MEET CONTESSA BEAR SMITH (“TESSA”)
When asked to write the “success story” about Contessa Bear Smith, all I could think is that her rescue is a collaborative celebration in a series of devoted work and sacrifices of others. Tessa truly is a precious addition to my life as she is a thriving survivor rescued from slaughter in the Korean dog meat trade.
As a Korean-born naturalized U.S. citizen, I find a great deal of shame in the unconscionable appetites of those in Korea and around the world where cultural superstitions heap wretched atrocities and harm on those least able to protect and speak up for themselves. There is an absurd wives’ tale that says inflicting suffering upon an animal makes their brutalized flesh taste better and reduces the imbalance of heat in the consumers’ body. How is that considered sound, rational thinking?
I honor those like Nami Kim, outliers of institutionalized power and social environs, who dare to take a stand against outdated, ignorant, and barbaric practices, often going stealth and enduring ridicule, abuse, and loss of all that are comforts in life for the sake of a greater cause. And what greater mission could there be than to champion innocence–bearers of pure love and the rescue and preservation of the same? Activists like Nami Kim lay down their own needs because they fight for others who can still have a chance at living a full life without the wounds of abuse, neglect, deep pain and in so doing call out to the best nature in every sentient being. To me, my baby girl Tessa and her fellow rescues are living testimonies that people can choose to walk out compassion and cherish all living things and therefore elevate our brief journey in this world. Hats off with all my heart to animal activists like Nami Kim who worked with Wags and Walks to save not only Tessa but many others!
The numbers are out there…in the endless array of fact-finding you can do about the worldwide dog meat trade. I will spare you the staggering numbers, but suffice it to say that lack of conscience and over-consumption undergird the ongoing brutality. As a realist, I know the abuse toward others (human or not) will not cease in our current dystopia, but we can fight with and within current structures of governance to curtail much of its worst manifestations…and bring offenders to justice to help prevent others. I applaud Nami Kim’s approach – to save all she can with boots on the ground while using publicity and people en masse to apply pressure to enforce standing laws that are supposed to prohibit causing suffering of these animals. This is compassion in the real world with real effect–a place we can all begin to make change on solid footing until every human by their free-will educated choice make conscious choices that serve the great good than just their own gain.
Tessa is still getting adjusted in her new forever home with a big brother who was not quite ready for her. To be honest, neither was I!
Completely happy with my only fur-kid Rocky Bear Smith who is also a rescue saved by Dogs Without Borders after someone threw his litter out in a garbage bag to die, my husband and I could not imagine adding another pup to my home. Also known as Rocky The Rescue for his on-set work in film and television and for contributions back to animal rescue through his book, I felt I could not have had a sweet and more content life with a dog. However, in seeing how Tessa became my baby girl, it is a blessing from the Maker of all creation. I am reminded that the sweetest gifts are often unexpected, specific…swift to capture your entirety.
Thank you for reading this, and I would like to share links for you to explore ways that you are led to lend your support to rescuing most deserving creatures around the world. If not for the animals, themselves, think toward offering your boost of morale to activists who undoubtedly could use support to continue their relentless fight.
Lots of blessings to you!
Jane Park Smith