I worked in an animal shelter for almost two years and I can’t count how many times my heart would break or how often I would shed tears of joy when one of our furry little friends was adopted.
It never seemed like a job, it was more like a labour of love. That was a couple years ago, but I will never forget the experience I gained.
Whenever we had a new intake that was obviously neglected or abused, I wished the animal could talk so that they could tell us what happened and who did what to them.
I often wonder, if we could read the mind of a homeless or stray dog, what would he say? What are his daily battles? How did he end up on the streets? Does he have owners?’
A Dog’s Eye View …
‘I hope this night is warm; it’s been so cold, I’d better find someplace to sleep where I’ll be safe, but I’m so hungry. Where did I find that garbage can earlier? It had that bread that was crunchy and I liked how it felt on my teeth. I think I’ll keep walking down this block, there’s always some humans around that are kind and might pet me and tell me I’m a “pretty boy.”
I wish I wasn’t so weak. I’d play and talk to strangers. Maybe one of them would take me home if I acted cute. Maybe they would see the little sway of my legs and look into my brown eyes and take some pity on me.
I think I’ll find somewhere to lie down; my feet are sore from walking all day. I just want to sleep. What I would do for some food, a bath and just a bit of love.
Where did I go wrong? Why doesn’t anyone love me? I was so cute when I was a puppy and I had so many people petting me and loving me. But then I got big and my humans didn’t want me anymore. I should’ve stayed small. Why did I have to grow? I should’ve stayed a cute puppy and maybe they wouldn’t have stopped loving me.
Oh well, I’d better find someplace to sleep …
It sure is cold this morning. What’s that sound? It’s so loud and I’m tired and hungry. Oh it’s that big train. Why do I always sleep around these things? Oh well, time to head out. I think my claws are too long. It hurts to walk. Ughhh! I feel this itch all over my body; it’s probably because of all the knots and the dirt. What I would do for some food, a bath and just a bit of love.
Oh look, there’s some people calling me, I think I’ll go to them. They might have food! I love how they call me “pooch,” and pet me!
Yes I am a pretty boy, but you’re right I do smell stinky, but I sure like your affection, I’m happy right now!
Wait! Where are you guys going? Why do you have to get on that bus? Take me home; I’ll be a good dog! Please come back!
They’re gone and I’m alone. Now what?
OK. I’ve got to find some food. If I keep moving, I’ll stay warm. There’s that garbage can that I found yesterday! It has some crunchy stuff in there. I wish I could just find a home. I’d be the best dog ever. I’d play and beg and protect my humans. What I would do for some food, a bath and just a bit of love.
Oh well, another day, another battle. Maybe tomorrow I’ll find some humans to love me …
Sharon Thomas is a Saskatoon freelance writer. Her column appears every fourth Friday in rotation with Jessica Iron Joseph, Lori Q. McGavin and Kevin Joseph.