It’s hard to believe that 4 years ago today, I started working at the Green Hills Animal Shelter. I’ll be the first to admit that I came into this gig kicking and screaming. You see, this place was not my first choice, but rather a desperate need to make money.
I was on the tail end (pardon the pun) of my home-based business. Clients were non-existent and I was married with a household to take care of. While I enjoyed the “free time”, I knew that I had to make a sacrifice, so I put out the feelers that I needed work to all my friends and acquaintances. A while later, a woman, whom I worked with at the library, clued me into a job that had just opened up at the shelter. Hey,..sounded good,..I mean, I love animals and it was just a temporary thing until things picked up, so I took it. After the interview, I started bright and early on a Thursday 4 years ago.
My first days and weeks were a nightmare.
The smell was awful and the work was extremely labor intensive. Frustrations, the chaos and the pay,..well, the pay was a cut from what I was used to, but I pressed on. The only bright spot I had was the time I spent with the critters. Every morning, the dogs would sing their praises in the form of barks, wagging tails and jumps, while the cats would meow a pleasant “good morning, glad you’re here” welcome.
I got through my weeks, then through the months, then through the years, and my desire to leave turned into a desire to stay.
I’ve never felt such joy as when I take care of my critters. When they see me, there is no mistaking their feelings. From the standpoint of my faith, the job has gotten me closer to Jesus because I see the lessons of the Gospel within the kennels. At the apex of joy, there is also sadness I feel when I see the condition the critters come in, the circumstances of their arrival and how the two-legged animals can be much worse than the four-legged ones. At the crossroads of joy and sadness, I am there with my critters and I couldn’t think of a better place to be.
Here’s to 4 years at the shelter and, God willing, many more to come.