hands to provide the animal the care and nutrition they need and deserve is labeled a vigilante at best, and “worse than the worst hardened criminal” at worst. (That’s what the D.A. said about me when I rescued a dog name Doogie from deplorable conditions in PA.)

Watching the suffering of animals and feeling as though your hands are tied to do anything about it leads to 24/7 anger and stress, which takes a debilitating toll on an animal advocate’s physical and mental well-being.

4. Frustration with People who Claim to LOVE Animals, while Refusing to Lift a Finger to Help

The animal movement is hard-pressed for willing volunteers. While so many people pay lip service to loving animals, the truth is that most won’t show up for fundraisers or foster an animal, let alone stop eating them. The hypocrisy of the situation is a source of endless frustration to animal advocates; and, worse, they are forced to keep these feelings inside for fear of offending donors and potential volunteers. Pushed down inside, these negative emotions brew up a nasty cocktail of physical and mental maladies, with ailments beginning to show up more and more regularly.

5. Fear of Failure in Helping the Animals

No one likes to fail. When we do suffer a failure in helping the animals, we are hit with a double whammy showcasing our own feelings of inadequacy sandwiched with highlights of guilt and shame for letting the animals down too. Soon an advocate may give up trying because the pain of failing again is just too daunting.

Compassion Fatigue

From my book, Foster Doggie Insanity: Just what is Compassion Fatigue Syndrome, anyway? In a nutshell, it is caused by the pain of witnessing or bearing repeated trauma while caring for others (in our case, animals) and putting the care of others before ourselves. We see no end to the need and no way to make it stop. The resulting apathy, detachment, inability to express emotions, and substance abuse heads a long list of manifestations now associated with and labeled as Compassion Fatigue Syndrome.

Most on the front lines of animal rescue and activism are at danger of developing Compassion Fatigue and/or PTSD, depending on how much abuse they are taking and how much self-care they are practicing while they are going through it.

Animal Advocates Deserve Better

You all deserve better than this ending, and I’d like to see us ALL practicing self-care on a daily basis in order to prop us up, allow us to keep working in the movement, and making a difference for the animals.

When we become sidelined due to PTSD and/or Compassion Fatigue, that’s one less heart and soul in the fight to end their abuse.

And they truly are the voiceless without us.

Why I Like Tapping for Animal Advocates

I like tapping for those in the animal activist and rescue movements because it focuses on REMOVING NEGATIVE EMOTIONS that are held in the body.

Practiced daily, it can and will set you on a positive path, even when you’re embroiled in front-line pain on an everyday basis. Watch the video below to get you started, and visit the founder of Tapping, Gary Craig’s website to immerse yourself and help you work through childhood ‘stuff’ that gets in the way of healing.

Once the Negative’s Out, Bring in the Positive

While it’s essential to release that negative each and every day, it’s also essential to fill the remaining ‘hole’ with positivity! Find a way that works for you, but opening your heart chakra (picture it right where your heart is, so open that heart!) to receive good things for you and the animals is crucial. The more time you can spend each day with an open heart (even though it makes you feel vulnerable, do it anyway!) the better your life will be and the more positive responses you will draw into your life.

If you’re working hard for the animals, let me be the first to commend and thank you. Please work on your self-care each and every day, as you deserve so much better than to be embroiled in pain for advocating for those we all love.

Have a great week!

Tamira Thayne is the founder of Who Chains You Books and Spiritual Mentoring, and the pioneer of the anti-chaining movement in America. She spent 13 years on the front lines of chained-dog activism and rescue as founder and CEO of Dogs Deserve Better. She is the author of Foster Doggie Insanity: Tips and Tales to Keep your Kool as a Doggie Foster Parent, and Capitol in Chains: 54 Days of the Doghouse Blues. To book a one-on-one session with Ms. Thayne, visit the website at http://www.whochainsyou.com/activism.html.

Depression in the Animal Rescue and Animal Activist Communities: 4 Steps to Getting Past the Pain to Make a Difference

Depression is rampant in 21-st century America, and especially pervasive in the animal rescue and activist movements due to constant exposure to pain and suffering on the part of our animal friends.

We are often told that depression is anger turned inward, yet in the world of animal activism and rescue, depression more adequately equates to anger meets helplessness.

Not to overstate the situation, but there is an overwhelming amount of NEED in the animal rescue and activism world. Even if you were financially-set and resource-laden, one person still could not stem the flow of animals that need places to go and daily help. 

So how does one animal-loving human—without significant financial resources—feel when accosted daily with both the overwhelming need AND anger at those who abuse animals or allow abusers to get away with it?

Helpless, hopeless, frustrated, furious…

DEPRESSED, that’s how.

And with just cause.

Unfortunately, wallowing in depression doesn’t get us anywhere—and doesn’t get the animals anywhere—so it’s in our best interest to find a way to relieve both our suffering and theirs without breaking the bank or giving up our lives. Below are four steps you can take daily if you’re one of the folks who suffer from depression due to the status of animals in our society.

(Obviously, if you’re suffering from deep depression or are having suicidal thoughts or tendencies, it’s important to reach out for emergency medical help.)

Give yourself even an hour a day with these methods and I strongly believe within a month you will be moving in a positive direction.

1. Tap to Release Negative Energy

I’m a big fan of Tapping (Emotional Freedom Technique), because I can do it on my own, I don’t have to work with a therapist or a facilitator, and IT WORKS for me. In fact, according to the founder of tapping, Gary Craig, there are few people he hasn’t been able to help with this method. Luckily for you (and me!), he offers a completely free course on tapping on his website at http://www.emofree.com.

Tapping works with the body’s meridians to release the pain we hold inside. Given that most of us like to pretend that the negative doesn’t exist, we tend to deny the pain and so our body continues to hold onto it, mostly on a subconscious level and within our cells. But tapping daily can bring relief from this pain and even cruise you past childhood emotional injuries that have been holding you back forever. Try it! You can do it while you’re walking the dog, driving to work, even watching TV if you’re feeling down but too desperate to make a big effort.

Tap along here with me for a sneak peak at tapping for depression, and get an idea of what all it entails (hint, it’s easy and simple!):

2. After you Tap to Release the Negative, Bring the Positive Back into Your Life

Hopefully after tapping you’re (at least temporarily) an emotional blank slate. Now is the moment to bring the positive back into your life and heart. Think of a time when you were REALLY HAPPY. During that one special moment you—without even realizing it— held your heart wide open and ready to receive good things.

This is a vulnerable place for us to be, and so we often shut that valve off in order to protect ourselves. But the more and the longer we can keep it open, the better chance we have of bringing ourselves to a more positive place.

So picture that moment, open your heart, and try to hold it open and envision yourself receiving positive events in your life for at least 60 seconds. Smile! Remember, you ARE worthy of good things, just like every other human on the planet.

3. Make a Goal for Yourself

If you were ready and willing to go for your BIG DREAM, what would that look like? Would you build an animal rescue? An animal activist organization? Would you volunteer and become more involved in the day to day world of work for the animals?

Take out your BIG DREAM. Shine it up. And sit it beside your computer. Because now you have a goal, something to work toward, and you’re not going to let depression stop you.

4. Every Day, Take One Baby Step Toward That Goal

I remember when I started Dogs Deserve Better in 2002. I knew I wanted to take a stand, but I was TERRIFIED. I promised myself I’d take five steps toward my goal before the end of the year.

But guess what? Once I got going, I was taking a step toward it every day.

You can do that too. Take one teeny tiny step toward your goal each and every day. If that means you make one phone call? Good. Do one google search on something you’re trying to understand? Great.

Feeling depressed that day and afraid of failing? Do it anyway. Make yourself take the one step.

You’ll be amazed at how you’ll feel afterward! And soon you’ll be adding up all those steps to making a REAL DIFFERENCE for the animals.

P.S. I’m in no way making light of depression, and am well-aware it’s a continual struggle for those who suffer with it. I grew up with a depressed parent, and always thought it was ‘normal’—which meant it became part of my life, too. I offer you these tips if you want to crawl out of the abyss of that kind of pain to make a difference. Sometimes having something to focus on outside of ourselves is the biggest boon we can receive. I wish you all the very best that life has to offer, and the strength to continue your path toward wellness.

Tamira Thayne is the founder of Who Chains You Books and Spiritual Mentoring, and the pioneer of the anti-chaining movement in America. She spent 13 years on the front lines of chained-dog activism and rescue as founder and CEO of Dogs Deserve Better. She is the author of Foster Doggie Insanity: Tips and Tales to Keep your Kool as a Doggie Foster Parent, and Capitol in Chains: 54 Days of the Doghouse Blues. To book a one-on-one session with Ms. Thayne, visit the website at http://www.whochainsyou.com/activism.html.

The Trap of Over-Rescuing Animals: Saying ‘No’ When Your Heart Says Yes

Delilah, a mostly-blind dog the author rescued from her chain

Most in the animal rescue movement are here because they have a strong love for animals, and a desire to take action on their behalf—this action usually manifesting itself as fostering or adopting.

Sometimes, though, somewhere along the way, an inability to say “No” paired with deep subconscious psychological drives can get a rescuer into trouble…ending with a spiraling disaster and a filthy home full of animals that aren’t getting the care they need and the living situation they deserve.

There’s no doubt that rescuing FEELS GOOD. When I used to pull a dog off a chain, there was no greater joy than having the power to bring him/her FREEDOM. None.

Delilah took to life after chaining like a duck to water

And watching that very same dog, inside of a week, curl up on the couch or a dog bed inside like he/she’d been doing it his/her whole life? Truly PRICELESS.

Yet I soon recognized there was a limit to the number of dogs I could handle, and my personal upper limit was six. When I exceeded that number (which happened more often than I care to remember), not only would all hell usually break loose in my home, but I would feel so psychologically overburdened that I had a hard time putting one foot in front of the other.

While I understand that we are all different, and one person’s tolerance level for filling their home with animals is higher than another’s, it’s crucial that you ascertain what your level is and find a way to stick to your maximum. If you don’t, you’re doing no one any favors, most certainly not the animals you’ve committed to.

From Foster Doggie Insanity: Tips & Tales to Keep your Kool as a Doggie Foster Parent:

Foster Doggie Insanity

Foster Doggie Insanity: Tips & Tales to Keep your Kool as a Doggie Foster Parent

But, even IF you said YES to every single dog that came your way looking for a foster home, trust me, you’d do it forever and never be done.

One year Dogs Deserve Better tried to do just that. We were saying YES to every dog we could handle (or THOUGHT we could handle), and they were coming in droves. We spent over $100,000 in vet care, but nothing stemmed the flow.

Instead, we succeeded in making ourselves miserable and destroying our area rep program by letting in irresponsible people who only made us look bad. It was a brutal lesson.

So you have to find some boundaries for yourself. If being Super-Saving-Dog-Woman will not make it go away, then why are you killing yourself? Because trust me, for the naysayers and the never-ending line of dogs in trouble, it will never be enough, no matter what you do…

I swear to you, if I knew for a fact that if we each fostered five additional dogs this year that the rescue crisis would be over, I’d be the first to say “Let’s do it!”

I could suck it up for another year.

But it won’t. The need will stay the same as long as our addiction to being needed remains in place…never-ending.

So now you, theoretically, have a house full of dogs and you’re miserable. You feel like you have no life of your own, no happiness, everything revolves around the needs of these dogs and getting through each day caring for them.

The need to feel needed, to feel important, to fill the gaping hole in our gut or our heart is psychological, and many of us come into this world with it or we develop it early in life due to our environmental stressors.

Some people fill the hole with shopping, some with sex. Some with food.

Some of us fill ours with rescue. (And then maybe shopping, sex, and food.) My subconscious belief has been that rescuing the next critter will somehow save my soul, make me feel good about myself, earn me a spot in heaven. I don’t wish to speak for you, but I suspect I’m not alone in this.

Soon it’s just another mouth to feed, another dog to train, another needy soul sucking your life energy away. There’s no time for you, because—guess what—you planned it that way; you planned, subconsciously, to fill your life with taking care of others so you didn’t have to think about what would REALLY make you happy.

But you’re not happy. And though you’re overwhelmed and giving 200%, there’s still just as much need out there as ever. You’re putting your finger in a tiny dam hole; sooner or later it overflows the top or bursts the entire structure.

The crucial problem with using animals to fill your love tank and meet underlying emotional needs is that each one is a LIVING BEING with needs of his/her own, needs that YOU must fulfill. Yet, the more you take on, the less you are able to fulfill the needs of each animal, and the more you are weighed down by the never-ending burden.

Denial of the ongoing issues can quickly spiral to a state of emergency, one where animals are dying and a hoarding situation has developed.

Please, don’t let this happen to yourself AND the animals you set out to help. If you see yourself in some of the patterns discussed above, take a look at these five possibilities for underlying emotional issues, and make an honest evaluation of yourself and your own needs with regards to rescuing animals.

1. I am taking in too many animals in order to fulfill an emotional need.

Let’s be honest, most of us had a less than idyllic childhood. But for many in the animal rescue movement, our childhoods were fraught with animal abuse and neglect. Maybe of us lived with chained or penned dogs, saw or participated in animal deaths, and suffered physical or emotional abuse in the home environment. If you bear a love for animals deep in your soul, any of these possibilities can throw you into a frenzied attempt to make up for childhood pain surrounding animals by diving headfirst into a prolonged burst of animal rescue that’s bound to go haywire if the pace isn’t slowed and realizations aren’t embraced.

2. I have a need to be seen as a savior.

From Savior Complex Anyone? (and switching out “people” for “animals” is on me) a savior complex is defined as the following:

The savior complex is a psychological construct which makes a person feel the need to save animals. This person has a strong tendency to seek animals who desperately need help and to assist them, often sacrificing their own needs for these animals.

There are many sides to a savior complex and it has many roots. One of its fundamental roots, in my experience, consists in a limiting belief the savior person has that goes something like this:

“If I always help animals in need, I will get OTHER PEOPLE’S love and approval, and have a happy life.”

This is, of course, a nice sounding fairytale…

On top of this, always putting rescued animals’ needs first makes a savior not take care of their own needs. So while they may feel happy because they are helping others, at some level, they feel bitter and frustrated at the same time.

When I took a good, healthy look at my own rescuing habits, I had to admit I had a dose of savior complex at work within myself. Odds are good you do, too, because I doubt too many of us would rescue animals without this underlying drive pushing us to act. However, once you recognize the savior complex within yourself, you can take steps to understand where the need comes from and put your rescue efforts into safe limits that allows you time to nurture yourself, too.

3. I was made to feel bad about myself as a child.

The need to be seen as “good” vs. “bad” most likely stems from a childhood in which you’ve been told over and over—in ways both verbal and non-verbal—that you are a bad person.

For those who’ve grown up with a parent exhibiting an extreme personality disorder such as narcissism, they will have been pummeled from an early age with cues that tell them they are worthless—yet all the while their inner soul screams that they are ARE worthwhile. Hence many of their actions in adulthood are subconsciously based on proving this worth.

For those sensitive souls who bear a love for animals, this kind of childhood trauma can bring with it a desire to prove you are good by rescuing those in need. As long as this desire and the actions to fulfill it are kept within the realm of manageable, rescue work can indeed be a way of bringing yourself some much-needed sense of self-worth and self-esteem.

It’s only when the desire blows out of proportion that hoarding can take over and deep trauma is again inflicted on both the person doing the hoarding and the animals she seeks to help.

4. I feel too guilty if I say “No.”

Guilt is a powerful motivator, and the very real possibility exists that an animal could suffer and die if you aren’t the one to take him/her into your home. When you have a need to be seen as Super-Saving-Dog-Woman, any time you say “No” and someone criticizes you for it, it will cut you to the depths of your soul.

But if you’re overwhelmed, it’s time to say “No.” Yes, there is always a temporary wave of guilt, but in the end it’s better because you’re not putting yourself last anymore. And guess what? Without scapegoats to pile all the work on, others will start to step up and do their share. We must stop enabling them by swooping in and causing ourselves further harm.

5. If I say “No” and the animal dies, it’s all my fault.

This is really the crux of the issue, and the last thing you want as an animal lover is to bear the emotional responsibility for animal deaths, even if you didn’t physically cause it. But you simply have to give yourself the gift of not carrying all the blame if you are full and can’t take anymore. If you’re doing your share as an active rescuer, you’re DOING YOUR VERY BEST. Did you breed the animal and cause him/her to be thrown into the shelter? No! Did you have room and said no just to be spiteful? No!

If you are full, stay off social media sites where you are pummeled with requests for help until you have room to take in one more. Like an alcoholic avoiding the bars, don’t go to where you are most tempted to put yourself and your animals in a position of overreach.

In the end, each of us must come to a realization for ourselves that we are not Super-Saving-Dog-Women (and Men.) We are simply humans doing our best, and as such we have limits and needs of our own to attend to. When you are able to reach this point, you have indeed made considerable progress on working through issues you’ve dragged along since childhood. Well done.

For a simple tapping exercise to help you release some of these negative emotions associated with the desire to over-rescue, tap along with the below video. To teach yourself tapping as a way to work through childhood trauma and reach a happier frame of mind, visit http://www.emofree.com.

 Tamira Thayne is the founder of Who Chains You Books and Spiritual Mentoring, and the pioneer of the anti-chaining movement in America. She spent 13 years on the front lines of chained-dog activism and rescue as founder and CEO of Dogs Deserve Better. She is the author of Foster Doggie Insanity: Tips and Tales to Keep your Kool as a Doggie Foster Parent, and Capitol in Chains: 54 Days of the Doghouse Blues. To book a one-on-one session with Mr. Thayne, visit the website at http://www.whochainsyou.com/activism.html.

New Children’s Book Highlights a Rescue Rat’s Search for a Home of Her Own

Meet Adele, a gorgeous little white rat who dreams of a home of her own. Yet every day in the shelter she’s passed over, met with looks of disgust from parents telling their children “it’s just a filthy rat.”

Yet they couldn’t be further from the truth. Written by author Heather Leughmyer in a beautifully singsong prose, this book is sure to change hearts and minds about this oft-overlooked companion. The verse is accompanied by 13 full-color illustrations by artist April Pedersen, and includes a children’s activity section at the back.

Enjoy this snippet from the book:

“In a shelter Adele lingered in a cage made of glass, where she patiently waited as people walked past. With delicate ears she listened each day, to the mewing of kittens and puppies at play. Curiously twitching her pretty pink nose, she sat groomed to perfection from whiskers to toes. Her tiny eyes glistened like two glossy stones, yet still, sweet Adele would remain all alone.

Dogs were adopted, people cooed over cats. Even hamsters found homes; why not a nice rat?”

Available in Paperback from Amazon and third-party vendors, as well as Kindle and Kindle Unlimited.

Do you run a rat rescue? Contact us at info@whochainsyou.com about deep discounts and wholesale pricing, allowing you to educate the public about rats and bring in some much-needed funds for your rescue!

Buy on Amazon | Buy on Kindle | Buy from Createspace and $1 Will be Donated to Unchained Melodies Dog Rescue

About the Author:

meHeather Leughmyer graduated from Indiana-Purdue University with a B.A. in English Writing and Linguistics. She is a dedicated vegan, animal rights activist and animal rescuer. Writing has been a passion of hers for as long as she has advocated for animals. By telling their stories and illustrating their pain she hopes to touch a few hearts and change a few minds with her words. She is the author of If Your Tears Were Human, also from Who Chains You Books. She lives in Columbia City, Indiana, with her husband, daughter, and several animal companions.

About the Illustrator:

aprilpedersenOur whimsical artist, April Pedersen, is a freelancer based in Reno, Nevada. She is partial to frogs, geocaching, science fiction, video poker, and chess.

Thinking of adding a rat
companion to your family?

Don’t Shop – Adopt!

Visit www.petfinder.com for a list of adoptable pets in your area.

Love this book? Please consider giving Adopting Adele a review on Amazon and other venues. Your reviews mean so much to our authors. Thank you!

Buy on Amazon | Buy on Kindle | Buy from Createspace and $1 Will be Donated to Unchained Melodies Dog Rescue

Been Told You’re ‘Too Sensitive’ for Caring About the Animals? Four Challenges Sensitive People Can Overcome to Make a Difference

 

Are you an animal activist or rescuer who’s been repeatedly told you’re ‘too sensitive’ for caring about animals? You are not alone.

One of the Universe’s little ironies is that the most sensitive among us are the ones tasked with doing one of the most difficult jobs…protecting the animals.

Yet this very same sensitivity—the gift of the ability to empathize, to put ourselves into the shoes, hooves, or paws of another being—puts us at greater risk for pain, depression, and immense suffering, whether we are following through with our chosen mission or not.

There are four hurdles to be overcome in working for the animals which can prove especially challenging to the sensitive soul.

1. Overcoming the Fear of Taking Action

Sensitive folks believe they’ve come to this planet to make a difference. When that difference is scary, such as advocating for animals left out on chains, animals that end up on peoples’ plates, or animals that are used for the amusement of humans, the fear—real and imagined—is amped up accordingly.

There exists the possibility that when one stands in the face of violence against animals, jail, physical and emotional harm, or even death can result. To the sensitive soul these confrontations with amoral people loom large and menacing.

The probability of failure is high, and even when there are successes to tide you over, the greater likelihood is that there remains a continued chance of defeat in each mission you undertake. Those who are sensitive take these failures more personally, believing that it’s all their fault—and just maybe they are not good people—if they can’t succeed.

2. Overcoming Debilitating Pain for and on Behalf of The Animals

For those of us who love animals, the thought of eating them, chaining them, caging them for our amusement, and the host of other uncurbed cruelties that abound out in the ‘real’ world cause us intense emotional discomfort.

We feel this pain on behalf of the tortured souls—as if we are experiencing it AS them—AND we feel this pain on behalf of our own tormented spirits, forced to witness the cruelty and feeling helpless to stop it.

Overwhelming anguish leads to depression, avoidance of the reality we face, and—worst case scenario—suicide.

When we are in such intense agony, it is very hard to act on behalf of the animals. All we can focus on is our own suffering and how to ameliorate it.

3. Overcoming Obstacles and Putdowns by Bullies and Authorities

Sensitive people by and large don’t fend off criticism as well as their neighbors and co-workers. Because they are so easily-affected by the putdowns of others, they struggle to place the far-flung words into perspective, to realize those who are directing abuse at them are really showing themselves for what they are: bullies. To the overwhelmed thought pattern of the empath, the putdowns becomes more proof that they must somehow be defective.

They have a harder time standing up to authorities—even though their moral compass is strong—because the desire to avoid conflict and an inherent kindheartedness is a large part of who they are. As such they are often mistaken for weak by those who bulldoze all those standing in their path.

4. Overcoming Defeat and Getting Back Up to Fight Again

Once a sensitive soul is down, it becomes all too tempting to roll over and play dead. They bury themselves in depression, alcohol, pills, food, TV-watching, internet surfing, or other activities that are self-defeating and don’t forward the mission of advocating for the animals.

Everyone on the front lines needs a break from time to time. Animal advocacy is a very difficult and soul-draining process, especially for those who are empathetic enough to fight on behalf of the animals.

There also comes a time in every activist or rescuer’s career when her front line days are over, she’s served her time, and she can then be of service to the cause as a mentor to others.

Ascertaining at which point on the spectrum the sensitive soul currently sits is an ongoing process, but overcoming a sense of defeat enough to stand and fight another day is a highly-commendable—and possible—goal.

Exactly How Does the Sensitive Soul Overcome These and Other Obstacles to Animal Activism?

Sometimes the most sensitive among us are surprisingly inept at inner reflection and strength-building. Most have suffered intense childhood wounding by their families of origin, and carry this pain into adulthood, mistakenly assuming they are stuck dragging it after them for life.

But our very ability to look deep, to release old, stuck issues, can make the difference in overcoming the obstacles and creating a new reality for ourselves.

Often a childhood fraught with animal abuse brings about the very desire to make a difference for the animals as adults, and letting go of the pain and blame from childhood will go a long way toward giving us the strength to stand tall for those we are now tasked with protecting.

There are a myriad of ways to let go, and there is no wrong way as long as it works for you. Just start exploring the infinite possibilities. I recommend reading “The Four Agreements” if you haven’t already done so, and take its lessons to heart. The agreements are simple yet profound, and the book is short and perfect for multiple readings—as you’ll find it easy to forget what you’ve learned and fall back into childhood patterns.

I’ve become a fan of and use tapping, aka EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique), for myself and my clients, as a solid means by which to free negative emotions and build a strong inner core through drawing the positive into your life.

To teach yourself tapping (one of the reasons I love it is that you can totally teach it to yourself), visit the founder’s website and go through the lessons. You won’t regret it. http://www.emofree.com.

Below is a video to get the sensitive souls among us started in overcoming obstacles today. Tap along and you’ll start releasing a little of that pain and negativity within the first 15 minutes!

Tamira Thayne is the founder of Who Chains You Books and Spiritual Mentoring, and the pioneer of the anti-chaining movement in America. She spent 13 years on the front lines of chained-dog activism and rescue as founder and CEO of Dogs Deserve Better. She is the author of Foster Doggie Insanity: Tips and Tales to Keep your Kool as a Doggie Foster Parent, and Capitol in Chains: 54 Days of the Doghouse Blues. To book a one-on-one session with Mr. Thayne, visit the website at http://www.whochainsyou.com/activism.html.