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The Joy Of Giving

I’ve had the chance to spend the last few years with some of the most dedicated and loving animal volunteers and shelter/rescue staff members I could ever hope to meet. I’ve watched them cry with joy, hope, and sadness. I’ve seen selfless displays of caring where the need of an animal has been put well before their own needs or comfort. Conversations center around the inner beauty of our animals, their quirky personalities, and hopes for their futures. Every conversation is sprinkled with the word love.

Animals, like people, thrive in our world of caring. We can mold their futures with whispers of love, heartfelt embraces, and allowing them to know someone cares.

As I spend time with my volunteer and shelter/rescue community I also see the human side - and how the opportunity to give the gift of love and caring is reflected in those that give. The chance to make a difference, to know they are saving the lives of our animals, to watch a terrified dog enter the shelter, discover she is worthy of love, and eventually leave with a family is a priceless return on the devoted time and effort.

The image below is of Angela Hopson or SOAR: Street Outreach Animal Response Initiative. Angela and her team of volunteers pulled a snarling, blind Fawn from the cabin a of long-haul truck after the driver was hospitalized after a fall. In the image, Angela is saying goodbye to Fawn after five weeks of caring for the diabetic Fawn - twice-daily insulin shots, protecting Fawn from her other dogs, and cleaning up after the mistakes a blind dog will often make. The bond between the two is obvious.

If asked, Angela, and my volunteer and shelter/rescue community, might describe their efforts as something they were put on earth to do. Perhaps the joy that is returned from their giving has changed them, become a wonderful addiction. They are the lucky ones amongst us - to have found a calling. Changing the world one dog at a time.

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