Last week I told you guys about how I deployed as a volunteer to help with dogs being held from the well known #367 dog fighting bust that occurred back in August. Well I have been home from that trip for a few days now, and have had the opportunity to reflect on what I learned and experienced.
Like I mentioned last week, it’s pretty difficult to put into words the way I feel about my time down there. We encounter so many emotions and thoughts and feelings while working for and with these dogs and most of them can’t really be transcribed onto paper (or a computer screen). But that, I felt, was one of the best parts. So much of last week felt new and invigorating to me. I went with my friend Amy, and at one point I felt like she put it best: “I only hope that I have made even one hundredth of the difference in their lives that they have made in mine.”
It’s true – while we are all there for the dogs, I believe those pups make far more impact on our lives than we do on theirs. To me that kind of sums up the true significance of these dogs and this case. They are touching people’s lives across the country by just being themselves and overcoming the odds. Sure, we give them a warm bed, fresh food and water, human affection and many other needs and wants that were probably never met for them, but they give us hope, inspiration, humbleness, strength, motivation, joy, satisfaction and so much more.
As I return back to “real life” and begin to get lost in the clutter and chaos of responsibilities that resumed almost immediately, I remind myself to slow down. I often take a minute to stop and picture the faces of the four-legged wiggling creatures that I fell in love with over those short five days, remembering how they were so special that they pulled me in and stole my heart even though I was convinced they wouldn’t. I remember all the extraordinary people I met, and how so many different walks of life are coming together for one same reason: the love of these dogs. Life is too short not to relish memories like giving a dog who has lived on a chain his whole life his daily post-dinner Kong that he has come to expect and enjoy.
So while I tried to do my part by giving fifty-two hours of service to these dogs, they have left a lifelong impact on me that far surpasses that – and for that I am so grateful.