Thank you to our volunteer, Rachael, for writing this guest blog post about her recent visit to the Town Lake Animal Center (TLAC) location!
Most of the volunteer work I do for APA! is done at home, behind my laptop. While it’s convenient for me, and means much less of my time is spent traveling from North Austin to Central, there are draw backs. I very rarely am able to put a face to a name (although I may have memorized your email address), and I don’t participate in many events.
It was only a few weeks ago I went to TLAC for the first time after APA! had moved in. I was picking up a new foster (the unbelievably handsome sweet Louis). I had spent many afternoons at TLAC before, I started volunteering for APA! in June of 2009 after my sweet Bear went missing.
I remember walking up and down the kennels, so heartbroken, and the dogs I saw seemed to mirror that despair. Every time I left, I had tears in my eyes. As hopeful as I was that my little girl could be waiting for me, looking into kennel after kennel of dejected dogs sunk me. The dogs I saw were scared, or depressed, and even when I left with a new foster, I cried for the dogs who were so very alone.
I was never more shocked when I arrived at TLAC that Friday night. Before approaching anyone about my foster to be, I walked along the same kennels that only months before brought tears to my eyes. Where I thought I would see sadness, there was joy, tails were wagging! The only dogs who were crying were dogs upset that the door prevented them from giving me kisses, or jumping in my lap! I know these dogs would rather be in a home, with their people, and who wouldn’t? But for the first time, I left TLAC happy, knowing that APA! was providing a real community to these forgotten souls.
In the last week, I have mentioned this experience to other volunteers, and have heard again and again that I wasn’t alone in my observation. APA! has amazing programs, and it’s obvious that their charges benefit. I never imagined I would leave a shelter smiling, and have never been more proud to be a part of APA!