Sunday, December 20, 2009
Kirby, the Shelter Co-Star!
Since I began volunteering in June (wow, 6 months already?!), I've come to regard myself as the "hard case" worker. For some reason, I am drawn to the dogs that are a huge pain in the butt. Like Higgins, for example - the first time I walked him he hadn't been out in 4 days because he had built up such a bad reputation. It took 2 months of working with him every day, but eventually he became so easy, so well-freakin'-behaved, that other volunteers started to see him the same way that I saw him: a playful, beautiful, happy dog who has so much love to give.
The majority of the time I will work with the more difficult dogs. I don't know what it is about them, but it's almost like I can see something behind their eyes that says, "I need you. Help me." And I do, I do help them. It's exhausting, rewarding, humbling, painful, joyful, fun, and inspiring. But there are days, I won't lie, there are days where I do need a break...
On days like that I look forward to walking Kirby: an easy going, cheerful, super friendly and cuddly kinda guy. I know that my walk with Kirby will be pleasant...I know that I won't have any rips in my jeans and I won't be covered in dirt and slobber when I am done. My right shoulder will not be dislocated (in case you were wondering, that is sarcasm...) and my sanity will be in tact. I know that when Kirby and I go for a walk I will feel relaxed and satisfied....like all is well in the world, even if only for the 30 minutes that we are out together.
Kirby is pleasant to be around, pure and simple. That's a nice change of pace. Being with Kirby gives me the ability and strength to throw myself back into the ring with the "hard cases". Working with him reminds me that with enough work, time, love, and patience that all of the shelter dogs could be "Kirbys". Some faster than others. :)