Duna, a two month old puppy with a misshapen front leg, resting on my lap.

How My Life Went To Special-Need Animals

Submitted 2 years ago
Created by
Andrea Conger

...and how I found my purpose

As a kid, I dreamed of training circus animals, or becoming a veterinarian. I guess, even then I knew, some way or another,  I will always be connected to animals. 

I tried out different professions - just to make sure I did not miss out on anything else I might be interested. You do things like that when you are an indecisive person like I am.

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Elder care, child care, psychological studies, hospital and restaurant work, medical offices and retail. None of them caught my long term interest. Do not misunderstand me. I felt passionate about taking care of others and I still do when I have time to share. 

After years and years of playing with ideas, failed attempts of 'fake it til you make it',  I turned towards my original, childhood dream -  helping animals. 

Without sounding egotistic, I can say that I am good at many things. For instance, I knit and type very fast. Now these are not lifesaving skills, but still....   I also have a green thumb and able to revive your struggling, dried out houseplants. I rock at picking up foreign languages, at being a mom, and lip syncing dramatic pop songs. I owe my last talent to spending my first nineteen years in one of the most dramatic countries of the world - Hungary. 

Now that I brought you to my native country, you wonder what on Earth does it have to do with being an animal activist? Well... there is a sad but clear answer with a happy ending :-) My first fifteen years of life was what I call "the pillars of my destiny". The pain, the long lasting abuse I experienced stands behind every action I carry out as an adult. I belong to the few lucky ones who, while standing at the turning point, chose kindness instead of continuing the abuse of their previous generations. Was it easy? Heck no. Looking back at failed attempts of trying to find my real purpose.. I can say it was a ride that thought me the importance of being humble and caring. There were special people on the way helping me and there are still a few who keep me afloat on days I question myself. 

Helping animals - disabled animals - is not really my talent, it is who I am. I do not live a day without holding an animal in need. I count the heartbeats we share while I press them against my chest or put our noses together. I turn my heart inside out and it not only gives them life, it fulfills my personal need as well. I educate others about handicapped animals and help any way I can. My house is a home to four handicapped dogs and one "regular" - as my husband and I call them. I foster creatures,  and through a charity I opened I fund raise for families and shelters. I go after animal cruelty and annoy authorities until they are sick of hearing from me. 

To find my own purpose took many years. As most people do, I too, looked for professions that pay well and carry a certain prestige. 

I was on a wrong path. I found an activity that keeps me rich in ways that is so much more than the size of a bank account. My wealth is measured by the look of animals and their owners. It is measured by gratefulness. 

This way of life is not for everyone. Often there are sad circumstances  and tragedies that re ignite my own memories. Those are the times I remind myself  of all the good we have done together to help animals and all the good deeds still waiting for us.

I did not become a circus trainer or a veterinarian after all,  but stayed closed to what my heart desired.  Thanks for being part of my journey. 

Andrea Conger



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