When I first began volunteering at Ayres back in early 2017, I imagined that a shelter buddy was essentially a dog's personal weekly mentor: brushing up on basic commands, obedience skills, and socialization - all while giving her a fun fresh-air reprieve and exploring the world. And undeniably, that's a huge part of it. But the more time I spend in the company of dogs (like my beautifully resilient Boxer friend Zoey) I realize that what they've taught me is even more valuable:
Like how you should plant all four paws in the here and now, and never procrastinate when it comes to getting your soul right. Don't let yesterdays define you, or tomorrows worry you. Play in the sun; bark at the moon. Roll around in the soft earth and invite friends. Remember that no one else holds the patent to your brand of weirdness, so keep shining that weird little light without apology. Keep an adventurous heart. Eat like you mean it. Love with reckless abandon. Embrace your wrinkles, battle scars, and bald patches - they’re proof of endurance. Shake off the worst of the day like water and then forget it. And when you’re given 99 reasons to hang your head, find that ONE reason to wag your tail instead.
Celebrate everything that makes you most YOU, and hold your head high. If dogs can do it - seriously, why can’t we??
P.S. If you'd like a wise four-legged motivational coach all to yourself, plan a trip to Ayres and meet lovely Zoey - or any of the shelter's other amazing adoptables!!