Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Socializing Small Humans Around Canines

On Saturday, girl-child and I volunteered with the local Animal Shelter's dog adoption drive.  Though we've been to other shelter events, and gone to the shelter a dozen times or more to visit the cats and walk the dogs, this was the first time helping as an official volunteer.  I filled out paperwork and everything.  (While girl-child couldn't officially volunteer, she could be there because I was there.  She had adult supervision.  Me!)

I've got to say: what a wonderful, amazing experience.  Not just the dogs and the much-needed fuzz therapy, but those ladies we hung out with are something else.  Just such an amazing group of women.  Dedicated, loving and full of purpose.  I can't wait until I know more about the processes of adoption so I can speak with some authority when someone asks me a question, but for now, I'm just grateful to be involved.

We were "assigned" a dog; a puppy, really.  He was (approximately) 4 month old hound/lab/sneaky-neighbor-dog mix with amazing eyes.  He was completely laid back; thought he was a lap dog.  I spent the majority of our time there with him curled up on my lap, which was completely fine by me.  And, when his Forever Mommy showed up and decided to adopt him, I couldn't believe how excited I was!  What an awesome feeling!  And how wonderful for sweet doggie!

Girl-child had fun, too.  After our puppy went with his new momma back to the shelter to fill out paperwork, girl-child went and hung out with a senior-aged black lab mix with big, pitiful eyes.  This dog wasn't particularly fond of other dogs, and didn't like to have his tail touched, but he was just fine with people and he (we're pretty sure) decided girl-child should be his person.  He rolled right on top of her legs and just lay there looking at her like, "OK - pet me, will ya?"  She obliged.

Since our own sweet dog died a couple of years ago, girl-child hasn't spent too much time around dogs and was a little bit shy (but not afraid) around them, so I figured it was a good idea to "socialize" her among our canine friends.  She doesn't really want them to lick her face - that's OK, lots of folks who love dogs don't like to have their faces licked - but she's really good with them.  She's gentle and sweet, but also smart.  These are all good qualities of a future doggie momma.

Anyway, it was a fantastic experience and I can say with honesty that girl-child and I will help out again.  When we were leaving the event to go feed a now-starving girl-child, she said, "Mom!  That was AWESOME!  I want to volunteer at the shelter EVERY weekend."


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