The world is a scary place these days. There are so many social issues that seem to be getting worse instead of better. Violence is a daily news topic. It can be very overwhelming. In my opinion, there are two kinds of people. There are people that see a problem - but it is too big and overwhelming so they do nothing but complain about it and blame other people. Nothing is their fault. The other type of person does something. It may not be as much as they want to do - but they do something. You may not save the world by volunteering at a shelter or picking up some trash. But, in my opinion, we need more people to do "something". I would challenge you to seize opportunities to "help".
I am definitely not perfect in my attempts at this. I could be kinder. I could be more patient. We don't always see the ripple effect that a kind word or gesture has on the people around us. I recently watched the movie Pay It Forward again. It is an old movie. But, it makes me cry every time I watch it and think a little harder every time I see it. What if everybody did just a little bit more?
I volunteer at a local shelter because I love animals. I cannot stress enough how much I get out of volunteering and helping these animals. I feel better, every time I donate an hour or two. I am also learning while I am at it. It has made me better at handling all sorts of dogs. The dog pictured above is Alvin. He is waiting for a family at the local Best Friends Animal Shelter in Mission Hills, Ca. If you see a need, there is probably a non-profit organization out there trying to make a difference that would love some help. It can be anything that speaks to your heart.
One of my best canine clients is a 6-year old pit-bull. Her daddy rescued her as a young stray. She was very sick from parasites, mange, and other illnesses that she picked up living and hiding on the streets. She is a dog that many would have passed up. I asked him once what it was about her that inspired him to choose such a sick dog to rescue. He said there was just something about her that spoke to his heart. She wasn't easy. She was so fearful that she wouldn't even go on walks at first. She needed constant care. He was so patient with her. He soon discovered that she responded really well to other dogs. He got a neighbor dog to visit her and she blossomed. She injured her ACL next and needed major surgery. He kept nursing this poor dog. I know that he is the only reason that this dog is still alive today. Now she is one of the sweetest dogs I know. She loves to play with my border collie and give me kisses. She cries with excitement when I come to babysit her and she runs at me full force so I can pet her. She is a wonderful dog. What he has done for her was no small task. He has saved this dogs life.
My mother cares for my 94 year old grandmother who has dementia. Being a caregiver is exhausting. Nobody realizes how hard it is to care for someone with declining health until you do it. People don't talk about the details involved. If you know someone caring for an ill or aging loved one, you know.
All of us have things that we face that we don't necessarily share. There are a lot of secret heros. I am proud to know a few of them. People that do so much inspire me. How can I do more?
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