Project Advent, Day 10: The Haven Animal Care Shelter


I don't especially like animals.  There, I said it.  This shouldn't be such a big thing, but there are people who treat this admission as something on par with saying that my hobby is pushing old ladies down staircases.  I mean, I don't hate animals, and I'm certainly not cruel to them, I just don't really like them.  There was one puppy who made a temporary crack in my shell, but I kind of got over that the longer he stayed with us.

Before I started Project Advent, I asked my friends for suggestions of things that I could do, and one of them suggested Lubbock's Haven Animal Care Shelter.  I was ready to brush off the suggestion, but then I realized that it was actually kind of perfect for this project.  It's not something that I would usually do on my own, and it's a place that needs help.  They are a donation-funded no-kill shelter for abused, neglected, abandoned, or ownerless animals.

The Haven has regular volunteer times on Saturdays from 9-5.  I called last week to see if we needed to let them know when we'd be there, and they told me just to show up, so that's what Blake and I did this morning.  Today was their annual photos with Santa event at PetSmart, where they send volunteers to that store to let people take photos of their pets with Santa.  Because of that, there were fewer volunteers than usual at the actual shelter.

Blake and I walked into the office and introduced ourselves to Angela, the volunteer coordinator.  After we'd signed in, she gave us some jobs.  I would be making the rounds to the animal buildings and putting out food.  This place doesn't look like much when you pull in, but here's a picture of it from above.  All of those buildings are part of the Haven, and they all have animals that need feeding.

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You may notice that I said the feeding was my job, but I didn't say anything about what Blake did.  His assignment was to help with socializing two new puppies, which is an official way of saying: PUPPY PLAYTIME!

That's right - while dad was out in the cold, slogging it with sacks of food, Blake was rolling around with a sharpei mix named Santa Paws, and his sister, Christie.  Nice work if you can get it.

The Haven is a really interesting and unique facility.  They don't just house dogs and cats, but nearly any pet that needs shelter.  I asked if they had room for our canine visitor, but they currently don't.  Oh well.  Merry Christmas, dogs.

Gratitude Project:  I've noted this before, but I'm always amazed by the reservoir of love that my children show me.  I know that so far in this project I've mentioned being thankful for their perspective and for the other people who love them, but this is about what they give back to me.  To be really honest, I am struggling a lot with Jack right now.  There's sweetness in him, but it's inside a lot of other stuff that I just can't, for the life of me, make my way through.  When he went to bed tonight, we were both really upset with each other.  But I know that when he wakes up, he's going to come running to me with open arms, ready to start a new day.  It's humbling.


Ali said...

um. as far as volunteer assignments go? you. got. screwed.

p.s. i know this is a totally random time in the middle of your project to say: I LOVE THIS PROJECT. and i think you're great for thinking of and executing it. just my two cents.

Danny Holwerda said...

This is the perfect time for you to tell me that, because halfway through my projects is usually when I start needing a boost of encouragement to make it through to the end.  Thanks, Ali!  Hey, if the Johnsons make it to Lubbock at all over the Christmas break, I'd like to take you and Shawn for some egg nog.  Or, you know, whatever your drink of choice is.

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