Bailey is not my dog. She belongs to the shelter. But as a volunteer, I am encouraged to take her out of her daily routine to remind us both there is a bigger world out there. It blows the cobwebs out of our minds and hearts, and when you add a little sunshine, it is as golden as she is.
I have walked Bailey every weekend at the shelter since her family had to give her up a couple of months ago. She is timid, but a good girl and got an A+++ on her first real outing. Her inner Husky splashed happily through slurpy, slushy puddles and the hidden scents in snow kept her trotting by my side, rarely spooking even while runners and walkers and bike riders zoomed around us. She did not even glance at the woman yelling in French into her cellphone and we quietly stepped aside when a roller blader careened past. She took exception; however, to a hound who walked toward us while staring directly at her. In doggie body language, this is like “flipping the bird,” so I pulled Bailey off the paved path as the hound’s owner dragged the dog past as it snarled and growled at us.
When we returned to the car, I toweled the mud off her paws and brushed her head to toe as she leaned her warm body against mine. Then, I popped her back onto the soft comforter in the back of the wagon, left the hatch open and sat down next to her and stroked her thick fur. We sat in the sun awhile and just watched the world go by. As I greeted people who strolled past and told them about RBARI, Bailey stretched out in the warm sun, tucked her head over her paws and dozed.