Walking in Orleans County can’t be much better than this! When the opportunity presents I walk the trails and roads near the Pope Memorial Frontier Animal Society. Now… let me explain… I have a three-year-old Pitbull-beagle mix, Tuuka – as in Tuuka Rask, best Bruins Goalie ever! – and she is spoiled rotten. I figured, I could share the love. Not to mention – I’ve spent the last decade dedicated to school and my own personal life, I figured it was time to do something for someone other than myself. I already work at the local hospital, so the animal shelter was really one of the only other local non-profits that immediately came to mind. My husband, Dan, also made the suggestion. I was a little apprehensive. All I could imagine is sweet loving old dogs locked up and unloved. I had no idea how wrong I was!
I showed up April 29 for my “training” and was introduced to Toni – she immediately offered to let me walk dogs. I thought I was showing up to scoop poop (I would have…). I asked her if she had a preference for who should be walked first and she told me about Clyde.
Clyde is an Alaskan Huskey… I would have said a Border Collie (I know nothing about dog breeds, but am learning really fast!). I put Clyde on the leash, and all that boy wanted to do is run! So – we ran. Up the hills, through the bushes, on the road, back again. He didn’t take the treat I gave him, but his eyes smiled enough for me.
That is literally, all it took. I fell in love with these dogs immediately and was so grateful for the experienced.
Here’s Mateo – he was in the kennel next to Clyde.
Don’t let the picture fool you!! He’s got little short legs!! But he still likes to walk and wanted every treat I would give him! Here he is after his adoption. The picture doesn’t show how proud this little boy is. The full picture is on the Pope Memorial Frontier Animal Society Facebook page – even Mom and Dad are beaming!
The little puppies don’t go for walks… but that doesn’t stop me from opening the kennel to pet them and give them snuggles!
Bruno the beautiful brindle boy also was there in April. He liked to pull a little on the leash, but was kind and gentle.
I left that day in April with a changed heart. First of all – how could I only walk a handful of the dogs when there were so many! They all deserved to go for a walk (or in some of their cases… a run!).
These dogs are treated so well, and loved by each and every volunteer – me included. Not all dogs get to have various trips and play dates outside in a safe, grassy area. Not all dogs get to go for walks one to two times a day. Not all dogs have a consistent meal and warm place to sleep. The animal shelter is a safe haven and place where these boys and girls get spoiled and loved.
It only takes a few minutes for these various personalities to come through. Each one of these animals is so unique and demonstrate their love for humans immediately. They have hearts so big that they will give total strangers taking them for walks kisses when they have the chance.
Every one of these dogs in this post has since been adopted. Ann, Mary Kate, and Toni have an incredible ability to find forever homes for these fur babies. I’m always happy for them, but at the same time sad for me. I miss them when they go, but find relief in knowing they’re getting the love and attention they deserve.