Featured Leisure Short Stories

Lessons from the Shelter – Another “Tail”

“Tails from the Shelter”

just-manotasAs I walked the few blocks up Newland St. towards the animal shelter, I found myself once more feeling extremely lucky. The ocean breeze was fragrant with the scent of the ocean and the beach lying right in front of me featured glistening waves and happy surfers. I, too, was happy because I would be spending time with some of my favorite friends. True friends who didn’t mind that I wasn’t wearing the newest fashion or that my hair was tucked into a ponytail and sticking out the back of my Huntington Beach cap.

I was also going to be open to more lessons. You see the dogs teach me so much all of the time, and there is no better teacher than our Manotas. I have come to know him well because he has been with us for such a long, long time. No one has come forth who understands the most important lesson he has to teach.

You see, Manotas is not able to see clearly with his eyes but rather uses the senses he does have to see the true beauty in each day. He reminds me of a quote I read in one of my favorite books, ‘The Little Prince’, by Antoine De Saint Exupery, it is “One sees clearly only with the heart, anything essential is invisible to the eyes.”

Manotas takes nothing for granted, most especially any kindness shown to him. Today while sitting on the curb at the Edison Access Road–he walked over to my knee and sighed a big sigh while pressing his soft furry head against my arm. He loves to be cuddled and loved.

While walking back to the shelter we saw one of the homeless people who frequent that area quite often and I said “hello”—Manotas waited while she smiled at us and then made me once again realize how much a friendly hello means to people. She was eating an orange and immediately held it out to offer me half of what she had. Although I didn’t take her orange, it reminded me that it is often the people who have very little that are the most generous.

Manotas has very little in the way of material things but what he does posses, I think is more meaningful. He has the capacity to offer true friendship. He uses the senses he does have to appreciate some of the things we often take for granted. The scent of the ocean air, the touch of someone who cares, the feeling of grass beneath his feet. 

Manotas knows the importance of friendship and he offers it without thought of wanting anything in return.



I especially hope this sweet boy finds just the right home. He has managed to stay happy and optimistic while living in a small pen. He would certainly fill up either a small apartment or a huge home with more love than imaginable.

Please share his story with anyone you think might be willing to give him a chance—I promise he will teach you to see things more clearly.

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