The one phrase I hear repeated when I tell others that I volunteer at the local SPCA is “I couldn’t do that, I would end up taking them all home.”  It is a common thought that I shared as well.  But it just simply isn’t feasible.  If I took all the ones home that touched my heart, I would quickly be considered an animal hoarder.  That is a different post, someday…….

The one thing I try to get more than anything else is a direct look into the animals eyes. Sometimes especially when I am reviewing the shots I can see so much hope and love in those eyes that it makes me sad and happy simultaneously.  The eyes tell the story and really tug at my heart.

So it is true, I do want to take some of them home and it is hard to resist and leave a sweet face behind.  Since I have been volunteering over the past 6 months there have been a few that I could have snatched up in a minute.  With each one I had to have a sober conversation with myself and not get caught up in the drama.  I have only called Matt once (maybe twice) as I left the shelter to insist he drive out and look at a particular animal.  Both times he was able to talk me down off the ledge.  We are pretty sure that we are almost ready for a second dog but just haven’t made that leap yet.

Ginger is pictured here.  She is such a sweetie and I wanted to keep her badly. Ginger was adopted this past spring and is now living a good doggie life with a forever family. While she was in the shelter waiting for that family to come along it was a painful few weeks for me.  I doted on her a little extra every time I was there.

So yes you will want to keep some of the animals but the rewards for volunteering far outweigh the pathos. Volunteers give so much of their time and love for the animals, in return they receive the unconditional love that all animals instinctively give. Knowing you made a homeless pet’s day a little brighter is a joy, not to be missed. For all the Gingers and Erins and Sadies and Dukes (yes I remember their shelter names) out there and those I have yet to meet, yes you touched my heart and I am hopeful that your lives are filled with abundant love, squeaky toys and endless treats.


2 thoughts on “keepers

  1. I agree 100%! I have volunteered for 9 months now and I just feel it is my duty to help dogs with their anxiety, frustration, and to be loved. If you truly love animals volunteering is the best thing because they appreciate you so much and I know it makes their day better.

    I also wanted a long time shelter dog name Star, I began working with her to get her weight down and I believe it helped her because her hair started looking better and she was losing some weight. She really looked forward to me coming in every week to walk her on Tues and Thurs. After she was adopted this past April I couldn’t come in that week because she had taken my heart for a minute with her. When I come to volunteer I usually work with the energetic or frustrated dogs to help them get calm by walking or playing to relieve stress. It seems to work because they are being adopted.

    I enjoy coming up there to walk them and if I didn’t have 2 of my own I would definitely snatch a couple from the RVSPCA! God bless all volunteers in giving their time to help get the dogs adopted.

  2. Thank you Madeline – Star was a sweetie. I miss her too. I bet she is doing great thanks to the wonderful job you and other volunteers did for her.

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