Epilogue: The quiet heroes

When I was at the telethon yesterday, I asked Mike Arms how he was doing. “I just got back from Prague,” he said, “where I was asked to give a keynote address to an international assembly of animal rescuers from 50 countries.”

He told me he doesn’t write his remarks ahead of time. I guess that is something you just learn how to do over time. If I got up there I would have just stammered for a few minutes and then resorted to knock knock jokes.

But I digress. I asked him what he said, and he replied that he told the group this:

“Firemen save lives every day, and don’t hesitate to call them heroes.

Policemen save lives every day, and they too are recognized as heroes.

Doctors, EMTs- the list goes on and on. If you save a life, you are a hero.”

Then he looked out at the assembled group, and he told them, “So why are you so reluctant to take credit for what you do? YOU are heroes. Please stand up and be recognized for the amazing work you do to save lives.” I think his words were a little more eloquent, but that’s the gist.

I have spent enough time with animal rescue people to know that they are probably the last people who would ever stand up and label themselves as the heroes they are. Animal lovers tend to be humble, generous to a fault, and willing to delve into the messiness of dealing with the often harsh realities that arise out of the way we treat our animal friends. This is not a cause you can take on from a clean and safe distance.

And you, all of you here, are those people. Heroes who have given up a night of sleep in order to raise money for pets and people in need. You’ve cried along with me, laughed, given more than you probably could afford. You’ve shared stories, kept me company in the wee hours of twilight, celebrated and mourned and experienced all of this along with me.

I can’t afford to fly you all to Prague to do this, but I’ll do it here: you, each and every one who took the time to come here with me and with my blogger friends, are heroes. You don’t have to stand up- maybe that’s a little overkill- but from me to you, take a moment to close your eyes and really drink in the good you have done.

You didn’t have to be here. You could be watching TV or having a latte at Starbucks or be spending time with your family, but you gave of yourself and your time and your life to be here. You guys are my heroes.

Thank you.

Filed: Blogathon, Blogathon 2010
  • Lisa W

    YOU are a hero, and an example to all of us! Thank you for all you do.

  • Tonya

    Thank your for another wonderful, successful, fun blog-a-thon! I just DM’d you on twitter about rounding the $1438 total to $1500, so you can count on that and use the $1500 number. 😉

  • Tricia & LilyPup

    Yes, you are the hero. Now get some well deserved rest.

  • Tamara

    This blogathon has been such a joy. After a tough work week, I needed a recharge on my inspiration and blogathon 2010 has provided it. Thank you 🙂 Tomorrow, we’ll continue to fight the good fight for pets!

  • You did another amazing job! Happy sleep!

  • Megan

    It wasn’t much, but I was able to donate a little bit at the last minute. I’m still without a job, but getting this little boy a service dog is a very important thing. Thank YOU for being a hero and staying up all night to bring awareness to his cause. I hope that we, together, have been able to raise enough money to get him his furry companion.

    • That means so much to me, you have no idea. When you really can’t and you give anyway, that is the most tremendous gift you can give. (( ))

  • Congrats to Dr V and all the other bloggers on a great blogathon. We were honored to be a (small) part of it.

  • JC aka flattopgoo

    This is really beautiful. And it’s true. I know that Cinder is the change (as far as Be the Change) as she is such an amazing ambassador of shelter dogs. But I do know and love the fact that I was able to save her life. I would like to think that if I hadn’t adopted her, someone else would have. But the reality is that her time was short. She was a less-adoptable. Truly, she is my hero but I think she probably thinks the same about me. That is what is so beautiful about the human-animal bond. :0)

  • Kim

    Thanks for all you do!

  • martina

    It was fun to follow the Blogathon and everyone’s hard work is appreciated. I have a dog from a puppy mill. Every day I look at him and give thanks for the wonderful people who rescued him and let me adopt him.

  • Being involved in this even as a prize giver/blogathon reader/commenter has really boosted my morale and made me so in awe of everything that everyone has been doing for Bradyn, the National Mill Dog Rescue, The Healing Paws and a New Leash on Life, the Boggs Mtn Humane Shelter, as well as the countless other animal charities and shelters that people help outside of blogathons. Y’all definitely rocked my socks and are heroes that I will adore forever.

  • Linda Huebner

    You are all my heroes! I am Bradyns Grandmother,”Memi.” I can not tell you how much your dedication and hard work to help us get Bradyn his Seizure Alert Dog means to us. I had never been to a Blogathon before and had no idea what to expect. I loved every minute of it! You are all awesome and have my everlasting admiration! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

  • Great job!! I’m glad to have been a part of it – thank you for your hard work!!

  • Thank you for the inspiration and leadership. Without you, Blogathon 2010 would not have happened at all. It was fun, crazy, exhilarating and exhausting all at the same time. I’m glad I was able to play a small part in it.