Update first: Patron and Malcolm have been adopted!!!!!! (See my previous blog posts for their stories. Hinkley is in isolation with an upper respiratory infection. I stop in to visit her every day I’m there. Will share more on her in my next blog post.
I seem to be drawn to a certain personality in a dog at the shelter. The seniors are my heart string pullers but I also am hopelessly drawn to the shy, timid and afraid. It’s like I want to be their mommy until their forever mommy or daddy shows up. I want them to overcome their shyness and fear and know it’s ok to be loved and give love back. Sometimes I swear I feel their sadness. Some of them shake in their kennels when you talk to them and I just want to scoop them up in my arms and smother them with hugs and kisses. Some of them are staff only dogs which means volunteers can’t take them out. I wait and watch for what seems like forever for them to become volunteer dogs and some never do so the only thing I can do is give them treats and pets through their cages and just talk to them in a soothing loving way. The staff are wonderful with them though so they are definitely getting great love and care.
When I get to the shelter, I love to go up and down the first row and say hi and give some love pets to the babies. No matter how old they are they are still babies to me. When they are not in their cages or out for walks, I try to find out where they are hoping they got adopted. The thing is they could be missing for several reasons such as transferred to a rescue, transferred to one of our other shelters or just another shelter altogether, adopted, or on a medical hold because they got sick or worse………have passed away. I always arrive hoping especially to see the seniors adopted.
I then go to the boards and look for the dogs labeled priority walks or holds it. After walking the priorities and holds it dogs, I start on row one and then just walk till the staff is ready to go home. I have a routine that I usually follow with the dogs. I take them through “poo poo” alley first. It’s a wooded path that usually encourages the dogs to do their business. After that I take them to the play yards and just love on them, give them treats and play with them. If the play yards are full, I walk around the front of the building past the medical trailers, up the hill and sit on what I call the love bench. The dogs don’t get to run free here but they get loved on, fed treats and I will brush them if they allow me to. I love to walk around the front to show them off. When people see them, they will comment on how cute they are. I tell them the dog’s name, how wonderful they are and tell them if they are interested, they can talk to a staff member about meeting them. Once we as me and my dog get inside, I grab a peanut butter treat out of the refrigerator and take them back to their kennels.
We try to get each dog out for a walk twice a day but it takes a lot of volunteers showing up. I get so excited when we can give a dog three walks because we have a great turnout of volunteers. The hardest days are when I have to leave and there are several dogs that only got one walk that day. I would probably stay all night if they let me til every last dog got walked. Volunteers are so important!!!
The burden I feel for these dogs is my passion. I look forward to every day I get to go there. At first I was so overwhelmed with the amount of dogs not getting there second walk but I had to learn to be grateful for the opportunity I and the other volunteers got with the animals we were able to get to. You have to make a difference with one dog at a time. If you stay in an overwhelmed state of mind, you will quit. I know in my heart that this is where God has lead me and I am open to where ever this leads me and to learn from it whatever He wants me to learn. I have a lot of love to give and a lot of learning yet to do!!!
This is Marigold. She is just as sweet as can be. She’s very friendly and outgoing and is a great leash walker and loves exploring. She waiting for her forever family at the KC Pet Project on Raytown Rd.