Saturday, November 7, 2009

It's not enough

I've become discouraged lately, I won't lie. Usually I am optimistic, very hopeful, a positive thinker who looks for the best in things. But within the last few weeks I am beginning to realize that there is only so much I can do.

So many dogs and so many different needs.

One dog that I am thinking of for example is Queenie - a wonderful dog who I love to take for walks, cuddle with, and play fetch with. She's incredibly gentle and very sweet - and simply loves to be close with you. However, with each passing day Queenie is slowly losing herself to the shelter. With each passing day, she loses part of the dog that I've come to love spending time with.

Some dogs surprisingly thrive during their stay at the shelter - because it's better than whatever situation they had originally come from. Perhaps they were chained to a tree in the back yard and now for the first time in years they can go for a real walk. Or maybe they were starving, barely surviving and now there is food to fill their bellies. Maybe they were abused, truly neglected and now they are shown love and kindness. And then there are others, like Queenie, like Doc, Little, Blue - SO many dogs - who slowly deteriorate.

It's unbelievably sad to watch these dogs, these breaking dogs. I can only help them so much, you know. I can help them for the hour or so that I take them for walks....treat them with love, shower them with affection, give them baths, and lie in the grass with them. But when that hour is up they go right back to their kennel where I can't help them anymore.

I love volunteering at the shelter, but there are times when it's almost too much to bear. Like I said at the beginning of this post though, I am an optimist at here's the bright side:

I'm not doing it alone. There are so many wonderful volunteers at the shelter who take the time to help these dogs, too. Today there were dozens of people coming in to walk the dogs - some of the dogs even got out for 2 or 3 walks! And I can't say thank you enough.

There are other ways that you, our readers, can help these dogs, too -- you could be a foster for some of the dogs that are particularly struggling in the shelter environment. Even if only for a weekend. You could donate to our BACS: Rainy Day Fund! to help buy toys to keep our dogs busy in the kennel. You could spread the word - tell people about this blog, about the shelter. Or even better - you could come in and meet your new best friend and take one home for good.

1 comment:

Pam said...

Sam, this is a gut-wrenching post to read. What you say is true about some dogs deteriorating, while other dogs appear to be more resilient, or to actually thrive. It is a painful process to watch, even though you are doing EVERYthing you can possibly do. I know you are there every day, giving the dogs walks, baths, toys, and most importantly, love. That is really all you can do, but somehow it still feels insufficient. I definitely know that feeling, and I am sorry you are going through that right now. Please don't get discouraged; the dogs need you, just as they need all the volunteers who come in and share their time with these homeless pooches who ALL deserve forever-homes.