To a dog, a leash means a walk, a chance to explore new sights and smells. This is true for the dogs at the Socorro Animal Shelter, as well. At least for most. When I walked the dogs last Friday (?), they were exuberant—except the one in cage no. 6. There, a little white dog with brown ears crouched against the far corner of the pen. I put on the leash and tried to coax her out for a walk, but she remained where she was, cowering and quivering, her liquid brown eyes pleading with me not to kick her, not to yell at her, not to throw anything at her. Who had abused this poor creature?
Being in a strange environment, away from the all that is familiar, with barking dogs on either side, is unnerving for all dogs brought to the shelter. But this poor dog was beyond that. I picked her up, held her against me, and she buried her head under my arm. Did she think if she could hide her head she would not be abused? She shivered as I held, talked to her, assuring her she was safe, and petted her soft head.
Not everyone is comfortable volunteering to walk dogs. But some dogs need just to be held, talked to, and loved—maybe for the first time. I hope those reading this will consider spending some time at the animal shelter and maybe having a kind word to say to the little white dog with brown ears.