Sunday, November 1, 2009

Does This Really Happen?

“Here is an attachment of the stolen Spotted Saddle Horse, Tennessee Walking Horse. Please feel free to post on Facebook, if you have that talent...I am not talented! It has taken all night all day to do this...I can't imagine what Debi and Harold Metcalfe go through each and every day!”
What you have just read was sent to me in one of my emails yesterday. Before I answer the question I must first tell you about the person from which the question came.

I actually met this little spit fire NetPosse member this past July at a clinic in Georgia in which she hosted. She cares so much about her horses that she not only wanted to protect them by getting them microchipped and freeze branded that she decided to do it herself. And she did this for the first time in front of an audience! Now that is gutsy! She is my kind of woman! No fear!

Meet NetPosse Sonya!

She has been very helpful in the past with various tasks that I needed done for NetPosse and for the victims. Every alert that is sent to her is sent to her own contacts. It did not surprise me when she not only made the first contact to me about a recent theft in her state but, she has been working right with the victim up close and personal ever since. I can’t tell you what a help she has been.

Sonya has learned her lessons well from the examples set forth by me, Angela, Michelle and countless other volunteers that have come before her. The email excerpt below shows just how hard Sonya is working.

“The TV station is finally meeting with the owner after a week. Tomorrow, the Sheriff's Dept. may show up as they promised again for the 5 or 6th time? A newspaper is doing an article, because I spoke to a girl whose 1st horse was stolen by her trainer. So see what God does....and Thank You!”

Sonya is responsible for getting the report filed. She is responsible for helping the victim get her pictures emailed to us for the website. She paid for the listing. She is responsible for getting the news media involved. She has been sending me updates. She has been rallying her troops to help find this horse like it was her own. Below is an example of one of the dozens of emails that she has sent since her first email telling me about the stolen horse.

Sonya said in one email, “I have 60 fliers ready for the owner to pass out as well as me and I only barely know how you feel...good Lord! So what can I do as a slow satellite girl? This was an interesting chore. But, now it is the wait. That is the hard part and then, once you get it in ...does the wait matter? The TV channel is interviewing her due to pressure from the horse community here.”

It was after three days of working night and day, attacking the many task that are involved in the first few days after a horse is stolen that Sonya wrote to me the following email with exasperation in her voice asking, (Yes, I can hear emotion in the words typed in front of me.)

“I may vent here. I called to see how the afternoon went with trying to locate her horse in Cuthbert. I told her to start contacting the auction houses and asking for fax # and then, send a fax of the flyer. She said she had called the one in Alabama. Not any of the others. She was at a Field Trial and could not call at the moment?

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr....etc. Grr Does this happen often?”

What she is really wants to know is when I work this hard for someone to help them find their horse, is it often that it seems like I am working harder or care more about getting the horse back than the owner?

Unfortunately the answer to that question is sometimes, yes. The owner of this horse was at a field trial today, just a few days after her horse was stolen. Would I have been there? It is hard to say since I really don’t know the circumstances in which she had to be there. I do know from my own personal experience that it you would have dragged me kicking and screaming to any event other than something where I could pass out flyers and enlist help in finding Idaho. Perhaps that is why she was there?

Still, I know Sonya had to be wondering at some point after loosing sleep and constantly thinking about what she could do next to help; is it worth all the work? Poor thing is on slowwwwwwwwwwwwwww satellite internet too. I chuckled as I pictured her sitting in the study pecking away at the keys, reminiscence of my early days on dial up.

“I feel for you because I have been sitting at the satellite computer...with clouds wanting to kill it, but being patient because I am on a mission!”

I know computer problems and am doing this blog for the second time because my desktop seemed to have a mind of its own tonight. And in its mind it didn’t like what I was writing the first time and decided to shut down AOL and POOF it was gone! I actually liked the first one better and have not found the same words for this rewrite.
My mind is wandering and I need to get back to the subject. But first, now that I am thinking about it I have to say this and get it out of my system in regards to my dear desktop. &^%$#@!!!!! @#$%^!!!

Cleansing breath…………………………………………………………………….

Now it is out of my system. I can continue. Where was I? Oh yes, work at NetPosse.

The hours here are long and tiring and sleep is something that eludes me way to often. I stay up late unable to wind down. I get up early because the thought swirling in my head demand my attention more than the pillow top beneath me. The phone rings off and on all day with people asking questions I have heard many times. I treat each one as if it were the first time I heard their questions.

I spend my entire day checking emails, answering the ones I can and setting aside the others for later, hoping I don’t forget them. There are reports to follow up on with victims and law enforcement officers. There are articles to write and interviews with the news media. Some of my other duties include marketing and accounting for which I am really under skilled. I twitter and check my Facebook. I spend hours processing on IDAHO Alert.

There is also my travel schedule which includes many task before I even turn the key in the ignition in my car to leave the house. Task like setting the event, planning my presentation if I am speaking, planning and gathering the materials for the booth, making DVD to play in the booth, buying and packaging products, packing the car, shipping materials ahead of me when I fly, packing my suitcase and packing Harold, (yes ladies some things never change). Let’s not forget that when Harold goes with me then we have to find care for my mother-in-law Nell.

One of the biggest and hardest tasks of any nonprofit is finding the funding to continue the work that is done. We are no different and this recession has made it even harder to find the dollars and fundraisers to acquire the much needed funding. If I could just find someone to do all the other things or someone to just take over the fundraising I may find time to ride my own horse again.

If you don’t know me you may think I was complaining about all the work. True some days are good ones and some aren’t so good. I do get disillusioned at times but it is all worth it to me. You see, I love this job.

I didn’t ask for it nor would I have chose to work the hours I do. But, I love seeing people benefit from the educational programs we have set forth for a decade. I love seeing random acts of kindness that would not have occurred had it not been for the theft of one horse in 1997, Idaho. I love working with enthusiastic volunteers like Sonya, who has learned so much and is so caring and unselfish.

I love the good people that I meet. I love solving problems with Angela and hearing her input. I love Michelle’s ability to answer questions on my behalf because she has volunteered so long that like Angela, this small nonprofit has become part of her soul.

In a days time I can see the worst of people and the best of people. I can be disappointed, mad and happy in the same period of time.

Why do this job if it is so hard? Because, when an email drops in my box announcing another recovery or I get a phone call like the one from Keith Caughran who found Max after 58 weeks, there is no feeling like the one that flows over my body in that moment. I have no words for that moment but I can tell you this, it is as if my whole body is smiling. Now that is a mighty big smile indeed.

At the end of the day when I do drop in bed exhausted I know that on this day I, Debi Metcalfe, made a difference. And because of all the good I witness, I never underestimate the power of one.

And to you Sonya, this week you became that ONE in a big way. Thank you. :-) I hope you stick around!

Now, on 11/1/2009 at 2:06 AM I am going to drop on my pillow top.

Good night and thanks for listening.



kokonatsu said...

If one call it re-posting (alike re-tweeting), I passed Cheyenne's alert on on Facebook..

plowgirl said...

I tried to thank you Debi. I expended a lot of emotion on this and worried about my own horses. Cried when I saw tires marks last week in my garden coming from the woods while we had been at church. Some people on two 4 wheelers tore up my mustard greens. I was grateful the horses and dogs were okay. The greens will be fine! They did kill a sprinkler. I hope I can post this?