The BIG Question

  • Posted: June 27, 2011 
  • by Karen Ragusa   -  
  • Comments Off on The BIG Question


I’m really new at this whole asking for large donations thing… waiting for months to hear, anticipating a yes and even scheduling a board meeting with all of my new members to make the big announcement.

It could have either been a meeting of celebration or to regroup. But no, nothing. Nothing announced. I have been checking the web to see if maybe I missed something, although it seems far too big to miss. Did I get the date wrong? Did I dream this whole dream? No, couldn’t be. I told too many people. Forwarded too many emails.

Then, got up and got to the work at hand. Unpacking in a place I don’t plan to stay. Time will only show where from here.

I cried and vowed today that I would not be in a position again like I found myself in May. I had encountered Richard, a dear soul who had been injured, no tortured, almost beyond recognition. He implored for life in the only way he knew how. Demanding and angry. Begging fiercely to be set free. I had to make the decision based on too little space and felt that I had to let him go.

I WILL NEVER MAKE THAT CHOICE AGAIN. Richard deserved a chance to overcome his viciousness and to experience kindness. He deserved a cool room with a warm bed. He deserved a soft hand to feed him; one that wouldn’t dare hit him.

And humanity deserved; no, cries out… .FOR LOVE!

I hate that money is the necessary tool to solve some of these issues. I don’t care about money nor do I desire to have an abundance anymore. But for these precious souls, it’s a necessary tool.

Here I sit with mixed feelings: disappointment for not hearing about the Petco grant and elation over what I do have.

I do not yet have the property that we so desire to have, but I do have an air conditioned house for which I am greatful. However, it is very small to encamp the two humans and thirteen creatures currently here. My back is sore from unpacking- but it IS working still after all.

Contentment is not the fulfillment of what we want, but rather the realization of how much we already have.

I had the great privilege to babysit Chalupa while his momma went on vacation and remembered how grateful I was to get a scrawny little chihuahua out of Dekalb last Fall that I didn’t have an inch of room to take in at the time. He didn’t take up much room since he was emaciated and hid in a corner. But JOY, he slept with me and did his little Groucho Marx dance as only he can do before leaving me yesterday to go home.

  • I have Prescotte, the last remaining boy of the 5 dogs removed from that terrible property. Even though he lost his foster and doesn’t have a prospect of a forever home yet, he loved riding back with Darryl tonight in his broken down pick up truck, snuggling near when he was scared of the rain. Then he came in and got to drink fresh water to his heart’s content, licked the mayo off of a spoon, had a great big bite of sausage and smiled.
  • I have Baby G, a not so frightened after a whole year of having her here with me, little girl who only lets 4 people to date touch her, but oh what a joy it is when she licks my ears in the morning and wakes me up!
  • I can’t leave out Savannah . Sweet Savannah who acts out so bad at adoptions that no one can see how truly amazing she is. She’s really perfect in every way. Her aloof disposition and high energy melt away when she gets into a secure environment and she is truly a perfect pet companion in every way. Never any trouble at all. Somehow, some day, someone will see what I see in her and love her for the rest of her life. Until then, I will put her beautiful cheeks inside my hands and say “My Savannah, ohhh my Savannah ”. When I do that she looks back at me with the most thankful eyes that let me know that she understands and is grateful.
  • Sweet Isabelle who can’t seem to decide if she likes men or not, is growing into the most outrageously wonderful dog. She can be pushy, but in the most demure way. She makes me laugh at least 10 times a day. She got into my cedar logs today that I put in my drawers for freshening… I plan to clean the mess up tomorrow since it’s just too late now and my back won’t bend over 🙂
  • Then there’s Little Miss. My one eyed overweight senior girl who looks like a train wreck but is the most beautiful creature on the inside. She can flat out win you over if you just spend one minute with her. But no one calls because she’s not winning any beauty contests. She obviously was out in a hurricane in Orlando where she was rescued from at Christmas time. She exhibits an intense fear of storms like no other dog I’ve seen. But if I crate her and put a heavy blanket over and play really loud music, she settles in… somehow understanding that’s the worst part of her life now. Much better than before. And if she ends up with me for another year, we’re OK with that. But I do hope for so much more for her- please understand that she’s cramped in 1200 square feet, sharing me with 12 others right now. She deserves so much more.
  • At this very moment I’m listening to the last intake, Foxy. The one that I got out of boarding Friday. Told my husband, my volunteers, my family that I wouldn’t take another in while I’m in transition and working on where to go from here. But I couldn’t say no to the apt manager who called me about a 30lb package of fear that someone moved and left behind in Lilburn. I knew that she was adoptable if we could just love her. She didn’t have a chance at animal control and quite frankly most rescue groups aren’t running to pull biters. Sooooo… here she is in my tiny living room with Isabelle. They adore each other. And to my surprise she is coming around quickly. I am grateful for what I already have.

Lots of fuzzy love! My dear 4 personal “littles” and my three cats who are so willing to let these rescues come in and take up their space and put up with all of the constant change. Especially because we pull them into our rescue “messy” and adopt them out “clean”. God has truly blessed me with Ccino (7 yr old pap/chi), Breeze (17.5 yr old doxy), Lucy and Reigna (4 yr old terrors, I mean terrier girls; Clancy, Abraham and T.C. (my sweet 3 cats, one of them fiv positive/ bet you can’t guess which one!)

And thank God for Darryl, my husband of 30 + years (I’ve stopped counting) who acts like he doesn’t want this for his life most of the time but still gets up every morning and provides for us the best way he knows how and sticks with C4C and me.

And my sweet and precious daughter who actually makes sure this stuff gets out to the universe on the web.

I’m so grateful for my wonderful, faithful team of volunteers who do it for the animals but love me too.

And now I have the most precious group of board members- folks that will journey with C4C this year and advise us how to make a difference.

Can’t forget about the terrific fosters. Such terrific fosters… one that made two home visits for me tonight traveling to Athens and with storms brewing, since I’m away from Atlanta while waiting for a miracle… who could ask for more?

Maybe, just maybe, that the grant will still come in so that we could actually live out the vision placed in our hearts and minds.

But….. in the meantime I am content.

My heart is overflowing with gratefulness for the privilege of doing God’s work.

Can’t dwell on what we don’t have. We’re getting Stella and Harley back next week and have to find a spot, *make* a spot for them….

I am thankful for YOU, for caring enough to read my thoughts. I humbly ask for your prayers.

Fondly yours,



Written by Karen Ragusa

Karen has gracefully run this organization and watched it grow since 2008. She's seen it all over the years and loves to write about her adventures!

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