Honey bees are social insects. They live communally and depend on each other for their very existence. Everyone has a role, and when these tiny toilers pull together, amazing things get done. An entire colony is built and fed; the young are cared for; everyone has a home.
To succeed, they need to communicate. They share vital information about food sources by performing a dance when they return to the hive. The “waggle dance” indicates that food is far away, while a “round dance” signals a shorter flight and quick payoff. The more vigorous the dance, the better the food – which means success for everyone.
Rescue works like this. It’s generally not mugshots or desperate pleas posted to websites or social media that gets displaced animals to new homes. It is the communication between people and our communal network. Of course, the photos and stories are important. Great photos create that first connection. And since dogs can’t write, we have to tell their stories for them. But the exchange of information – one person reaching out to another – is how we build a strong network (our hive) and truly connect people to animals in need.
Case in point: Lilly & Lucy’s story was shared hundreds of times across social media. But it was a long-time volunteer who knew that a neighbor had been looking for a bonded pair of dogs that may have made the difference for our two Pakistani girls. This weekend, the family drove hours through thick traffic and scorching heat to meet the dogs. We are very hopeful that it is a match.
Faith and Hope’s story was also viewed extensively. But it was a connection made between friends that may spell hope for Faith. One friend knew that the other had recently lost her dog at age 18 and was looking for a pup that could fit comfortably into her menagerie. We’ll know this week when they meet.
Our paws are crossed for all three because someone made the very human connection.
Everyone can play a role in rescue – but posting sad pictures of animals in distant shelters to a rescue’s social media channels doesn’t get it done. It is in doing the dance and making very personal connections right where you live.
You don’t need to travel too far from the hive. If you can’t volunteer your physical self, familiarize yourself with a local rescue or shelter’s animals and process. Then, become the crazy dog/cat/whatever person that everyone knows at work, church, or in your neighborhood. Talk to people about responsible breeders, training, spay and neuter. Learn about their animals, companionship needs, and when their heart and home might be ready for another. And then connect the dots. Do the waggle dance. Spread the word. Extend the community. Communicate.
That is how rescue works. One person – and one animal at a time.