Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Volunteering at the Animal Shelter

I began volunteering at the Animal Shelter this Sunday. I spent 5 hours in the blazing sun, sweating as I walked hyper, pulling dogs. I picked up poop and came home exhausted, sore, and covered in slobber, fleas, and God know what else. And I absolutely LOVED it. I can't wait to go back next weekend. It was one of the most gratifying, rewarding experiences I've had in a loooong time.

After I got Travis in October, I wanted more doggie time. And then when Floyd joined our family this spring, I realized the only way to get more doggie time would be to volunteer. I couldn't wait to give back to the other dogs at the shelter. After all, Travis has turned out to be such an exceptional dog. If I could help bring some joy and happiness to the other shelter dogs and somehow help them get adopted, well, words can't explain how good that would make me feel.

--Travis, the day I brought him home from the shelter.

--Floyd and Travis, bosom buddies; these guys are now inseparable!

I learned a lot about dogs on Sunday. 99.9% of dogs are joyous, love people, and just want a little love, attention and exercise. Although I could only spend 20-30 minutes with each dog, they relished every second. Dogs know how to live in the moment. Also, since the majority of the dogs at the shelter are pit bull or pit bull mix, I'm quickly learning that the bad rap these guys have is undeserved. I haven't met a pit bull I don't like. Contrary to popular belief, instead of being aggressive, these guys are huge sweeties! They loooove people and attention and are mostly low energy, easy-going and mellow. Of course, since Travis is half pit, I know this from personal experience as well. Can't wait to go back next week!

Please, please, please, if you are thinking of getting a dog, cat, or bunny (or most any pet--the shelter has reptiles, birds, mice, hamsters, roosters, and even a few pigs!), look at your local shelter. There are so many loving animals there that desperately need a home.

Some of the dogs I walked on Sunday:

--sweet, young and plaful

--one of my favorites! Great with other dogs, easy on the leash, affectionate. Loves belly rubs!

--Very polite and mild-mannered. This gal LOVES walks. Who can resist that face and floppy ears?

--Look at that beautiful steel gray coat!

--The first guy I met. Handsome, polite, and very affectionate.


M said...

You rock. That is fantastic. Thank you for what you are doing for those animals!!!!!

Wes said...

Good for you! Fleas and slobber is a fitting reward!

Nicole @ Geek Turned Athlete said...

I love that you are doing that. Is is amazing how healing animals can be.

I just wanted to mention that I mentioned you on my blog yesterday. You were the first blog that I started reading a few years ago. Thank you for being the main motivator for putting me on this triathlon journey. ;)


Christi said...

That is great! Thanks for sharing!

Southern Cernock said...

What an awesome thing. I'm a big supporter of getting animals from shelters. I think it's great that you're putting it out like this.

Kat said...

Thanks for volunteering and thanks for posting this. My cat is losing his battle with cancer and I'm going to need to put him down soon. As someone who travels frequently for races and adventure I'm not sure another pet is a good idea, but I love animals and would love to have them in my life. Seems like volunteering is the perfect thing! Thanks for the idea! Maybe I can do some of my runs with the pups!

Colleen said...

Oh my goodness... the faces on those dogs is enough to make me want to adpot all of them! Both of ours are rescues and I wouldn't do it any other way. I wish my hubby and I could volunteer at our local Humane Society, but we'd come home with a new dog every day. I guess it's something we should still condsider though - sounds like an amazing experience for you!

Christy said...

I just found your blog today and I too am an amateur triathlete!