Volunteering or shelter dog? My shelter dog IS my contribution

by Sue P.
(Piedmont region, NC)

Hello Everyone. I have been retired four years and am 66. Like many, I first retired one place and bought a house, then found that the environs were not for me. I sold my place at just a short loss and moved to another state. There I could not afford to purchase a home, but made the most of apartment living.

Soon COVID came but I already had some friends in my alcohol recovery network. I felt I needed more and wanted to deepen my spiritual leanings with an affiliation.

After converting to Judaism in a one and a half year process, I enjoyed my social networks and kept learning, in my case, spiritual studies, oil pastel drawing and French language.

I learned to give up on the "one perfect relationship" quest, and enjoy my relationships with Nature, Spirit, friends, family, neighbors, and retail workers in my weekly interactions.

My grown children decided to help me purchase a house that needed work, but allowed me a flower and vegetable gardening and private outdoor space that feeds my soul.

I have a lot of permanent gratitude for their kindness and generosity. I use psychotherapy whenever my depression or anxiousness returns in a life challenge, but generally that is short-term until I get back on my emotional 'feet'.

Pet relationships are also important to me.

Thinking of how to volunteer as COVID lifted more in my region, I finally decided that I do not want to work with children or adults and would make my volunteer service that of adopting a rescue dog.

She is young so there is a lot of training and patience with "accidents"--different opinions of what to chew on, play with, or use as a bathroom in the house!

But all the work I put into her is my service commitment, rather than stuffing envelopes or working with people. It is best that I do what motivates and rewards me as I help others.

Thanks for listening!

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Shelter dogs
by: Nancy

Sue, I love your post.

What you said about spirituality and alcohol recovery network. My sister is in recovery from substance dependence, and I've been in Al-Anon as long as she has been in AA.

But I really liked what you said about rescuing a dog as a contribution. I've always had rescue dogs. The most recent acquisition was Penny, a 7 year old Beagle mix that I adopted 4 years ago. Before that we had a lab/Basset and a Chihuahua mix.

They have been such a satisfaction.

by: Michael - Upstate NY for the summer!

Sue - this was a beautiful, well-written post. Your dog and you came together when you needed each other the most! I wish you many happy years together!!

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