In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Helpless.”
He caught my eye. It was one of my nightmares come true. Once eye contact was made I was drawn into his world of grief.
It was to be a pleasant visit to the local pet food store; the bi-weekly visit to stock up on food for our dogs. I knew when I saw the gaily written sign “Adoptions Today” that an all to familiar routine was about to take place. Walking down the outside aisles, I studiously tried to avoid the crates placed in a central area of the store. The small crowd of people surging towards the puppies, strategically placed in front, made it easy at first. I smiled at young couples cradling puppies in their arms. I watched as a young child giggled when kissed by a small terrier. It was okay, this was a day full of promises.
Two minutes in and I was congratulating myself for avoiding the lure of the forgotten. The lure of the forlorn dogs at the back. The ones left isolated in their crates. Over confident, spurred on by the happiness around me, I braved looked at the crates further down the row. “A quick glance would not hurt” I thought. Then he caught my eye. A larger black dog, sat in his crate. Obviously what could only be called a mutt and obviously a mature dog. A graying muzzle signaled he was long past the puppy stage. Beside him were several crates of what could only be called seniors, and larger dogs of various mixed breeds. With downcast eyes they observed the activity around them. No one appeared interested in giving them words of comfort. No crowds lined up for the chance to play with them. No one offered to give them a second chance at life. It tore my heart out, leaving a jagged wound. How many people had rejected them through their lives? How long have they languished in this current shelter? When would someone love them again? When would someone give them a chance to become the loyal pack member they were meant to be? Questions with no answers assailed my broken heart.
For the thousand time I wished I was rich. I wished I lived on a farm and could offer all abandoned dogs a place to call home. I wished that I could heal their wounds and battle scars. But I am not rich; I do not live on a farm. For the thousand time I felt helpless in the face of these abandoned souls. Once again I had to turn my back on these discarded animals. Shoving some bills into rescue agency’s donation box, I could only hope I would improve their living conditions a little. Walking away I prayed these lost souls would find a home.