3 o’clock - How is that possible? How am I already back in the car? I feel like I was in this seat mere moments ago … a few brief hours, filled with new stories and new faces - new projects and conversation intertwined with connection and collaboration.
As I drive home in snow flurries under a flat, gray sky, my mind begins to wander - a reel playing it all back …
I see Jo being tugged along as she brings me dog after dog - Today was about collecting moments and stories of neglect while creating “beauty shots” of new arrivals.
The incredibly gentle, sweet soul; Louis. A large chocolate lab who has seen better days. A muzzle of silvery gray, big brown eyes clouded with age, topped off with floppy ears of velvet.
He “sees” with his nose as his eyes failed him long ago - all thanks to former owners who left his diabetes untreated. His massive head swaying side to side in constant search of contact, or a tasty morsel of kindness.
He’s a mellow old boy who doesn’t need much - a quiet companion or family that can handle his daily insulin shots and provide a warm, soft place to lay his old bones.
An intelligent little creature named KO (“kay oh').
He knows his name well, a small, but valuable clue to his past. He's a classic "mutt", with the head of a beagle and the body of border collie - a monochrome coat of white with black specks and patches. Wise eyes constantly seeking, searching, looking at the horizon for a home that has yet to be found. A little smirk created by his black lined mouth, like he knows the punchline to a joke only he can hear.
His need to run is evident, his need for stimulus is urgent, his intelligence both a blessing and curse.
KO is followed by Frazier - a strong, young shepherd mix with deep orange, amber eyes.
He instantly reminds me of Enzo and Checkers. A black nose on a black face blending to a subtle sable coat that flows down his mane and torso - classic shepherd shaped head and ears, droopy at the tips, softening his intensity just so. A stance of confidence and determination, easily shattered by affection, morphing into a massive, bounding puppy.
With time, patience and training he will become an incredible companion - a true picture of loyalty and unconditional trust.
Lucy - spry and springy, a bundle of “pittie” mix energy full of kisses and snuggles for any and all humans. I’m warned that she “hates, hates, HATES other dogs” - a quality that means her stay here could be a long one. Her saving grace will be her adorable, mini Fawn Great Dane stature and her naturally lovable nature.
Ideally, A dogless soul looking for warm companionship and a need to be needed, will find their way to Lucy’s side.
I don’t have much time left before I need to head home. Everyone has been walked at least twice so, I head to Checkers kennel, our sweet yet anxious Shepherd mix who would love nothing more than to leave this place and never return.
“sit. Good boy.”
He loves his new rug - a little bath mat that has become his preferred spot when watching the activity out his kennel window.
We curl up together on his bed, he can’t help but mouth my hand, his way of thanking me for the affection. A gesture that can be so easily misunderstood as “biting” even though he uses no pressure at all.
He squirms and wiggles in my lap, trying to get closer then turning his head to look at me, as if he is making sure I’m really there.
“it’s okay boy, I’m here”
I’m quickly covered in “dog glitter”, his yellow gold hairs weaving their way into the sleeves of my shirt. I think about how much the pack at home is going to enjoy smelling where I’ve been…
“alright buddy-o, I gotta go, I’ll see you soon. sit. Good boy”
3:30. How am I already home?