Hey, thank you. I mean it.

Amy Olivieri | Unleash Jacksonville

I was thinking about the power of a thank you this week. It’s kind of immeasurable. (I guess, in all transparency, if pressed … and maybe given a floor-to-ceiling chalk board, and a three-year grant, I could come up with a mathematical formula. But I’d kind of like to get this post finished today. Immeasurable. When you say thank you and mean it … it most definitely has far reaching effects beyond the smile you put on someone’s face, or the opening of their heart.

Let’s consider the absence of a thank you for just a sec (but only for a sec because it’s  yucky) … the impact is immediate. (I’ve already discovered the mathematical formula for this, but I don’t think you’d understand it. It’s really really advanced.) You let someone in front of you on the road and … no wave! What the …?  You open the door for someone and … they whisk past you—all you’re left with is the smell of their stinky dryer sheet which probably causes cancer. Well F you, then. You buy your friend a beer and … not so much as a cheers! You’re so frickin’ rude, dude. The “thank you” absence births stress, anger, tongue biting, violent hand motions, squelched feelings, and it leaves you feeling less likely to do that lovely gesture for that lovely person in the future. Depending on what it is and the mood you’re in, the anti-thank you can ruin your day.

When you are grateful for the awesomeness of someone or something they did, you can participate and expand on that energy. Thank you, you are amazing for bringing my mail every day (even though it’s just a MINT magazine and a bill for the sewer)—you don’t have to mention that last part. Being appreciated truly energizes people. It’s encouraging to know you have purpose and that you are connected and that someone notices you. The young man at the grocery store took extra care with your produce … Thank you for doing a great job. I appreciate it. I kinda hate your haircut, but to each their own—again, maybe don’t mention that last part. A sincere thank you makes that baggerboy want to keep doing a good job. Your dog leaves you the last piece of pizza because he knows you’ve had a hard day at work. Thank you for thinking of me, Bingo, you’re very kind. Sometimes I think about what it would be like if we were boyfriend girlfriend—I really need to learn to just stop at the thank you part.

Thank you, rain. I mean it. I was feeling your absence.
Everything is connected.

As someone who is connected to some of the most self-less, big-hearted, seemingly-tireless-but-ever-tired animal rescue and advocacy human beings (some personally, some only on the Facebook), it seems like it could be lonely. It seems like it can be heart wrenching, emotionally and physically exhausting, and I see it can definitely be thank•less. It seems to also be rewarding and happy and victorious at times, but it’s never ending. It’s a passion and a calling and something you can’t just up and walk away from. Fuck it, I’m not doing this any more … doesn’t seem like an option (but a thought that I’m sure happens maybe daily?) There’s that big heart—I can see it glowing with goodness—it’s soft and mushy for suffering animals. They’re empathetic beyond what most people can imagine. I have a feeling those in the trenches of rescue physically hurt inside much of the time—mostly in that heart area, but a lot of the time in the stomach, too, because of the things they can’t do. I see them spend their own money even when they have none. They can’t turn their backs, it would go against everything in their being. They do things people say they wish they could  do … I wish I could save that dog. These beings who are rescuers find a way to do it. I wish I could go to the shelter and help, but it’s too sad. These beings who are advocates go, because they don’t want to think about what happens if they don’t. They embody the strength and the forward motion for all of us.

Changing a situation for just one animal can take a chain of events and a slew of people—you are very likely one of them. Even sharing a post can have great impact that you may never know about. Thank you to all, I mean it.

Here is the gist of what I’m getting at today—let’s work on connection through thank you. Gratitude seems to be a buzz word right now, but I hope you’re not tired of hearing it. It’s the way to happiness, people. We are connected (if you don’t feel like it today, try doing something about it). We are a community. Animal lovers. Rescuers. People who want to help. People who do help.

A teeny-tiny act of kindness + gratitude is all it takes. This will take literally 5 minutes (unless you don’t have a piece of paper. Then you’ll have to go to the store—in that case, tack on 30 minutes—pick up envelopes and Doritos while you’re there.) Let’s go old school and write a thank you note today! Unleash Jacksonville has almost 2000 awesome followers … imagine the impact if even half participated in our “Hey, Thank You” exercise! This week, I’d like us to thank Fawns Small Dog Rescue, who often pulls older small dogs in need of medical care that are dumped at shelters. (They’ve got a lot of younger small dogs as well, so if you’re looking to adopt small—young or old, check them out.) If you follow them on Facebook, you will see some of the sweet dogs they’re working on saving and finding homes for. I’m going to suggest sending them a physical thank you note, even if you’re just learning of them today. If you love animals you can send them heartfelt thanks in an effort toward connecting. Think of the impact we can have as a group if we all send a thank you with a five-dollar-bill (or one dollar-bill or twenty-dollar bill or just a lovely simple thank you note!). Just a little somethin somethin for doing great work for our community.

Fawns doesn’t know we’re doing this—except tagging them may have tipped them off, I guess. I hope they’ll find at least a few thank you notes in their mailbox, and it will make them feel loved.

Fawns Small Dog Rescue
PO Box 2607
Orange Park, FL 32067

Hey! Thank you for reading. I mean it.