Of Furballs and Volunteers

7 Nov

2016 has been a rough year. What’s the best way to put aside thoughts of the US election and beyond? Why, PUPPIES, of course!

This weekend, I volunteered with Orphans of the Storm, a local animal shelter in my area. Since I’m unemployed, I wanted to do some good with my free time – and if it involved fuzzy animals, I would have basically paid them for the privilege.

In one of the best strategic moves I’ve ever seen from an animal shelter, every holiday season they take a space in the local mall on weekends to let people pet adoptable puppies and kitties, get their gifts wrapped, and learn more about ways to support the shelter. I showed up for my afternoon shift and found a room full of happy people and puppies.

Since it was my first volunteer shift with Orphans, I bought a t-shirt (see? I did pay for the privilege after all!) and introduced myself to humans and animals alike. The shift leader (and full-time puppy petter – er, I mean, employee of the shelter) explained to me that they were going to give me the dog who was the most…energetic. He was on a potty break outside, but he would be back soon. Some looks were shared among those who had already met this dog. Bring it on, I thought (and likely said out loud).

After spending some time with Speedy the puppy and Arietta the aptly-named kitty, a small commotion was heard outside of the shop as a woman was more or less dragged in by the hyperactive bundle of energy that was about to be mine for the afternoon.

“Hi, Buck!” I squealed, immediately in love with this one-year-old canine jumping bean.


Are you in love? I’m in love.

The two hours of my shift flew by. Not only was Buck the cutest little fuzzball of a puppy I’ve gotten to be with in a long time, but I made some human friends too. The shift leader turned out to be a fellow nerd and fellow decent human being. The high school girls holding the other two (significantly calmer) dogs were happy to be there. The dad of one of the girls works in a field that I want to learn more about, and was happy to take my card and let me pick his brain in the future. The mom and daughter team in charge of the cats couldn’t have been nicer. And I adored chatting with the people who came in to pet the puppies – both to meet them and to share ways they can support the shelter.

(Brief sidebar: If your pet has anything they won’t use, be it toys, beds, treats, food, anything – your local animal shelter would love to take it off your hands!)

So all in all, I had an amazing afternoon and left feeling significantly more confident and happy than the general feeling of unemployment has left me feeling recently.

I cannot recommend volunteering highly enough, no matter your employment status, but especially if you’re unemployed. Fill your time by doing good, making connections, and – if you can – petting puppies.

Want to get involved, but don’t have time/resources at the moment? Check out these 7 easy ways to volunteer from home.


2 Responses to “Of Furballs and Volunteers”

  1. Eve November 10, 2016 at 10:10 am #

    That sounds wonderful. Glad you’ve found something delightful to do to between jobs. Also puppies totally make everything better.


  1. Challenge Accepted | Story O'Clock - November 20, 2016

    […] and I’m still volunteering for the animal shelter! I don’t think even the far right hates puppies, so it’s not […]

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