The Star Thrower

February 13, 2007

Sunday at BARC was rough. One of the first rules they teach you as a volunteer is not to try to break up a dog fight. Well, I managed to put two small dogs, one of unknown heritage and and one terrier mix, together for socialization. That backfired miserably. They were both aggressors and I managed to get a nick on my thumb and a big pinch on my thigh. I don’t know which dog grabbed me on the leg, but it didn’t get through my jeans. The spot just looks like a big blood blister surrounded by a bruise. Very attractive. A more experienced volunteer helped me separate them. Luckily, all of these dogs have their shots.

I also completed my first adoption. While I want to see as many dogs as possible get placed, I think I may be the wrong person to deal with potential adopters. It’s difficult for me because I want all dogs to have the life my dogs have. Anyway, the family I interviewed seemed like they were on the up and up, but I just got a bad feeling about it after the fact. It kept me up most of last night.

There was also a lot of political drama going on at BARC–as there is in any organization. What makes this drama more difficult is that it deals with the lives of dogs who need people to help them.

As I was wrapping up for the day, I was chatting to another volunteer and told her that I felt very overwhelmed that afternoon and was starting to wonder if I was making any difference at all. She asked me if I’d ever heard the story about the girl and the starfish. I hadn’t. After she told me the story, it was all I could do to hold back tears. It did help me realize that I had made a difference in the lives of some of the shelter dogs that day. That thought will help me to keep going back to volunteer at BARC.

Some background on the story–it is adapted from The Star Thrower by Loren Eiseley.

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