Turning Pain Into Purpose

Dear Dr. Darcy,

For the past two years I've thrown myself into volunteering with a local dog rescue. To say it fed my spirit is an understatement.  I was really and truly committed to rescue.  I loved every minute of it.  I didn't go on vacations and when I was off from work, I was immersed in activity.

Well, last night the group’s officers told us that they were disbanding our group. I didn't think it would affect me this way, but my heart is broken.  I had become close to 8 of the other volunteers, and we were all shocked by the announcement (we have a hard working group).

I feel broken.  I can't stop crying, and I don't think I can bounce back from this.  I'm just devastated.  My loving husband insists that rescue groups are a dime a dozen, and that I should jump into another one.  When I even think about it though, I can't move. What do you think?


I think the world is a better place because of people like you who feel compelled to give voice to those who have none.  On behalf of everyone who finds reasons not to volunteer with animals and thinks writing a check suffices, I thank you.

The pain that you’re feeling is complicated.  It’s not just about finding another pet-project (no pun initially intended, but I like it) to fill the hole that yours left.  It’s about something having come to an abrupt end.  As you know, even if you dive into another dog rescue, it will be different:  Different volunteers, different rules…Different everything. And while I spend more hours than I care to admit preaching change, change sucks.  Humans hate it.  We like predictability and certainty and right now you’re feeling an absence of both. The loss may also be rubbing up against some other losses that perhaps you didn’t work through, making this one extra painful.

I’m a big fan of turning pain into purpose.   I’m sure you have enough knowledge of dog rescues to create your own.  You’ve probably met tons of caring people in the last 2 years…people who can help you.  Maybe this is the universe’s way of telling you to do it yourself.  Learn from the old dog run’s mistakes and don’t repeat them.  It’s an opportunity to create something better.   Set up a Paypal account and then ask your Facebook friends to each consider donating $10.00.  You can raise a ton of money that way.  And I’ll be happy to make a $100.00 donation.  Just shoot me the link to your Paypal account when it’s ready.  Now get going.  There are a lot of dogs out there that need you.

Writer's Stats: Straight, Married.