She was timid. She would come out of her kennel, but the brakes went on when it was time to move on. So rather than push, I sat down on the floor right in front of her kennel and she crawled into my lap and right there and then I wanted her to be mine. But with four babies of my own at home, that was not to be. But still, I became attached. I wanted to be the one to walk her, to pet her, to love her and I felt a sense of ownership I had no right to feel. She taught me this. She taught me that she needed love from whoever would give it to her. She loved my love, but she loved everyone’s love, too. She taught me that I am lucky to have even a little precious time and that I must celebrate all the other walks, pets, and loving she gets from all the other volunteers. She taught me it’s about the dogs, not about me.
My shelter friends are teaching me more about life and love than I learned anywhere else.
They make me sad, all those once magnificent Christmas trees. The real ones, now neglected and naked by the side of the road. I wonder what they were like when they were “before,” when they graced a hillside in spring, or accompanied their deciduous neighbors during the vibrant blazing of fall.
When I was a child I begged for a “real” tree every Christmas time. I loved the smell of pine and the way it felt like I had my own forest in the living room. I loved that I had to crawl under the branches to make sure there was enough water in the tree stand. I loved how the needles fell off, covering the carpet under the tree. My parents did not love these things.
I fell in love when I first saw her. She was old and ugly in
that way that is endearing. She looked at me through the bars of her kennel with
rheumy eyes that spoke of things I didn’t want to know. One ear stuck up
straight, the other flopped, giving her a lopsided look. Her old, gray face was
tired. She had served her previous master well with untold numbers of litters
now weighing down her tits so low they reached the ground. Her people got what
they wanted from her. She got nothing. I opened her kennel door and I spoke to
her – quietly – but I am sure she understood me.
Today I ran right to her kennel and she looked at me, wouldn’t
stop looking at me even though others stood before her kennel. After 2 weeks of
being confused, though well taken care of and loved by everyone in the shelter,
she was going to a foster home where she would be warm, cozy, and loved by a
family. Wonderful news for her. I started my shift whispering sweet somethings
in her ear and when my shift was done, she was gone. Her kennel still held the
blanket she cozied up on, and the toy some kind soul gave her, but her essence
was gone, and as ashamed as I am to admit it, I had to wipe away a few tears of
grief and loss. Please, family, give her the love she needs and deserves.
All wags, all wiggles, all bone. Despite being horribly abandoned by his owners, this little puppy greets all humans with great joy and excitement.
Abandoned – no one knows for exactly how long, certainly long enough to become a wiggly bag of bones – when his people left their home –and him, without water or food.
I do not know the back story but suspect someone heard his cries and called our animal services who brought him to a place of warmth, with plenty of food to fatten him up, his own kennel – all inside, and plenty of staff and volunteers to love him up.
Abandoning a poor helpless animal is despicable. No matter
how desperate someone may be, there are options far better than to leave the
animal with no hope of taking care of itself.
Why Are Pets Abandoned?
Here are some reasons why people say they abandon pets.
Too busy – The pet takes more time than the owners thought, or they just don’t want to bother anymore.
Too big – That cute little puppy or kitten grew into a much larger dog or cat.
Too expensive – Little did they know that pets need medical care, too.
Too “unhealthy” – No way should a new baby be exposed to a dirty animal.
Too bothersome – The pet just doesn’t have a place in our new home or apartment.
By the Numbers
The good news is that the number of dogs and cats in shelters has declined since 2011. The bad news is that nearly 6.5 million pets end up in shelters each year. This does not include the number of animals wandering the streets as strays. Of these, 1.5 million pets in shelters are euthanized yearly, but this number has declined since 2011 by 2.6 million.
What do these numbers mean? They mean that things are happening, that awareness for the plight of homeless pets has increased and more people are opting to adopt.
Back to our skinny-boy. After a week in the shelter, I almost didn’t recognize him. His bones were not protruding nearly as much and he almost looked like a “normal” dog. As this shelter often does, he was put into a foster home where he’d get much more attention and the comfort of living in a real-live home until he eventually finds his way into a home of his own.
I recently started walking dogs at a local shelter and my life has changed exponentially in the few months I’ve been doing so. Since this has become such an intrinsic part of my life, I will probably be writing much more about it. Here below is one very sad and near-tragic story of a little dog named Dolly.
I hadn’t been walking shelter dogs very long when I came upon a dog that literally made me fall to my knees. What I saw before me was a mass of bones with a thin layer of flesh stretched over them, and a brindle coat that was eaten away in some spots, baring sores and raw skin. I bent down, thinking she would raise her head to look at me. Her eyes moved towards me, and her tail moved in an exhausted attempt to wag. My heart broke for this helpless dog, found by the side of the road, unable to get up let alone walk. My heart burned with anger at the soulless humans who had left her like this, alone, to die.
Several days later, on my next walking duty day, the first thing I did was rush to Dolly’s kennel. I was petrified I wouldn’t find her there, but she was, and this time she raised her head to look at me and her tail wagged with more enthusiasm. She tried to get up on very wobbly, shaky legs. Still too weak to go walking, I unlocked the door to her kennel and knelt beside her, stroking the emaciated body and whispering words to will her back to health.
For my next several visits, it was always to Dolly’s kennel that I first went. It was always with relief that I found her still there. Gradually she grew stronger and her frail body began to fill out. Then one day I rushed to her kennel to find she wasn’t there! I panicked and felt an instant loss as deep as the ocean.
“Has anyone heard anything about Dolly? Where is she?”
“No worries,” answered one of the staff. “She is now safe, warm, and loved in a foster home where she’ll be nursed back to health and given plenty of TLC until she is well enough to be put up for adoption to find a home of her own.”
Dolly, I pray that you get what you deserve this Christmas, a home of your very own with humans who will be privileged to have you become a part of their lives.
It started out innocently enough. One day my friend and I went out to lunch and I fell in love with her outfit. A few weeks later, we met up for a glass of wine, and I loved this second outfit even more. A picnic in the park a month later? I had to get some of these clothes. They are known as Lularoe.
They came on the scene a few years ago, but exploded like colorful fireworks in the last couple of years. And colorful is indeed the word! Think vibrant, wild, explosive oranges, reds, purples, yellows in patterns that made your head spin. A special hallmark of these clothes is the cacophonous mismatching of pieces with discordant patterns and colors. An example of this on a very slight scale is a blue and yellow striped top with a bright pink and purple polka dot skirt. The idea is to have fun, be unique, feel confident and strut your style with confidence. And this idea grabbed me hook, line and sinker.
Like any new company, Lularoe is facing some growing pains, but as a consumer, I could care less about those issues. What I do care about is the quality of the clothes, the consultants’ service, and how I have indeed become an obsessed consumer. The clothes are sold during live internet sessions, for which I’ve begun to passionately scour the web when I’m in the mood for a live “party,” as some sessions are called. Once part of a party, I find it VERY difficult to stay “dry” as in, not making a purchase. Thus is the lure of Lularoe.
Fixation aside, I really do love these clothes. I love their whimsy, their comfort, and the ability they give me to create my own unique style. I also love my main party consultant who is as real and comfy as an old shoe, and keeps us all in stitches with her charmingly self-deprecating style.