Haunted by the Green Taffeta Bow

Today was suppose to be just like any other day.  A day scheduled with visiting shelters and doing evaluations on potential candidates for our program. I have a ritual with myself before I go and visit any shelters to try and “mentally” prepare myself to be able to go in and “do my job”. Look, read body language and help Jason with the evaluations. Today I wasn’t in that safe & secure mental state of mind where this confident woman would walk in and search out that rescue dog . I knew when I walked in the first shelter it was going to be a long day as I felt myself wanting to save them all. I looked around and couldn’t help but keep thinking about what is going on in the minds of these dogs. What were they thinking? Why were they there?
By the time we visited the last shelter, I was mentally spent and didn’t want to go. We walked in and looked around and what I remember as I passed each kennel run saying to myself; this just can’t be possible, how can people do this to animals? There were young, old, friendly and scared dogs all looking at you as you passed their kennel. Some would push themselves as close to the front in hopes you would pet them. This was just ripping my heart out today. I kept saying to myself…..don’t cry, don’t cry.  This is something I have done plenty of times, but today was just one of those days I couldn’t accept it. I knew it was time to go.  As I was walking quickly to get to the end of the hallway, I came across a beautiful brown & white Terrier Mix wearing a big beautiful collar with a green taffeta bow on it. Her name was Phoenix. I leaned down to her level to talk to her, she calmly went down on her side. I spoke a few words to her and pet her through the cage. This would be a memory that will haunt me as she was the last dog I saw before I walked out.  What a beautiful sweet dog. Why was she here?  Later to find out that she was pulled from a horrible situation and Phoenix is safe now in the shelter while she awaits for someone to possibly adopt her and give her a chance of being loved for once in her life.
During the car ride home I didn’t have much to say. Stared out the window and knew it wasn’t a successful day. Disappointed and remembering those famous words that were told to me when I started this journey…….. “you can’t save them all,  but work hard and don’t give up on the ones that you can save”.
What I do know is this……. every place we have visited today, I saw a loving staff, caring volunteers and a very clean and safe environment for these thrown away dogs. This is a hard job. You need to be strong and thick skinned so you can move forward and try and make a difference in these dogs lives, otherwise they won’t be saved. We are all human and have bad days and weak moments. Today was mine. Tomorrow is a new day to move on and move forward.
To read more about Phoenix be sure to click on her name!