Saturday, March 30, 2013

Saturday Snapshot



I have been an animal lover from as far back as I can remember.
I was one of those kids who said, "When I grow up, I'm going to have a big house with a big yard, a fence with lots of animals who need homes."  
I, of course, assumed that I would have enough money to feed and medicate all those animals, play with them and care for them in the manner they deserve.
The day I chose education as my major, the dream of having that much money went quickly down the drain. :/
Nevertheless, I've always tried to support our community efforts to take care of unwanted animals, and I am one of those people who believes 100% that PEOPLE are the problem, NOT the animals.

However, I've been afraid of actually giving my time and volunteering at the shelter.
I was specifically frightened that I would become emotionally attached, I wouldn't be able to handle the sadness, and/or I would want to bring home all the dogs.
On a whim, the youngest and I tagged along with some friends one afternoon to the Animal Rescue League of our little town/county.
We walked the dogs, we sat and played with them, talked to them, rubbed them, tickled under their chins and for some of them, just tried through the cages to get them to give us just a chance.  
I didn't leave sad.
I left blessed.

Dogs, especially, are born with loyalty and love...it's what we do with them after they're born that makes them into the adult animals they become.  
I've seen firsthand, just in the short time we've been volunteering, animals who are frightened enough to growl at us, end up being the most loving creatures in the whole place.  
They just need the reassurance that all people aren't going to hurt them.  

Missy, the dog in the photo above, is one of the animals who did not trust people at all.  She turned away from men, women, little girls and boys who tried to bring her out. 
Until yesterday.
My Reagan chose Missy...and for some reason, Missy decided that Reagan was ok.

I didn't take the photo I'm sharing today; it was taken by one of the shelter workers who was so tickled to see Missy responding to someone.  

The love of an animal is something that can't be described...you just have to experience it. 

Saturday Snapshot is hosted by Alyce @ At Home with Books


21 comments:

  1. You have captured a lovely moment in your picture.

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    1. I'm so happy to have it, Ginx...I was busy with another dog in the background of the photo, and the shelter worker captured this moment with Missy and my Reagan. :)

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  2. I agree with you completely. No animal is born hating people but once a human mistreats an animal it learns that they can't be trusted. There is a special place in hell for people who hurt animals...

    Want a baby goat? I've got several that need homes...they eat a lot of grass!

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    1. I agree, Patty...absolutely and totally...to me, a person who mistreats defenseless animals, those who cannot fight back and/or speak for themselves, are truly evil.

      I would LOVE a baby goat...but then I wouldn't have a husband anymore :p

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  3. My daughter and I had the same reservations when she was trying to figure out what she was going to do for her high school community service hours. But we always leave the shelter feeling buoyant, especially when we work on the days they are open to the public. This past Thursday, while we were working we were able to get three cats adopted. That just makes my heart sing. My daughter laughs at me because I usually find a favorite, then walk around and "market" her until someone falls in love with her. This is God's work this volunteering. I'm glad you are in there, working to get these sweet animals a forever home.

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    1. Sandy, your Sunday Salon posts helped me decide to give it a shot. I bonded quickly with a sweet, incredibly high energy dog named Chester...she (yes, she) was my favorite the first few times we were there. I was on FB one night and happened to see the shelter's posting that Chester had been adopted. I was ELATED!!!!! I don't think people realize that the more positive interaction that the animals have with humans gives the animals that much more of a shot at being adopted. There's a new girl now named Goldie...she's a mess!!! And strong as an ox!! I ran with her a few times the same day the picture above was taken...as a matter of fact, I'm with Goldie in the background of the picture! I could not believe how blessed I felt when we left there that first time (and every time since then) :)

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  4. It takes a lot of love to care for abandoned animals, and I imagine it's hard work. My Snapshot is at http://goo.gl/AnAv3

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    1. Christine, the shelter workers are tireless. Not only do they devote their "day job" regular hours to the animals, but as is true with the care of any living creatures, their jobs are never done, 24-7. I'm in awe of their commitment.

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  5. Awww, that's so sweet. So wonderful they made the connection.

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    1. My daughter feels overwhelmed sometimes bc she wants to take them all out, but, of course, cannot. I was glad for her to have a special job. My daughter has talked about Missy and what they're going to do together next week ever since we got home.

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  6. What a wonderful thing you are doing, and such a great example you are setting for your daughter. I love that Missy connected with her, you are teaching her that she can trust again after whatever it is that she's been through. Good for you.

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    1. Karen, what we give to them is no comparison to what those beautiful souls give to us when we're there. The trust and longing in their eyes is enough to get us through any reservations we ever had about our feelings. My 9 year old had a pretty emotional visit one day that we were there...she went in to get another dog to walk and she said "They were all looking at me, Mommy, like they were saying, 'Please take me next.' I didn't know who to get!"

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  7. It is a wonderful photo. Have a lovely Easter.

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    1. Thanks, Suko...You have a wonderful Easter as well :)

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  8. Such a sweet picture. I know Reagan and Missy will have such fun together. A dear pet is a wonderful thing. You remind me of the fact that just three weeks ago I was forced to have my cat Jack put down, as he was very ill. We had been together for over 12 years.
    I applaud the volunteer work you are doing with animals.

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    1. I've had animals all my life; one of my favorites was Honey, a Chow that we had for 13 years. My husband and I got her the first year we were married; she was literally our first baby. I still tear up when looking at pictures or if anyone starts telling a "Honey" story. My Layla that I have right now is the only dog that even begins to compare to our Honey. They offer so much to us...if we'll only take it.

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  9. You are very brave, I don't know if I couldn't bring them all home if I could keep going back to volunteer. Thanks, for looking after them with whatever time you can give them.

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    1. I have 6 animals already, Irene...7 if you count the leopard gecko my kid just had to have :p When I feel that familiar "I just need to take you home" pang, I remember how much my vet bills, dog food, boarding, toys, treats, etc. already are, and I know that for right now, spending time with them in the shelter is really all I can offer. There are a lot of dogs in shelters who are actually owner surrendered. The owners get them without really thinking about the responsibility, and then have to give them up when they realize they truly aren't ready for the commitment. Those are the saddest ones to me...the ones who had families, but don't anymore :(

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  10. yeah for Molly in trusting your daughter! :)
    I rescued a huskey once and she was the best dog ever. I still miss her (she died a few years back).
    thanks for sharing...beth

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  11. What a great experience for you both. Great picture, and story.

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  12. Catching up...lovely blog and I'm glad it has turned out well for you. Thank for sharing. My SS: http://lore-eleven.blogspot.com/2013/03/a-positive-negative.html

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