So there I was expecting a rather uneventful day when I saw a fellow animal welfare volunteer’s video post on Facebook. It was her tribute to Almond, one of my group’s rescued pit bull who passed away recently due to bone marrow disease. Jennie Fajardo-Panes worked closely with Almond and had formed a close bond with him. She was away when Almond suddenly took ill. She took his passing hard.
Here is the video:
How to become a rescued dog’s GO-TO human.
While our goal is to find every rescued dog an adopter, we are faced with situations where we just can’t chance on a match for a certain dog. Then he would have to stay at the shelter for weeks, months, even years. Indeed it’s a harrowing feeling having to see a dog spend his life in a shelter without a family to belong to.
But the truth is, with just a little more effort, we can enrich the life of this “long-term” shelter dog. He need not be brought home although that would be ideal! But if we cannot do that, what is a day out of the shelter? Play time or training drills maybe; spending a couple of hours at the nearest park; a trip to the vet for check-ups; a hot cup of coffee for you and a fruit plate or yogurt for the dog at a coffee shop. A joy ride even! What is once a week or once a month — it doesn’t matter how many times.
What matters is for the dog to experience what life is really all about. That his needs are taken care of. That he has a go-to human while we find him his forever home.
When LPB* Almond passed away a month ago, I was struck with pain and guilt. He was at the center for 5 years and I was not able to help find him a home.
*LPB stands for the 266 Laguna Pit Bulls who were rescued five years ago from a dog-fighting syndicate. Over 90 are still in the care of the animal welfare organization CARA Welfare Philippines.
When I read her post and watched her video my throat tightened up and my grief over the passing last year of my own Ayeka resurfaced. She was 17 and I loved her like she was my world.
Those who have pets can understand this feeling. Our animal companions are our families and their love for us is infinite and our grief when we lose them devastating. They teach us about compassion. They make us more human, better persons.
For Jennie who volunteer in animal welfare, her way of coping is to not give up on making the world a better place for animals. She ends her note with an encouragement.
Then I made this video and realized, it was not as bad as I thought it was after all. Caring for Almond required the help of friends and family. But we all had fun doing it for him.
May this inspire you to be a go-to person of an animal in need of love and attention!
Are you inspired? I hope you are. There are millions of homeless dogs right now. Be a go-to person of another sweet dog by visiting the pit bull sanctuary of CARA Welfare Philippines. Fill out the form and wait for instructions on how to to visit. Visitors are screened carefully to make sure no bad elements get their hands again on the adorable pitties.
Photo and video by Jennie Fajardo- Panes