Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Our First Visit to the Animal Shelter

I have been looking for a legitimate excuse to convince my husband to visit the local animal shelter with the whole family.

Then I saw a small announcement in the local paper: a flea market and an open house at the animal shelter last Sunday! I marked the date, hoped for good weather and wished that my husband would be in a consenting mood on that day.

Sunday came. After a short hike to our mountain garden and the family still in the mood for an adventure; I announced my intention to visit the animal shelter. The girls asked why. I told them because there's a flea market and because I wanted to see the dogs.

MC started asking if we could bring home another dog. 'Why should we visit an animal shelter if we are not allowed to bring home a dog?,' she argued. I told her to just enjoy the visit first. Let's wait and see.

IC is a bit sceptic. The best thing is that my husband finally consented! (I have been begging to visit the animal shelter for a long time but my husband is not too enthusiastic about it; don't ask me why!)

We left our dog, Rikki, in the car. She is in heat and we don't want any accidents!

The first thing that we saw are the flea market stands. I thought they would only be selling items for animals but it looked like the normal flea market stands with various household knick-knacks and even a large book stand! But we didn't get the chance to check the items out because we heard the excited barks of dogs.

IC's a bit apprehensive so she was clinging to me; although she was, at the same time, stirring me forcefully to the direction of the barks. We skipped the small animals section (they also have cats, rabbits, etc). MC, meanwhile, is already marching alone, too excited to wait for us.

Nope, we were not allowed to touch them, nor feed them. I cautioned the girls against doing those things.

Then we saw them, the dogs. Big dogs, small dogs. Noisy ones, quiet ones. Shy dogs, friendly dogs. Scary ones, cute ones. I don't know but I suddenly felt emotional; seeing those dogs waiting for the 'right' owner. Some of them staying in the shelter for most of their lives, some of them are returnees, some of them recovering from bad experiences, some of them too cute for their own good, some of them too scared to show-off.

If I could, I would have brought half of them home! But I didn't say anything because...

I already saw MC starting to fall in love with a German Sheperd cuddled in his blanket. She wanted us to bring him home because he looks so sad.

IC was quietly making her way through. I was reading the cards with names, description and history of the dogs for her. She immediately stopped and listened with interest when I told her that the dog in front of her who is quietly oberving us inside the dog house lost an ear because of a bad experience in the past. And IC decided, this is the dog she have been waiting for a long time to have.

To help a little to the shelter's cause and to console my girls who were very much disappointed because they were not allowed to bring home their 'dogs', we bought some of the yummy homemade cakes on sale.

And I repeat, I could have brought home half of the dogs in the shelter. But I cannot. We cannot.
The next day, we decided to bake dozens of dog biscuits that we would donate to the shelter. We promised to help anyway we can.

I think I was not the only one emotionally affected by that very short animal shelter visit. And that was the reason why I wanted to bring the girls with me; I wanted them to be aware about animals in need. I wanted them to know that they could do something to help. Helping me to bake dog biscuits for the animal shelter is the first big step.

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