The View From the Other Side of the Fence

Bailey & me
Here we are on the other side of the fence at the Super Pet Adoption weekend sponsored by Best Friends, the biggest no-kill animal shelter in the country. Over 40 groups showcased their adoptable dogs and cats at the Westchester County Center in White Plains, NY.  RBARI, the shelter where I have been volunteering for the past 8 months, was well represented with a dozen dogs including Bailey, a 10 year-old Husky mix still waiting for her forever home.

Last year’s event drew 10,000 people so the organization of it had to be, and was, extraordinary. A legion of Best Friends volunteers had the convention center ready for our arrival early Saturday morning. Tables for the shelter folks had been set up around the perimeter of the room and rows upon rows of temporary kennels were built in the middle, each filled with a soft layer of pine shavings which made the room full of hundreds of animals smell more like a forest than a dog kennel. The Best Friends volunteers were outfitted in bright orange t-shirts so they were easy to spot if you needed help, but there was never a time when we had to ask–they anticipated and filled every need. Whenever I took Bailey outside for an occasional walk in the grass, we returned to a gleaming bucket of fresh, cold water and a fluffed kennel, sort of like having your napkin refolded at your table when you return from the dance floor at a wedding reception.

The volunteers swept floors, picked up dog poop, assisted with confused dogs (and people), opened gates, gave directions and helped with the dogs if an agency was short-staffed. They even had a system for the inevitable runaway, which I witnessed first-hand when a handler from a shelter across the aisle from us did not latch the door to her kennel. Four little dogs poured out and raced down the aisle toward the exit. A Best Friends volunteer stepped up, scooped up one of the runaways, blew a whistle and magic! Ten thousand orange-shirted men and women descended, gathered the rest and returned them to their mortified handler. (So glad it wasn’t me).

Some of the other RBARI dogs (two sleeping puppies on the upper left).
 Bailey waiting for her forever home.
“Ducky” an 8 year-old Basset Hound, recently rescued from 8 years in a puppy mill cage.
There was some mild interest in Bailey but once a potential adopter read her bio card and learned how old she is (10) they smiled and moved on. They have no way of knowing what a great dog she is. (I am secretly relieved). 
Both my husband and I would love to adopt Bailey. I have tried twice to fit her into our feline household and the answer is a resounding NO from both species. So. This will be a life lesson in loving…and letting go.

This entry was posted in Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, dogs, pet adoption, RBARI. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to The View From the Other Side of the Fence

  1. What a wonderful idea to have an event like this to find homes for these animals.

    I feel so sorry for Bailey she is such a great dog. I feel she and you are meant to be together and it's going to be so hard to place a dog her age I think you'll have more time with her. Maybe someday things will work out between the species in your household and she will be yours. The picture of her waiting in her cage is so sad I'm glad she has you.

  2. Kim says:

    Sounds like an amazing event, and a great experience. I think it takes someone special to adopt an older dog…I'll tell you, if I didn't already have a dog, I'd be down looking at Bailey or that poor, poor basset hound!

  3. I'm so glad you visit Bailey regularly, even if she can't move in with you.

  4. This is tough, loving Bailey and not being able to work out your intermingling of species. She clearly loves to be with you. It's great that you're doing the shelter volunteering. When I go to the shelters, I always wish I could bring all of them home with me. Best Friends is a great organization. I have a feeling that things will work out well for Bailey.

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