As a precursor to my new endeavor I have been volunteering at a no kill shelter in the city. There are other shelters that probably need help more than this clean, well-funded establishment, but I am fairly sure that I would want to bring every dog home with me if I didn’t know for certain that they would all find homes. Our canines already outnumber us; we had to move from man to dog to a zone defense when we brought Betty home. But that isn’t to say that I haven’t fallen in love with someone new every day that I have been at the shelter.
Not surprisingly, it has confirmed that I truly love all dogs. I noticed years ago that when someone tells me the breed of their dog, my response is always “Oh I love Cavalier King Charles Spaniels (or Pit bulls or Poodles or Pulis).” It occurred to me then that there are few breeds that I don’t love and none that I don’t like.
I have also realized that while as the t-shirt says, “I love Big Mutts and I cannot lie” I love little dogs too. The Chihuahuas and Terriers and white mop dogs all make me smile. I am particularly drawn to the funny looking ones. They are the literal underdogs and have personalities that nestle right into a corner of my heart.
My current favorite is named Alissa and she is a poodle mix with a bad perm. She is a tiny girl with a round middle and little fur-covered toothpicks for legs. Her fur is coarse and sort of brillo-like and she has little beady sweet eyes that just ooze love. She just needs a spa day and she will be lovely; a deep conditioning or hot oil treatment would do her wonders. But the truth is she is just the sweetest, silliest looking dog and anyone who invites her into their home would be blessed with her unconditional love and gratitude. (I only wish I could be this open and generous with humans, but I am a dog person not a person person – add that to my list of things to work on.)
Each time I visit the shelter I look to see who is still there and hope that my favorites are gone. Sometimes they are and sometimes they aren’t, but the good news is that they have a safe clean place to live until someone takes them home. On Sunday’s visit my gal Alissa was gone. Her pot had clearly come (or was it her lid).