I remember a year ago in the States, I wanted to do something useful with my time, so I did volunteer work for the Potter League Animal Shelter in Rhode Island, and needless to say, few life experiences were as fulfilling as spending my time helping stranded animals find a new home. Now that I'm back in Lebanon, I'm trying to find animal shelters I can do volunteer work for, just to live it all again.
That's how much I loved it. And here's how working in the animal shelter improved my life in several small ways :
I got to spend time with animals.
Admittedly, I've always wanted a pet, but never had one (my dad is not a big fan). So, when I finished cleaning kennels and refilling the food storage, I could go and cuddle with the adorable cats and/or play with the puppies. I also remembered when my dad would pick me up after two hours and just could not wait for my next shift! It was both therapeutic and fun to spend time with the animals and give them the love they never had—or used to have.
I expanded my knowledge about pets.
Before we started working, we new volunteers received courses about the up keep of pets and the correct way to clean their kennels. I knew many things about animals I did not know before, and I even made a few discoveries (well, at least they were discoveries for me). For example, you may be told cats love it when you scratch the area behind their ears. This is true, but some cats aren't too fond of this. Some prefer their cheeks to be scratched, for others it's under the chin, and for others it's the neck... It varies widely. I was not told about this in courses. I just found out like that.
For the most part, I got over my fear of dogs.
Before I started working in the Potter League, I had a massive fear of dogs. In fact, just hearing a dog barking made me hide behind whoever was with me, and should even the most harmless dog on this planet approach me, I would have made a run for it like my life depended on it. After a few weeks of tending to the cats, bunnies, and ferrets (yes, ferrets!), there was a shortage for dog cleaning, and I decided to be helpful and brave my fear. Even though at one point I got chased by a huge German Shepherd, it all went better than expected. I moved on to the last puppy and few things were as adorable as little Brent waving his tail out of happiness when seeing me. This motivated me to spend more time with the dogs and get over my fear. So, I started off small, with the smaller dogs (see what I did there?). Then, I moved on to the medium sized dogs. Honestly, I still have fear of the huge dogs but I'm happy that I no longer get scared shitless whenever I even see a Corgi.
I got to witness very heartwarming moments.
In all the fun, happiness, and love you feel towards the animals, there are also a lot of heartwarming moments. I recall in the harsh winter, when I got to assist in the rescue of a stranded dog. Seriously, she was abandoned on the street! What's more is that she was pregnant and gave birth to seven beautiful puppies. My heart was jumping up and down! Another moment that restored my faith in humanity was that we had this bulldog who was in the shelter for 10 years! He was blind in one eye and could get aggressive very easily. His name was Rocky. One day, some dude saw Rocky and seemed to have pity in his eyes and decided to adopt him. Since Rocky always ended back after being adopted, we hoped it would work out this time... And it did! The dude loved Rocky, and the bulldog finally found a loving home.
That's it for this article!! Thank you for reading and I hope you'll try this too because even though there are a few annoying moments, and packed schedules, the pros definitely out weight the cons.
Until next time!