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.
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