When I moved into my new place, I felt like something was missing. I had a dog when I lived with my parents. My parents were too attached to "Buddy", so I left him with my parents. I decided to take a ride to the animal shelter just to see what it was like. I had never been to one before. If you are a pet lover like I am, it will break your heart to go into a shelter and see all of the homeless dogs, cats, rabbits, you name it. Mostly what struck me was the dogs. I just couldn't understand how some people could give up these wonderful dogs. Some of the kennels have reasons for the dog being there and whether they are good with children or not posted on the door of the cages. I guess it's better for a dog to be at the shelter with a chance of finding a good home with loving parents than to be locked up in a garage or somewhere out in the streets where it could be hurt.
I took several different dogs into a room where you can play with him/her. Some were shy, some were aggressive, some were scared, some wanted to lick my face off of my head. I understood it would take a few minutes for most dogs to calm down after spending so much time in a little kennel. There were so many pure bred dogs that were up for adoption. I wanted about 8 or 10 of them. I decided to wait and make sure that I was making the right decision. I left broken hearted but I thought that I better be sure I was ready to walk the dog and realize that accidents were going to happen.
I went back to the same humain society kennel a few weeks after my first visit. I thought about it and I felt I was ready to go and rescue a pal who needed a home. I arrived when the kennel first opened. I looked up and down the rows of kennels. It really broke my heart when I saw that some of the dogs that I saw at the kennel three weeks ago were still there! Were these poor dogs going to be destroyed?! Right then I wished I was a millionaire. I would have bought a big farm and tried to take all of those unwanted dogs home. The way that some of the dogs look at you as you walk by can tear your heart out. You can see that some of them know that they are not with their owners and some must have been abused. Some you can see the spirit broken in their eyes.
I saw a little miniature poodle and asked to take him into a room to play with him. He had a lost look in his eyes. He walked over and leaned against me as if he didn't have any strength. I held his front paws so that he was standing on his hind legs. He licked my face and looked at me in the eyes. I noticed he had a big patch of black fur around his left eye. He looked like someone punched his lights out. When I asked the dog if he wanted to go home, it was as if someone was told they won the lottery. He danced in circles, his eyes lit up and his spirit returned. I had to take him out of that place. He belonged with me. The care taker said he was brought in because he kept running away. I noticed his nose was all chapped as if someone left a muzzle on him all day and night. His nose was extremely raw. He was also much too skinny. The dog was on medication. He was having problems going to the bathroom and kept throwing up. It was obvious the previous owner abused him. His name was Raficki, which I later found out was the name of a character from the movie The Lion King. He responded to that name better than the ones I made up. So Raficki it was. We went home. His tail didn't stop wagging from the time we were in the lobby to the time he finally fell asleep next to me in bed of exhaustion from all the excitement.
Raficki was 1 1/2 years old. He wasn't on the medication long. He also went from 9 or 10 pounds to 15 pounds in a matter of months. His teeth looked terrible when I brought him home. I figured it was from just eating table scraps or just canned food. Now Raficki's teeth are white as snow.
I wish more people would go to the shelters before buying a pet. While I was looking at the shelters I saw birds, snakes, rabbits, hamsters and other homeless pets. I saw AKC husky's and Rott's. I saw a huge sheepdog that I would have taken if I had the room for him. Most of these pets just had the misfortune of getting impatient owners or owners who never thought that they would actually have to walk their dog and take care of it. People amaze me sometimes.
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Last updated July 27, 2002.