Cuz Lav wrote a great and very true story…Happy Labor Day!!!
Going to the dogs…if they let me…
I had been on the volunteer job at the dog shelter for a few months, and luckily they didn’t can me after almost losing the first dog I walked, Snowball. I thought things were going doggone well, when I chose a chunk of a dog to walk one day. I picked out pit bull mix, Katie, she was squat, thick like brick and reminded me of a mini tank. These dogs have gotten a bad rap. I love pit bulls that people haven’t messed up. She had an adorable toothy smile. She took me on a walk of a lifetime. It was like walking a mini granite building with legs. The entire walk, I was praying I could keep up with her. She was strong, weight lifter strong. She loved getting out and about in the beautiful area around the SPCA grounds. I’m not sure who was puffing more, her or me. Her tongue hanging out with a fun waddle of her backside, tail wagging all the way made me happy and her squared off face with beautiful eyes was a delight . It was a solid workout, from which I hoped to recover. Katie was in charge of me. I even thought I could hear her say, “Heel!” to me. My shoulder and arm had no feeling when we got back to the adoption floor, but the thrill of pretending to walk this great dog made up for it all. It was an honor to be with this marvelous animal. I had survived Katie taking me out on a walk. I was puffing but happy. Dogs are better than a lot of humans. They like you for who you are, failures or successful people alike, no matter who you are. It made me feel good. Katie had shown me who was in charge, but she didn’t rub it in.
Another time I volunteered, -(the administration was still letting me come in) – I managed to get into a kennel with a larger dog and my leash.These were separate from the dog condos. It was always tricky getting the slip leash around a dog’s neck and not allowing them to get out before I was ready. I was trying a new method: go into the kennel with the dog after reading all the important info posted on the door. Maybe give the dog a few treats, say their name and talk calmly as you assess the situation. I was thinking how good I was at this. Bet they were happy to have me here volunteering, even at my age I was an expert, a real asset to the dog community. Maybe I would get a certificate or special pin or a cupcake treat.
As I got the leash on the large Labrador Husky mix, I reached for the door latch to go out on our walk. The metal latch that drops down was engaged as was this little extra twirly thing that assures no dog can get out. It also made sure I didn’t get out. Doggone it! I saw someone nearby in the official SPCA shirt, and asked to be let out. She looked at me like, “How did you let that happen?” The employee told me how to just reach under the twirly thing on the door latch and then as you push it out you can flip the latch up. You’re not stuck inside, but you are if you didn’t listen when the trainers taught you the ropes during the on site tour. I thanked her and went on another dog walk. The Lab/Husky mix didn’t seem to blame me, he was just glad to get out of there and be on a walk in the open air and sunshine. That’s another great thing about dogs. They don’t hold grudges nor make you feel dumb. You can do that yourself.
I enjoyed all my time walking dogs, washing dishes, seeing and greeting customers who are looking for a life long friend, the perfect dog for them. So after a couple years, I asked about the back shelters and getting trained to help in the large buildings there where dogs who are not ready to be adopted or have had surgery are kept. Was I ready to move up? Could I emotionally handle seeing dogs with problems or health issues? I wasn’t sure. Maybe my cousin was right. The SPCA will eventually charge me to volunteer there!
Hmm. That’s another story.
You set a beautiful example, Valerie Halla. No matter what your challenges are (0:
We just couldn’t include the really sad pictures, but believe me, there are many…Please give what you can to your local SPCA or Humane Society…Or take a special friend home!