I’d need a separate blog to adequately express my feelings and my lastima for shelter pets. I love all animals really, but this unlucky lot is my kryptonite. My albatross. My purpose.
Have you ever walked the long hallway inside an animal shelter? Have you ever seen and been seen by the rows and rows of pleading eyes? Have you ever heard them praying for you to come? Have you ever faced it, swallowed it, been changed by it - the truth of it? It did me good that first time, and it still does me good now.
As a volunteer you realize everyone has a role, everybody has their own gifts. Some friends work adoption events and they do it with grace and joy. But I can’t, I just can’t sit in a park and witness the “ME! How about me?” looks on their furry faces, while families pass them by.
For some reason, I can sit with an old pup who I know will not make it out alive. I can sit with him under a tree and touch his ears and let him know that he mattered. That he counted. And you might think I’d do it for him, but I’m the one rewarded. I’m the one made better.
I don’t feel out of place in an animal shelter. I welcome the sadness and the anger that tango in my chest because it’s worth it. I walk those hallways, I try and then try again, I win some and I lose some. And I’m able to bear it. But there’s only one thing I cannot do, I absolutely will run from, and that’s watching shelter dogs eat.
Because they only have this one thing. This meal. Eager and hungry, they gobble, and for a few minutes the world of hurt fades away. Jowls wobbling, tiny teeth chomping, snouts turned up in an almost-smile. The bowl means everything, and they are reduced to their purest state, all their histories and unlikely futures forgotten, just beings who need sustenance. Yet really they need so much more. They deserve so much more.
I didn’t know Lastima made their own brand of kibble.
p.s. This can end. www.adoptapet.com
p.p.s. Beautiful German Shepherd, huh? She didn’t make it.