More Lessons from the Shelter—Another ‘Tail’



I can honestly say that not only is volunteering at the animal shelter rewarding, it is also an educational experience. I learn lessons from the animals every time we are together.

I’ve learned that there are things far more important than money and prestige. Rather, having a friend that looks into your eyes with love and hope and wants nothing more than to spend quality time together gives me more pleasure than a trip to the mall.

I’ve learned that seeing trust return, when before there was only fear, is the best feeling imaginable.

I’ve experienced so much true joy when a sweet, innocent soul is rescued and given a home that there really isn’t an equivalent.

I can’t say that there is no frustration because to be honest, there is.

Last night I spent hours in bed looking up at the ceiling, wondering why little Max–a perfect little dog is still sitting in his pen at the shelter.

At just two years old and already walking well on the leash, housebroken, and a real charmer, he still has ‘puppy joy’ just being alive and would love someone to share that joy.

Max is the little fellow that was born with a heart emblazoned on his side and freckles on his head.  He even has a sense of humor as he loves to hold the leash in his mouth while we are walking and ‘lead’ me around!

Untitled 2

Untitled 2When I sit at the curb on the Edison Access Road, his favorite moments are when he can listen to me talk to him, lean into my knee and wait for his hug and petting. It is our routine, you see, and he truly looks forward to it.

I would also like to share another success story with you.

We have at the shelter a little dog named Penny. She is only barely out of puppyhood and has already had puppies. My guess is that she was no longer wanted or loved and came to us never really having had anyone who cared about her.


Untitled 2The first few times I walked her, she just got down to business and wanted to go back. Sitting at the curb with me wasn’t on her list of fun things to do, but I didn’t give up trying and then this past Monday, voilà, she walked over to me and the tail that usually is carried between her legs started wagging. I got so many kisses I was ecstatic!

Sometimes it’s hard to carry on and hang in there.

So many animals are brought in daily and although I want to spend a lot of time with each one, my time is limited. That is why am I hoping the stories I write will reach those special people who can see past the sadness the animals cannot verbalize but share with their eyes and hearts. Someone who wants to open their home to another soul who will repay the kindness by dedicating their life to their new caretaker.

I can honestly say that the investment will pay more dividends than any bank.

Untitled 2

Previous articleMy First Political Trip to D.C.
Next articleBe Our Guide
Having lived these good many years, (71 to be exact), has given me the opportunity to reflect on what I value most. Family, good friends, and the precious pets that have shared my life  have enriched me as a person. I’ve evaluated what is most important to me and what lessons I’ve learned, and what I’ve determined is that I want to leave this world a better place for having lived here. It is one of my deepest desires to be able to help those who have no voice — because animals have always played an important role in my life. They were constant friends when the world around me was changing.  One, (a small parakeet named Petie), accompanied me when as a child my family moved across country twice, (New York to California and back again)-I can still see Petie in his small travel cage sitting on my lap as I explained to him where we were stopping for the night and feeling that his company as well as my dear parents were all I needed to feel safe and secure. My pets were with me in good times and bad, often being the consistent non-judgmental voice my heart needed. Although I spent my working years as a commercial artist, both teaching the craft at a local college and in my own studio, it seems that in my later years it is by painting with words that I am now able to reach out to people, and it is my joy to do just that. I hope my stories help to connect people to kindred souls that wear fur on their faces but are just as capable as we are to feel great love in their hearts.  Rescue animals particularly deserve another chance at a happy life and it is my honor to bring their stories to light and hopefully be the catalyst that joins two different species on their journey. The connection we share with our pets is like no other, There is no need to be anything other than who and what you are. No amount of money or privilege will impress them as much as your kindness and attention. I do know that in the final analysis, life is good and most people honestly want to do the right thing. If that includes opening their home and heart to another living being, then my purpose is accomplished. I hope in some small way I can contribute to that greater good. Bio- Born in Middle Village, New York- 1945 Mother to a wonderful son, Michael who truly would be a cherished friend even if we weren't related--and fortunate in meeting my kind and thoughtful soulmate, Burt, in later life- I am blessed indeed. Retired teacher/ Orange Coast College/ former owner and operator of a commercial art business in Huntington Beach, California.
 Lucky to have had the opportunity to work in the art field where I was often quoted as saying, "You mean I am being paid for something I love to do?!"

 Interests: travel, enjoying local points of interest, movies, volunteering at the Newland Animal Shelter and writing about the wonderful personalities I have been honored to meet there, both human and furry-faced, and generally enjoying the retired life.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

twenty − 9 =