Friday, February 13, 2009

Watermelon Grin.

I had an emergency shift at the RSPCA today. I was doing my usual job - walking and socializing the inspector seized dogs - but today I had several that had yet to be temperament tested with the view to being adopted. I had a great few hours, doing laps of the walking track with Kouta, the most beautiful blue eyed Husky I've met, and an adorable American Staffordshire terrier. As I went to walk my favorite, a 10month old black and white English Staffy with the biggest watermelon grin I've ever seen, I noticed he'd had his temperament test, along with my other pooches - and all had failed. I couldn't believe it - usually I go in knowing which dogs are not suitable for sale, and find I can just about deal with it. But thinking those beautiful, friendly pups that I spent hours chatting to and playing with were to be put to sleep in just a few hours absolutely devastated me. I'd been so happy to see car load after car load of people bringing in donations for the bush fire animals; I could barely walk through the kennels for pallets of donated dog food and kitty litter. It made me so happy to see first hand how the community can come together, and how the human spirit is a wonderful thing.

But when I realized my little Staffy and that gorgeous husky were being killed because of the upbringing they'd had with some horrific person, it was just devastating. I know I've been prepped for this kind of thing; I knew I had to deal with it when I started working there. I've turned a blind eye to it as much as I could each and every time I walk those dogs, but today it really hit me.

I took that Staffy for his final walk, and sat with him on my lap, saliva flapping from his enormous grin as he snuggled his way into me. I sat with him on my lap, smirking at the world at his good fortune that he was getting love and cuddles. I sat with him on my lap, and I cried my eyes out into his fur. He had no idea he was being led to his death because his previous owner hadn't take the time to socialize him; he was simply over the moon he had someone new to play with. 10 months old, and no one had loved him enough to give him a chance. He should have another 10 years of someone waking up everyday with him being their first priority; another ten years of love and playing and grinning his watermelon grin.

His little tail didn't stop wagging until I shut his cage door and walked away; completely unable to help him. It absolutely broke my heart.


Melisa with one S said...

Oh my God, Katie. I was going to say that I don't know how you do that job, but I thought about it for a moment and realized that you are the perfect person for it. I know how hard it is for *you* BECAUSE you love animals so very much, but your overflowingly caring spirit and huge heart is just what these dogs need. I hatehatehate that dogs are being put down, but I think they are so very lucky to spend their last walk with you.

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