Tis a Humbling Thing

supermanIt is a humbling thing to be confronted with the fact that you are not Superman. You can no longer do things you once could … or rather, when you do them anyway you pay a hefty price. Stamina fades faster that it once did. And concepts you were confident you could handle turn out to be deeply distressing.

This is a big part of why I said “farewell” to my co-workers at the Humane Society of Jefferson County today. This was a bittersweet parting for I do need to rest and heal but I have enjoyed working with the animals, and the people, and I have learned a lot: especially in the realm of medical treatments and testing.

All of the staff members were (are) great to work with: patient while I was learning (for there is a great deal to learn) and helpful when I lagged behind. I found no petty rivalries here: they are a team of big-hearted, hard working people dedicated to providing a clean, safe environment for the animals in their care, and then finding them homes again. There are also some wonderful volunteers who step in to help and will work hard without pay. These volunteers deserve an extra helping of praise.


On the one hand, I love working with the animals. Except maybe the rats: I still can’t say I enjoy the rats. As a youngster I wanted to be a veterinarian, but that was not to be. The medical side of this job has been as close to that as I’ve come. And I liked it. I like every one of the people who I worked with, and will miss them.

On the other hand, I will again have time to spend with the 6 dogs I have at home: some are pets, some are fosters. I’m supposed to be training the fosters, I will again have time to actually do that. These animals will be thrilled to NOT be cooped up and on their own all day, almost every day. I will also have the opportunity to let my abused body heal, and to catch up on the “office” work that has been piling up while I was occupied elsewhere.

So I’m moving on. Or stepping back or … maybe sideways. It’s hard to say yet. But I feel this is the right thing to do, even if it’s not easy.

7 thoughts on “Tis a Humbling Thing”

  1. Doug – Stepping back from one thing is not necessarily a “step back” when it’s the right thing to do (even if it isn’t easy) You’ll definitely have more time for your foster pups; they need the attention/ training so they can find their furever home 😊🐾

    1. I am trying to see it that way. When I look at all the blocks that have popped up in my path I can see that I did not properly assess things (fancy way of saying I messed up).

      1. Well just start again from where you are. 😊That’s what I’ve had to do (doesn’t mean I didn’t go kicking and screaming and at times though ) BTW I am no longer 20 either 😐So I totally understand about the stamina thing.
        Take care.

        PS I love the way you write, about the pup dogs ( especially when it is from their perspective)

  2. Yes it is true these old bodies don’t have the stamina and strength of younger years definitely hard to double duty. We must pace ourselves.

    1. I know I’m 60-some-odd years old, I just can’t admit to having the BODY of a 60-some-odd year old. Still think of myself as 40ish. Sigh.

  3. The following were comments left on the Facebook link to this article. You can see why this was a hard decision

    Reactions: Julie Carter, Gregory Hadley and 11 others
    Gregory Hadley
    Doug, you taught me so much, while we were caring for the cats and dogs. I appreciate the training and your patience. You are a kind man and I respect your compassion for animals.

    Julie Carter
    We will absolutely miss you! Come back as often as you’d like even for just a visit! Thank you for everything you have done for the animals and the shelter!

    Kris Spencer
    OMG Doug! I literally have tears running down my face (and that doesn’t happen much unless I am mad, well because I’m a toughie or at least try to act like I am). You are one of the kindest, most-selfless, consistent and reliable persons I know. You will definitley be missed by me and the animals you have cared for and all the ones that will pass through that won’t have the chance to know you. Take care of you! and feel free to stop in anytime to chat, visit, or do any “special” projects. you will always be welcomed!

    Ezra Crum
    Doug I am happy to have been involved in this journey of yours. Good luck on your next step in life

    Pascal Robin
    Doug, I won’t lie when you turned in your resignation it was a cruel reminder to me that sometimes good things do have to come to an end. I’m forever grateful for our paths crossing and will miss our afternoons at the shelter RUNNING AROUND CRAZY. Things always happen for a reason and maybe your reason was to save Josie, Julian, Buddy and Sylvia. The impact you have made on their lives will forever be embedded in their tiny little souls. Or maybe it was to be apart of our shelter family and teach us things we thought we already knew. I am glad I find it difficult to say goodbye to you because it means you meant a lot to me. You are always welcome to come back on a Wednesday or Thursday afternoon for old times sake 😉

    Susan Cardwell
    Friends with Pascal Robin and 2 others
    Best wishes Doug! I didn’t realize you were leaving! You will be greatly missed- you have a gift with animals!

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Unity Through Humility