Lately I’ve really been considering where I’d like to see myself in a couple of years once I’ve graduated college. My major is rather open-ended; it doesn’t lend itself to a particular career like someone majoring in aerospace engineering or education. It some ways, it’s nice that I can do a lot with it, but it also means it’s up to me to figure out what I’d like to be doing (ideally).
This summer I volunteered at my local SPCA and focused on doing behavior training with some of the shy dogs there. I also helped with typical volunteer tasks like cleaning cages and playing with the dogs. My writing skills were used to write bios about new dogs to be put on the PetFinder website. I helped with paperwork and holding animals while they got their picture taken. I helped with offsite events like adopt-a-thons. It was an incredibly rewarding experience that introduced me to a whole new group of people who are all very passionate about animals.
My SPCA work, which was a choice I made on a whim, hoping it would help me cope with having to put my dog down. Not only did it help with my grief, but it showed me all the different types of jobs involved in humane society work. Most shelters these days have Facebook pages as well as a regularly updated PetFinder that help to network pets to potential homes or other shelters where they might have more success finding a permanent home. The people at shelters in charge of this networking need good communication, writing, and social media skills to be successful.
I had never realized that the skills I already had and am still working hard to develop seem to go hand-in-hand with that job. I’ve perused the humane society website’s job listings and many of the job openings for the people in-charge of adoptions lists a multitude of requirements I already have. And that gave me hope.
So maybe that’s where I’m headed. Maybe post graduation I’ll find myself somewhere in the United States helping dogs get adopted. Just typing that, seems like a crazy dream that may never come true. It doesn’t sound like a real job.
Then again, sitting at home writing novels doesn’t sound like a real job either, but that’s also another dream of mine. We shall see.
And so with that career dream in my head, I’ve started to really think about where I want to see myself in a few years. Not just what kind of job I want, but how I think I’d like to see myself living. And another dream comes into play…
Meet Kosmo & Korey. They are two of the shy dogs I worked with over the summer. I also worked with their sister, Kora, who was adopted about a month after I started volunteering there.
Kosmo and Korey are both VERY shy, but were getting better because of the time I was spending with them as well as some of the other volunteers and employees. They came into the shelter a year ago as puppies and have been here ever since. They are the sweetest guys ever once you give them a little love and they start to trust you. I’m incredibly surprised that the right person hasn’t found them yet. Sure, they are black dogs, which means they are the least likely to be adopted because they don’t show up in pictures well and some might see them as scary or not as pretty as other fur colors. They also don’t run up to the cage and jump and bark (unless you have treats) like most dogs at the shelter do. Someone has to be able to understand that getting them to love you only requires a little extra time, energy, and love than any other rescue dog.
Still, it seems bleak for them currently. This spring they will have been at the shelter for two years. It makes one start to wonder if they’ll spend their entire life in a shelter just because they aren’t friendly or energetic from the get-go.
And thus a crazy dream was born…
I told myself that if in a couple of years I have a decent paying, stable job and a dog-friendly living situation and Kosmo & Korey have not found a home yet, then I will try and adopt them. I know that I want to have a dog or two once I can afford to properly care for them. My mother thinks that this means I need to wait until I’m a stay-at-home mom in suburbia (which I don’t ever want to be). I think it just means that I need to make sure that my lifestyle is appropriate for having a dog. I need to be able to live somewhere big enough and close enough to outdoor spaces as well as be able to make arrangements for my dog(s) to be taken care of while I work unless I am employed at a pet-friendly place or I work from home. Basically, I just need to be well informed and responsible about this.
So that’s my big epiphany as of late. I want to seek employment at a humane society and adopt Kosmo & Korey. Currently, that seems like a very unlikely outcome. Still, I think it is a dream worth chasing and something to keep me hopeful about the future and where I’m headed.