Being a furry friendly rescue ambassador for Second Chance Humane Society is an important job that requires connecting with people in unique and meaningful ways. It involves nudging up against the tentative hearts of people I meet and urging them to open a bit more, feel a little more, and ironically with my support, become a little more of a human. I’ll illustrate with my most recent adventure.
Last week I accompanied a few adoptable dogs and volunteers from Second Chance to the Ridgway Youth Volunteer & Career Fair at the Ridgway Secondary School. It was a lively outdoor event sponsored by the Ridgway Area Chamber of Commerce and Ridgway School District, as it brought dozens of organizations and businesses to display the opportunities available for the varied interests and passions of Ridgway’s developing hearts and minds.
I met a lot of youth that day, which was fabulous. With one of my three remaining legs in a brace, so that I can be fully mobile, people’s hearts often soften when they meet me. I like to think it is out of respect and compassion, not pity, because I have a great life now. But I also think it is because I help them see themselves.
I brought a 12-week puppy named Otto with me and a middle-aged black Lab named Juice, with the distinguished air that glistening silver hairs around a soft muzzle provide. As one would suspect, Juice’s adult stature gained him the least attention, while cute wriggly Otto was an attention-hoarder, but I got noticed by the most tenderhearted souls.
There was one teen who was very comforting to be near, he was gentle and kind. I really enjoyed hanging out with him, and I hope I convinced him to be a volunteer as many of my furry adoptable friend’s at Second Chance need more people like him around.
Before the pandemic, I used to go into the schools on a weekly basis to work with young children, to help them build joy and confidence in reading, or I would help de-stress teens during exams. I really miss those experiences but it felt like this event was a hopeful beginning to returning to these meaningful interactions.
The human-animal bond is something that is learned and should be part of the educational setting. It opens hearts and minds to so many other ways to be in the world. As humanity has had to turn even more toward electronic connection, and away from personal connection, remember that your pets and those in shelters waiting to be adopted are here to help guide humanity back to each other. I hope our paths cross soon.
As I have a loving home, this week’s dog highlight is sweet Honey Lemon. She a couple years young and has had a rough start to life, but is ready for that to change. She has never lived in a home or been someone’s family so she has a lot to learn, but she has the desire and heart. If you have a loving, quiet home, with a securely fenced yard, where Honey Lemon can blossom into a wonderful family dog, please give Second Chance a call!
Second Chance Humane Society’s Animal Resource Center and Thrift Shops have been servicing San Miguel, Ouray and Montrose counties for 27 years. Call 970-626-2273 to report a lost pet, learn about adopting a homeless pet, or about our Emergency Response, Community Medical, Spay/Neuter, Volunteer or other services. View our shelter pets and services online at adoptmountainpets.org.