Shelter news: I just returned from a three-day conference put on by Best Friends Animal Society, home of Dogtown, in Utah.
One thousand, one hundred and fifty animal-loving humans showed up, all with the same goal in mind: to someday put an end to homeless pets. Hence the name of the conference, No More Homeless Pets. Everyone four legged or two legged deserves shelter. The closing celebration speech was given by Julie Castle, founder of No More Homeless Pets, Utah. Julie spoke of not only her professional life but her personal life as well. Not only does she fight for our furry friends, she is a cancer fighter fighting for her life. Listening to her put life back into perspective for me. To heck with the small stuff. How long do you have here on earth to make a difference? Do we know what tomorrow will bring?
I have made and I want to continue to make a difference in the quality of the shelter’s dogs’ lives. The dogs have changed the dialogue of my life. I didn’t learn compassion from the dogs, they brought it out in me. In a perfect world, we would have at least two full-time animal control officers to tend to the dogs and all their needs, and be able to get out on every human complaint the day the call comes in.
In this economy, that is just not going to happen. I would like to encourage some of you folks that have never seen what really goes on at the shelter to come in for a day and volunteer your time. See the daily operation, experience what we see and what we do. Experience the empty, lost look in the dog’s eyes as his owner surrenders him. He has no clue what just happened. He stands there shaking, knowing something is not right.
Love, care and nurture this animal and then reap the reward. Eyes that look back at you while a tail wags. Eyes that are filled with hope, joy and unconditional love. Volunteers are the glue of shelter life as they save dogs, one life at a time. Shelter dogs, our homeless dogs, are to some people of little value. But to those of you who are not so blind, they are special beings blessed with the ability to touch our imagination and lead us into a world of true magic and wonder. God bless.