Three Hopeful Hearts


three-hopeful-hearts-feat-imageThe seasons are changing here in my hometown of Huntington Beach.

The cold weather we experienced this winter is slowly changing and it no longer is necessary to put extra sweaters on our small shelter dogs as often. But, thank you all for donating the sweaters so we have them when needed!

As always, I walk towards the shelter from my parking spot a few blocks away and watch the soft ocean breezes blow the palm trees at the shoreline. The sun, which was in hiding for a number of weeks, is once again dancing off of the water and reminds me of sparkling diamonds. Much like our shelter dogs, each one special, unique, and hopeful.

When I walk into the shelter, all eyes are on me. They want so much to be taken out for a walk and given that extra hug, pet, and ear rub. I do this not just for them, but for me as well. The small satisfied sighs and looks of unhidden joy reminds me that we all have feelings and by bringing a bit of happiness and relief to someone in need, we nurture our own souls.

Most people hide their feelings, perhaps as a shield to keep hurt away, but dogs wear their emotions right out in the open. And I love that about them. There is no pretense, no hidden agenda. They want to be loved for who they are and more than anything, they want a person to call their own. They really don’t ask for much, certainly not material possessions. A fancy car or big home is not as important as the opportunity to accompany their person through life, sharing both good and bad times and being there in a non-judgmental way, always.

I usually end my walk with a happy heart, knowing that I brought at least a little joy to these sweet souls who really don’t have a lot going for them. We walk down the Edison Access Road and pass the wonderful Bark City Doggie Daycare facility and watch people bring their dogs in for doggie daycare or boarding and can see the confidence and joy the dogs exhibit. They are happy and know their owners love and care for them. You can see it in their eyes.

Our little shelter dogs are still hoping for that precious feeling.

Lately, I have been leaving the shelter with a less happy heart. We have three wonderful dogs who truly need to be out of their concrete pens and into a pair of loving arms.

Please allow me the opportunity to introduce you to Carley, Willie, and Sandy.

carley-with-infoCarley has spent almost her whole life behind the bars of the shelter.

Instead of being standoffish or resentful, she faces life with a calm, gentle demeanor and a sweet attitude. She is a big, lovable girl who looks at me with trusting eyes and quickly attaches to anyone who spends even a little time with her.

She is a gentle dog who has that magical way of looking deeply into the soul of a person and can communicate non-verbally that she would love to belong to someone.

Week after week I see her and we have a sort of ritual, where I give her a little treat and she gently takes it from my fingers and conveys to me that she wants a person in her life—Someone who will open the shelter doors and welcome her into their home as a member of the family.

She is special and patient and when I leave her, I hope so much that she will be adopted soon.

willie22And then there is Willie, a sweet little guy with only one eye. He always appears to be winking at me.

He is certainly a little character, because months ago when I first started walking him, he would do his business as soon as we started the walk and then let me know that he wanted to go back to the pen. He is a homebody and truly loves food. As soon we returned to the shelter, he would go directly to his beloved food bowl—hence Willie has a bit of a chunky figure.

Now he has decided that walking and being petted is even better than home and hearth and loves his petting sessions on the Edison Access Road curbside. He is a calm boy who would do well in a loving home that doesn’t require a very active dog. He is a fluffy bundle of cuddles and with that winky-blinky eye you will always think someone’s flirting with you. I adore this little man!


sandy-with-infoThe third pup I would like to introduce to you is our Sandy. I am in love with this girl and to tell you the truth, I think I am saddest when I think about her seemingly never-ending search for a home.

This is because when I walk her she is so hopeful she won’t have to go back to the pen that she puts on the brakes when I try to put her back in there. She hunkers down and I have to pick her up to get her back into the concrete pen that is her home right now—It almost makes me cry.

When we sit at the curb she leans into my knee and sighs a big sigh waiting for me to rub her ears and stroke her cheeks. She loves that, and just melts into my arms. She is very lovable and would make a perfect companion if given a chance.

She is so sweet, trusting, and so reluctant to go back into her pen that it hurts my heart to return her to the shelter.

When I walk back to my car, I carry a little bit of all of these wonderful dogs with me and sometimes they come to me in my dreams. I want so much to see them adopted. They are full of love and absolutely deserving of a home and place to call their own.

Please go to the shelter and visit them. Take them for a walk and see how special they are.

shelterIf possible please share their stories. The more people learn about them, the better their chance for adoption❤

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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.