These Are The Dogs Of Our Lives.

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I am a big fan of the refrain “People Suck”. I use it often, particularly when I see what I believe to be a lack of compassion towards other people or animals. Today is not a “People Suck” day. Today is a day in which I think people are fantastic, do great things and that the power of people dedicated and committed to a cause is reason to celebrate. Or, to at least write.
From Sunday to Sunday of this past week, I got to see some fantastic things happen. First, my father’s beloved New York Giants won the Super Bowl and I knew that he was celebrating in Heaven. I also like to think that he had something to do with the win…but, that’s for another blog 😉 Then, my very first Pen Pal, Winnie was adopted, a dog who my co-Pen Pal and I fell head over heels for and who proved herself highly worthy of such devotion. I was so honored to be asked by an experienced Pen Pal, Nora, to join her in advocating for Winnie and jumped in head first and now I am hooked on Pen Pal-ing. Then, one of my closest friends, Kim, came to ACCT to see a dog and adopted him and is head over heels in love with him. This has special meaning to me, because not only does it mean another dog has a second chance in life, but, it is with someone that I love, respect and cherish. She overcame her nerves about adopting a shelter dog, took the plunge and now has a companion who is so very grateful for that second chance. At least, that’s what my anthropomorphizing brain says. I mean, he covered us with kisses the second we got in the car! And, rested his head on the armrest between us, leaning slightly towards her, as if to say “Ahhh…this is my mama, I am safe now.” I must say that all of this would have been enough to keep me on an emotional high for days…but, it gets even better. Another dog who I was a HUGE fan of went into foster care, his name was Brock, but, has been changed to Owen and he is a sweet, sweet little guy, who both Paul and I really looked forward to playing with at the shelter. Now, he and his skinny little self have a home, other dogs and people to play with. He will never be cold and hungry again, and never have to worry about being left to fend for himself. He’s a nugget. I adore him.
And then, the best thing of all happened. Paul’s first Pen Pal, a smallish, brown, former mama dog went into foster care, too. The reason why this is the best thing of all out of all those other great things is two-fold. First, the fact that Paul fell for this dog and wanted to advocate for her filled me with such love and pride for him. Paul enjoys going to the shelter, but, Jenny was the first dog who (I think) really spoke to him on a deep level. Second, because Jenny is in foster care with my foster mama hero, Ashley. Since I started volunteering in September, I have seen Ashley bring dog after dog and cat after cat into her home, get them settled, healthy and safe. It simply astounds me. When Paul & I found out that she and her dogs would potentially be meeting Jenny, I think it is fair to say we both sent silent prayers into the universe. As a brown dog, Jenny tended to just sort of blend in, as a shy dog, she just sort of sat in the back of her kennel and as a former mama dog, her body paid the price. I need to say that if I never see another female pit bull with nipples down to her knees, I will be happy. But, since that is not likely to happen any time soon, I thank God for people like Ashley, who look past that and I also Thank God for her dogs, who are so accepting and will (and already have) help Jenny come out of her shell. Almost immediately upon meeting Ashley’s dogs, Jenny became like a new dog herself. Her tail was held higher, she seemed less afraid and it looked pretty obvious that Jenny needed dog friends to feel like a dog herself. In a very short period of time, this shaky, scared little thing became a dog. Ashley is my foster care role model and I truly wish that Rocco would take a page out of her dog’s book…but, I have decided, that, at 12 years old, if he doesn’t like someone, he’s allowed.
My goal now is to get the current Pen Pal that Nora and I share adopted. Jenga is a super sweet dog, who is very popular at the shelter because of her personality, but, has some skin problems that are causing her some issues. I have no doubt that once those are cleared up, her looks will match her personality and she will make some lucky person a devoted, life-long companion.
Anyone who knows me, or has read this blog, knows that I spent all of 2011 in a horrible state. I was depressed, lost and yes, scared. Losing my father had a devastating effect on me. I wondered what meaning anything had and if anything was really worth working for. Volunteering at ACCT has restored all of that for me. Even when I was still rolling in my depression, hanging out with the dogs there took my mind off of it and for a few hours, I could be okay with my life and the world. Now, a few months later, having met some amazing people and seeing lives get saved, I no longer have that nagging sense of sadness. Although I do get sad when an animal doesn’t make it, I don’t want to quit. I don’t want to give up…I want to do more. I can honestly say that this is the first time in my life I have felt this way. People and their actions and compassion move me forward. The dogs and cats, and their need for people who care keep me going back. I love the laughter an animal can bring out in me, I love the way my heart swells with happiness at seeing an animal cared for and I love that there are so many people who “get” this. People who understand what it means to stretch beyond themselves for the love of an animal. To take a chance and believe that dog or cat are worth it. I love that I have met these people. When I was growing up, my mother told me that I was not a “joiner” (that’s for another blog, too) and, boy, was she wrong. I have joined the ranks of those who rescue animals and I could not be in better company.

This is Jenny the day Paul met her, it was love at first hug:

This is Jenny after only a short time in Ashley’s home…this is the power of love:

This is the dog formerly known as Loko, now known as Brody and living the good life with my friend, Kim:

This is Brock, now Owen, my little Nugget:

This is Winnie on her adoption day:

This is Jenga, who is still looking for her home:

And, this is Eli 🙂

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8 responses »

  1. Love and big hugs from me and Brody! This is beautiful and it brought tears to my eyes… Cheers for 2012! This is our year, momma! Xoxo

  2. The only thing better than a really great day is a really great week. Jenny could not be cuter. And I’m picturing your dad spiking it on the Superbowl win. 🙂

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