I've been volunteering at SpokAnimal this entire quarter, so that's about 10 weeks or so. I was getting pretty frustrated with it and as selfish as it sounds, I felt like I could just be doing something more productive with my time. My main volunteer project included putting in all the new volunteer information into a data base. I would go through the paper applications and fill out the electronic ones. Once a month, I go through all of the sign up sheets for that month and add up all the volunteer hours. And trust me, all of this was as exciting as it sounds. I felt like I might as well be at work sitting in front of a computer screen doing the things my heart was no longer a part of. Then an opportunity arose.
I was just about ready to throw in the towel and volunteer at another animal shelter when I was told she didn't have any work for me this week and wanted to know if I would just come in next week instead. I told her I would love to come this week and do something other than paperwork and data base entry. When I arrived, I went over to the shelter building ((the volunteer paperwork is done in another building)) and she asked if I'd like to work with the dogs. My face lit up! And before I knew it I was walking dogs.
Wow! It was the best volunteer day so far. I walked four dogs, Rowdy, Laser, Willis, and Max. There were a lot of boy dogs. All of them ran on the small to medium size, and in fact I think all of them were smaller than the Missaroo. Of course, I fell in love with little Rowdy who clung to me like a a child. Walking those doggies and giving them lots of love just made me want to run home and walk the Miss and give her lots of love too.
The one BIG difference between walking those dogs and the Missaroo was the way in which they walked. Rowdy and Max walked like they've never been walked before! They were so incredibly happy to be outside. Laser, a puppy, didn't want to walk as much as he wanted to lay in the snow. And poor Willis was a tiny Chihuahua dog just off the plane from Dallas, Texas. Not only was he shaking because of his new home, but the sight of snow pretty much made him not want to be in Spokane. I gave him lots of praise and told him what a brave boy he was and soon he was also trotting along. I even found a tiny bit of grass, picked him, and trudged him through the snow so he would go potty. So how does the Missaroo walk? Like she's loved. Like she has a forever home. Like, yep look at me and my mommy and my snazzy jacket. She walks with confidence that she can do no wrong. It was something I definitely saw missing from those four other dogs.
Yesterday touched my heart. I hope I'm allowed to walk more dogs in the future. It even made me think, OK I'll do some paperwork now. I just needed that connection, that reason for volunteering at an animal shelter of all places. And it gave me new found energy as a dog mom too. I wanted to make sure that if I was walking other doggies, Missaroo was getting twice as much time in with me as they were. Yesterday was a pretty great day for her too and we both slept like babies.