The time has come for mom and me to say goodbye.
I have been writing my blog since January 2010. I started out as a young pup adopted from Hinsdale Humane Society, still learning the ways of the world… potty training, refraining from biting, getting my parts and pieces “fixed.”
I missed my previous family and had to learn to adapt to my new family. My first family had active preschoolers: strollers, tricycles, blankies, and table scraps dropped on the floor (YUM!) My new family had teenagers with big smelly feet, parents who sometimes brought me to work, and a house with big scary stairs. You know what? I learned to adjust. The most important thing was that I had people who
loved me… my first family who wanted what was best for me and my current family who lets me bark at everything and anything. (OK, they don’t really “let” me bark, they just haven’t figured out how to help me understand the need to be quiet!)
While I’ve grown and become more mature, things around me have changed, too. 6119 shelter pets have come and gone to their forever homes. Seriously, that’s the number of pets who have been adopted! Just think of all those wonderful dogs, cats, kittens and puppies, along with a few rabbits, birds, Guinea pigs, reptiles and others who now have a roof over their heads and a family to love!
Things around the shelter have changed, too. There have been remodeling projects and renovations… New, improved kitty condos and brand new dog kennels… A memorial garden and a new front entrance when a car accidently ran into the building. Kind of like when my teeth accidently bit dad’s toes, I’m sure no harm was really intended. We learned to deal with adversity and make the best of a tough situation.
A few staff members have come and gone, but a lot has remained the same. People still care passionately and deeply about the mission of helping animals. More volunteers than ever come to walk dogs, socialize cats, clean up after the animals, and help with administration and events. Board members give generously of their time and donors share compassionate gifts, all so the NEXT pet can be adopted, and the NEXT one, and the NEXT one. And so on.
Pet therapy teams visit people who are lonely in the hospital or nursing home. They help kids who are learning to read. Other dogs and cats work with children and adults who need physical rehabilitation, or provide a shoulder to cry on while in hospice. Unfortunately, I couldn’t pass that evaluation to be a pet therapy dog. It’s not that I’m not smart or special, but only the “best of the best-trained” animals make it. And if I face my shortcomings, obedience isn’t my strongest quality. The world needs dogs who can write and look cute, too!
You know what else the world needs? Kids who love animals! So while I missed my first family, I got to see kids coming for shelter tours, kids participating in pet camp, kids bringing in birthday money to help pets, kids reading to dogs, and kids adopting their new best friend. I will never get tired of seeing the next generation of animal welfare advocates as they demonstrate their capacity for caring and compassion.
But as I mentioned in the beginning, the time has come for me to say goodbye. I’m leaving to follow my family to another state. I’ve never even been to Kentucky. I hear there are lots of horses there, but I’ve never even met a horse! What if they are scary? I guess I’m going to have to learn to adapt to new situations and a new house. Mom tells me there are no raccoons living in the attic and I won’t have to climb any stairs. I’ll have a new groomer and a new vet. There will be new paths to walk and new people to meet. SO many changes are ahead of me! But I’ll have a roof over my head and my family who loves me. Whatever else could I possibly need?
I know I will miss my friends at HHS, the human and the furry kind. They’ve been considerate and thoughtful and I will always remember them, especially the ones who give me cookies and nibbles fromtheir lunches! (YUM!)
Not to be melodramatic, but it makes me think of Juliet. “Good night. Good night. Parting is such sweet sorrow.”
The sweet part is the wonderful friends I’ve made and the love you’ve shown to me.
The sorrowful part is the fact I must say goodbye to the very ones who have shaped me into the dog I am today… A little less wild, a little more obedient, perhaps a bit less stubborn, but a lot more open to the possibilities of a life well lived.
Thanks for the memories, but most of all, thanks for the LOVE!
So long and goodbye!