I am a lover of all kinds of animals. And throughout my life I’ve owned, cared for and rescued a variety of animals from stray dogs roaming the neighborhood, to baby birds fallen from their nest, to snakes caught in a grass fire. My poor mom, I was always bringing some creature home to take care of. I really thought about becoming a veterinarian but my emotions were tightly under control by the time I hit my teens and I didn’t think I could bear watching the faces of those who would grieve over the illnesses or loss of their faithful companions.
As an adult, I had an amazing dog for 11 years until old age took her from me, and a cat who graced our lives for almost 22 years until she too slipped quietly away. Since then, I’ve by choice remained without a pet. I’m busy with work and I travel some. Plus the heartbreak I experience when my beloved pets die is overwhelming.
Recently, though, three small kittens showed up at my house. A neighborhood cat brought her babies to me to feed, because she knew I would! When temps dropped below zero one night last November, I opened my door and my heart and invited them in. Mama cat will allow me to feed her but refuses any other hospitality. However, Rilynn, Angel and Shy Boy are still in my house, and quite comfortable. It took weeks before Angel and Shy Boy would allow me to pet them and longer before they would sit on my lap, but we are all buddies now.
Being a responsible pet owner, I’ve had the females spayed and Shy Boy was neutered today. I am grateful for the low cost spay and neuter clinic at the Joplin Humane Society. They make it very affordable to prevent unwanted litters. It is difficult for me to go to the Humane Society however. The need is so great for adoptive families. I want all the animals there to find good homes. I’ve got the three kittens so I looked for another way to help. For my first today, I sponsored a dog at JHS, a sweet mixed breed boy named Beau. His adoption fees are paid and he’s ready for a family.
I wasn’t quite prepared when the kind volunteer told me to go on back and select a dog. I thought she would pick one! I asked for guidance in choosing the right dog as I rounded the corner and walked slowly past rows of kennels. Beau’s sweet face and friendliness drew me right away. I whispered to him that this was my way of helping him. I whispered to all of the dogs looking at me and wagging their tails that someone would come soon who would love them and take them home.
Anatole France says, “Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” My desire is that someone will love Beau and give him a home. If not Beau, then may they adopt or sponsor one of the many dogs and cats available at the Joplin Humane Society or one of the other animal shelters in the area. I am awake. I love.