Cafe Witness

Monday, May 28, 2007

Zelda Only Got One Walk

Since we can't have pets in our apartment, Ann and I have been volunteering as dog walkers at the Animal Rescue League for the past month or so. It's a great experience, and I always wish there were more time in the day so I could walk more dogs. (The average walk lasts anywhere from 5 minutes to half an hour, depending upon need and inclination.)

Today was Memorial Day (here in the States, anyway), so the shelter was closed. However, they asked volunteers to come in and help all the dogs get at least one "long-ish" walk for the day -- 10 minutes plus. (Every dog gets a "pee walk" in the morning, which is usually as short as it needs to be -- just so the housebroken dogs don't have an accident and the non-housebroken dogs can start learning.)

Ann and I were there for about 90 minutes, and we were able to walk about 10 of the dogs. Other volunteers were there earlier in the day, and among us, all but four of the dogs had been able to get out for their "long-ish" walk with fifteen minutes left in the day.

Ann and I, along with another volunteer, Wendy, got three of the last four dogs out for their extra walk before the shelter closed for the day (to us). Unfortunately, Zelda -- an adorable mutt who happens to be gigantic, and therefore intimidating to walk -- was the only one who didn't get out twice. Her cage also happens to be situated near one of the doors, where she probably saw other dogs going in and out all day, wondering when her turn would come.

I don't pretend to understand the minds of dogs, but I understand the mind of me, and I know I felt soooooo guilty for not sticking around long enough to get Zelda out. Maybe she's wondering if she did something wrong. Maybe she's wondering if she was forgotten about.

The funny thing is, on days when Ann and I are the ONLY volunteers who come through, we feel good to get 4 or 5 dogs out for a walk. At least we did something, we rationalize. But when all but one dog gets a walk, that's even more depressing.

Zelda, I owe you one.

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