Special guest blog post by Mike, Second Chance Volunteer
If you know me, you know I have a few passions, I love music, vegan food and most of all I love animals. I have been volunteering and working with animals for most of my adult life. Working at shelters, farm sanctuaries and tabling events as an advocate for animals. So, when Diane asked if I would like to write a post about what it is like not being able to volunteer at the shelter during these insane times. I thought it would be therapeutic at least.
Let me first tell you that I am in an essential business, the plumbing sales industry, so I have been able to get up and go to work up until recently when we had a positive test of an employee. I am now in quarantine, so until recently I have not had a lot of downtime. That said, not being able to volunteer has been dreadful for me. Besides the obvious things like feeling good about doing good or the sense of purpose that it gives me, I just simply miss getting to know the different animals at the shelter. I feel like I make a group of friends every time I walk in the door. Every dog I walk or kitty I pet, its like a level of socializing I just don’t get any other way. And though my cats Harry and Millie are extremely happy with my constant attention, I know how well they have been treated their whole lives. They have it pretty good. But connecting with a dog that has trouble trusting people or seeing dogs like Rocco and Yogi finally find a home, these are experiences you can’t get in any other way. To not have this in my life has been extremely difficult. I used to visit the shelter on Wednesdays on my day off and I can honestly say I can feel it every Wednesday when I wake up, because I can sleep a bit later now. I will lay and bed thinking at this time I would be walking a dog or playing with a kitten or even listening to the stories from the other volunteers or staff about their animals. Because, face it we could all talk about our pets for hours with no one even listening. So, again saying this has been a difficult time for me and I know many others would be a massive understatement.
I know that someday this will be over, and we can return to some version of “normal” and with so many challenges ahead I know this, I will not take the opportunity to help the voiceless for granted. Because they are not voiceless to me.
I wanted to close with this. I work with some older guys and some of them say that they don’t want to retire because “they wouldn’t know what to do with themselves”. I usually laugh at them. This is something I cannot relate to because I know exactly what I would be doing with all that time. I would be doing what I wish I could be doing with all this time now. Volunteering. Walking Dogs, petting kitties and doing my best to make sure all of them get a Second Chance.
I hope all of you are safe and healthy and know that we are all in this together…
Mike, Harry and Millie