As a 4th grader, I remember a day in class where we had to write about what we wanted to be when we were older. The answers were as one imagined: a firefighter, a doctor, a pilot, a zookeeper, a teacher, an author – among other semi-altruistic professions. I wrote down veterinarian, though I'm sure it may have been "Veteranairen." I'm not sure why but from a young age I felt I had a connection with animals, specifically, dogs. Had my taste for design not been as strong I may have found myself going to school a few extra years using my hands in a much different way.
Which may be the reason why every other week I spent a few hours at the Animal Humane Society of Golden Valley. I volunteer in the canine adoption area helping dogs find the families and people that fit them best. Drool, hair, kisses and scratches are part of the territory. It never fails that I get asked if it's hard not to come home with a new dog every week. It would be, but as cliche as this sounds, it's much more satisfying finding that dog a home with a loving family.
The experience I find most rewarding is also slightly melancholic. It's that moment when I first walk through the kennels at the start of my shift — seeing the various sizes, breeds and ages of the dogs up for adoption. After looking at each kennel card and dog I usually realize I don't recognize the majority of them, I don't know anything about them and after today may never see them again. But or course, that same thought reminds me why I'm there.
I could go on but this post isn't just about volunteering. It's about putting time, money, energy and love into that thing you hold close and tight. It's about PASSION. Find your passion, whether it be books, cooking, hockey, World of Warcraft, Japanese flower arrangement or macaroni art. It doesn't matter what it is or what other people think.
I'll try to keep my next few post about the things I'm quite fanatic about. Hopefully, in the process I'll find others just as zealous.