Preparing to go Home for the Holidays

14 December 2014

Preparing to go Home for the Holidays

By Joanna Dunn Samson, FOTAS Director

I was snoozing in the sun after breakfast in my outdoor kennel when I heard a door open. I cocked my head. Could it be my friend Ellie coming to take me for my morning walk? It was! I could tell by the squeak of her shoes on the floor, particularly on that one side.  Is that one of my very favorite sounds in the world? You bet, because Ellie is one of my very favorite people. Champion ear-scratcher, that Ellie.

I jumped up and gave myself a gigantic shake  – no sleeping on the job for this guy. What job, I’m not sure, something to do with Christmas and fostering.  Christmas I know about, it’s my very favorite holiday, but fostering? No clue, really, but if it involves Christmas, hey, I’m in.

I wanted to show Ellie I’m always ready for action. I squeezed through the door to my inside kennel to sit in perfect attention, because that’s what a good dog does, and Ellie always tells me I’m a good dog.

All us dogs here at the Aiken County Animal Shelter are working hard with our volunteers to be the very best dogs so we can spend Christmas with a family, in a home, rather than here in the shelter. Don’t get me wrong, the shelter is a great place thanks to Ellie and my pals, Angus and Buster and Amber and Fluffy, but there aren’t any kids to play with, or cookie crumbs to clean off the floor, or treats hanging in a sock above the fireplace – all things that make Christmas second to none among holidays, in my experience, except for maybe Thanksgiving on account of that exciting incident with the turkey carcass when I was a puppy, but that’s old news now.

“Zeus,” said Ellie, reaching for the leash clipped to the kennel door “look at you! What a good boy you are.” Music to my ears; I’m top-notch in the good boy category. I demonstrate my very best whole body wag, the one that starts with my tail, moves through my body and ends at my head – a specialty of mine.

Did I pant with excitement? Of course! Did I drool? Just the tiniest bit, not worth mentioning, really.

Ellie and I went for a walk around the property, me doing my best leash walking ever despite all the smells and all the action in the play yard.  I see my pal Angus playing in the yard with . . . Whoa! Is that Buster? It is! What a sight! Buster is a handsome fellow, a little smaller than me, but when he came to the shelter, he was terrified of everyone. Now look at him; those volunteers are the greatest.

Ellie and I took a break on the bench out front next to the parking lot.  My pals Amber and Fluffy stopped by with their volunteers, so we had a fast little romp-around. I was delighted to meet a sweet little blond girl walking into the shelter with her mother – that’s always occasion for the whole-body wag.

After all the excitement died down, I laid my head on Ellie’s lap for a nice head scratch, right behind the ears. Did I mention Ellie’s a champion ear-scratcher? After awhile, I lay down on the grass, sun on my face, and watched the cars go by.

As I dozed off, I had one of my very best thoughts: just maybe one of those cars will take me home for Christmas.

Take advantage of the Holiday Adoption Special: $35 for dogs and $10 for cats, or call the Shelter to learn how you can foster Zeus and his friends this Christmas season.

Their lives are in our hands.