A volunteering story by: Jessica smith

The Animal Rescue of Tracy requires their volunteers to do a lot of hard, rewarding work. The job entails a lot of responsibility to be able to handle it. Shelbee got assigned an adorable, little mutt to take care of for about two weeks. She had to care for him temporarily, just until he was adopted by his forever-owners. The job of caring for a puppy seems extremely fun, which it was for her, but it requires a lot of work. Shelbee had to do many different things for the dog and dedicated hours to him. She bought him food and toys to play with. She also had to let him outside to use the restroom at all hours of the day and night. Shelbee even took it upon herself to teach him some tricks like sit and stay. Although it seemed like a lot of work at the time, she absolutely fell in love with the dog and learned to enjoy every minute with him. Shelbee said, “The main thing the rescue wanted me to fulfill, was to give this puppy a wonderful, loving home until someone adopted him. It was my pleasure to make sure this happened to the best of my ability. This volunteer task wasn’t at all easy, but knowing this innocent puppy would soon be in loving arms, because of my help, made it so much more manageable.” Shelbee loved volunteering for this task because, even though she had to dedicate a lot of her time, the look on the adopter’s faces made it all worth it.

The Inspiration

Animals, and dogs especially, have always been one of Shelbee’s passions. Shelbee has had her dog, Lulu for about eight years now, and she loves her dearly. She also had another dog that just recently had passed, his name was Toby. Toby unfortunately got ran over by a car, and died suddenly. Shelbee was scarred from this tragic accident, and she knew she needed something to help with the sadness. He was in her life since she was just a little girl, so he meant the world to her. He was pretty old anyways, but Toby being taken from her so abruptly, really effected her greatly. Being so devastated from her recent loss, Shelbee felt it might be a good idea to help get her minds off of things by being a foster parent to a puppy. Caring for this dog, for only two weeks, was so amazing because he was truly a miracle that came at the perfect time in her life. Shelbee said, “I was so sad because of my dog dying, and this was the absolute perfect way to help me think more positive. This puppy not only cheered me up, be he also reminded me that life goes on even if a tragedy happens like this one.” Shelbee learned a great life lesson just from watching the little pup which proves that community service like this one, can be so much more than just donating time. It impacted her on such a large scale, and it helped her to think more positive again.

The Aha! moment…

Shelbee learned a lot from the experience, a lot more than she thought she ever would. Like I said, one of the main reasons she volunteered to do this type of community service was because her dog just died so she thought it might help get her mind off of things. This wounded up meaning so much more to her than just that. Shelbee learned that when she is sad, there is always something or someone there that can help pick you up. She didn’t have to be stuck in sorrow, but rather pick her self up, move on, and be happy. Shelbee also learned that a puppy can sometimes be a large responsibilty, but caring for something so precious, made her not even think about the hard aspects of it. Shelbee said, “for whatever reason, this one little dog had such a great impact on my life. I know it seems kind of weird or unrealistic, but the puppy took me out of my sad times and helped me realize so much about my life. I’m completely thankful I took part in it.”

To summarize it in three words…

  • Inspiring, fulfilling, life-changing

Why should you do this

Shelbee definitely reccomends volunteering, especially this type, to every single person. She wanted to let other people know not only how amazing it made her feel while it was happening, but how much of an everlasting impact it left on her life. Shelbee shares that she is a changed person just because she donated two weeks of her life to caring for a cute little puppy. “I couldn’t imagine how I would be if I never cared for him. He effecred my life in such a positive way, I’m not sure words could do it justice. I hope everyone gives community service like this a chance because they owe it to themselves to give it a shot,” said Shelbee.

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