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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

A Day of Volunteering

I think I may have seen it all at my "job" yesterday. I haven't been able to go for a about a month and a half, life impeding as it sometimes does. My "job" is as a a volunteer for the Humane Society of Greater Akron. (don't ask me why the darn links aren't working.....)

I hope you'll visit the links! Sorry they're not clickable!

I watch the staff bust their butts every day. I have so much admiration for them, I can't begin to tell you. They are almost always willing to talk to you and and answer questions you might have. It's an incredibly hard job. Very physically demanding. And I can't imagine the mental strain as well. I don't think they get nearly the credit or kudos they deserve.

I think every person, especially the self-entitled ones, should work (or volunteer) at a shelter AND in food service. Both are hard and humbling and I think, make you a better human being.

I gave two tours, which I really enjoy doing. I petted some cats, helped another really brave volunteer brush out mats in in a long haired cat and talked with some of the really Big Kahuna Cat volunteer-trainers. I don't usually mess with the kittens, they're adorable and all; but everyone seems to mess with kittens.

I sat in the door of the cage of a lovely Pittie girl named Tassie. She was favouring a back leg and so, of course, I didn't walk her. She has the cutest face and she's very eager and curious. So we hung for a few minutes. Just giving and getting some love!

One the hardest moments was seeing one of the staff guys washing a black Lab-mix dog they had just gotten in. Poor old lady, she had sores on her legs, was missing hair and getting a bath. I helped dry her off. It bends my biscuit that someone just "neglected" to feed her. Yeah, whatever. There was a sadness in her eyes, a resignation, confusion too.

On my next visit to "work," one of my self-appointed "jobs" was to give some lap time to a white cat, Kiska. She just loves to be held and petted. She's no crazy kitten, just a lover.

I hung out with a special peanut of a dog, Bitsy. She is so active, but when she finally decided to give me a lap snuggle....aaaah! She's a really cool little dog! I grew up with Yorkies, so that energy is familiar to me.

I also hung out and gave belly rubs to Miss Nessie. She looks like a Vizsla with big bones! There's even a video of her at this link!!

I think the biggest lessons I've learned while volunteering at the HSGA is "all that I know about dogs is that I know nothing at all!" And how much love those dogs can give: it's amazing. I had never been around any "bully" breeds before, not really. (Closest were Rottweilers.) They are really strong pullers when I walk them --- but they are also face lickers, lap sitters and big lovers. I was not breed-prejudiced before, just had had no experience with them. Some serious love there!

I'm looking forward to helping with the National Pitbull Awareness Day coming up at the HSGA on Oct. 23rd. People need to know --- it's not the BREED. It's idiot people. Like the ones who abused the black Lab mix.

I guess stupid and cruel knows no breed. What gets me is ignorance about a breed. Get ed-u-ma-cated, people!


  1. I think it's awesome that you're helping out at the shelter... every time I've been to one I've broken down in tears, I just feel so bad for the animals. Do you ever watch Animal Cops on Animal Planet? It's my guilty mid-day tv pleasure. It's like a train wreck, I just can't turn it off... but I love the good stories- the ones where these poor neglected, abused animals find loving forever homes. Oh, and I love me some pit bulls!

  2. There are times when, yeah, I do have a break-down, no doubt. It shattered me when we lost the kittens we fostered.
    Marty won't watch those shows, I think he's afraid he'll get postal. I'll watch once in a while.
    One of the greatest joys is when you see someone adopt a cat or dog. There was one white pittie recently, Windie. When she got adopted, EVERYONE cried! Staff, volunteers, office people....
    The good part is we keep them until they find homes. We have some critters who've been there since 2008.
    I still get thanked by the Senior Cat Volunteers for adopting Rufus.