I’ve always wanted to work with animals in some capacity, as a little girl I wanted to be a vet but then I discovered that science was not my friend and without it there was no chance of me becoming a vet. Growing up we always had animals around us, sheep, cows, horses, dogs, cats, ducks and chooks until I went to University and moved away from home. Now, as an adult with my own home, the void has been filled with two black dogs, Maxi the dalmatian cross and Bundy the staffordshire bull terrier cross. There is much joy in having a dog, they provide company, an exercise partner and plenty of laughs with their crazy antics. It is not all fun and games, you have to put in the time and effort to make them sociable, (reasonably) obedient and well behaved – it doesn’t just happen but it is well and truly worth the effort.
As much as I love and obsess over our two black dogs, there are lots of dogs out there that don’t have homes because their owners either don’t want them or can’t have them anymore. Don’t even get me started on the irresponsible dog owners who refuse to get their dog desexed so they keep roaming and procreating and voila! more unwanted dogs. Anyway, I’ve always been a fan of supporting animal welfare groups and our local shelter has an great volunteer program which provides people like me with the opportunity to walk dogs, cuddle cats, foster the young, sick and elderly and help with fund raising. Today was my first day as a volunteer dog walker and it was excellent, I walked dogs of all shapes and sizes and the affection and appreciation comes back at you in spades. It would be easy to walk away feeling depressed about all of the animals that live in the shelter and it is sad that they don’t all have forever homes, yet I walked away feeling good that I was able to help and that each dog I walked spent half an hour less locked in a kennel. My pants were covered in slobber, my t-shirt covered in dirty paw prints, our two black dogs sniffed me from head to toe when I got home and I can’t wait to go back an do it all again next weekend.