I can honestly say that not only is volunteering at the animal shelter rewarding, it is also an educational experience. I learn lessons from the animals every time we are together.
I’ve learned that there are things far more important than money and prestige. Rather, having a friend that looks into your eyes with love and hope and wants nothing more than to spend quality time together gives me more pleasure than a trip to the mall.
I’ve learned that seeing trust return, when before there was only fear, is the best feeling imaginable.
I’ve experienced so much true joy when a sweet, innocent soul is rescued and given a home that there really isn’t an equivalent.
I can’t say that there is no frustration because to be honest, there is.
Last night I spent hours in bed looking up at the ceiling, wondering why little Max–a perfect little dog is still sitting in his pen at the shelter.
At just two years old and already walking well on the leash, housebroken, and a real charmer, he still has ‘puppy joy’ just being alive and would love someone to share that joy.
Max is the little fellow that was born with a heart emblazoned on his side and freckles on his head. He even has a sense of humor as he loves to hold the leash in his mouth while we are walking and ‘lead’ me around!
When I sit at the curb on the Edison Access Road, his favorite moments are when he can listen to me talk to him, lean into my knee and wait for his hug and petting. It is our routine, you see, and he truly looks forward to it.
I would also like to share another success story with you.
We have at the shelter a little dog named Penny. She is only barely out of puppyhood and has already had puppies. My guess is that she was no longer wanted or loved and came to us never really having had anyone who cared about her.
The first few times I walked her, she just got down to business and wanted to go back. Sitting at the curb with me wasn’t on her list of fun things to do, but I didn’t give up trying and then this past Monday, voilà, she walked over to me and the tail that usually is carried between her legs started wagging. I got so many kisses I was ecstatic!
Sometimes it’s hard to carry on and hang in there.
So many animals are brought in daily and although I want to spend a lot of time with each one, my time is limited. That is why am I hoping the stories I write will reach those special people who can see past the sadness the animals cannot verbalize but share with their eyes and hearts. Someone who wants to open their home to another soul who will repay the kindness by dedicating their life to their new caretaker.
I can honestly say that the investment will pay more dividends than any bank.