Shelter dogs, more than any other dogs I work with, are satisfied with the simplest things. I have often watched a shelter dog overflow with delight at the most mundane experiences. The touch of grass. The sound of a squeaky toy. A good spot to sunbathe in. One very stinky smell.
I suppose there is a lot I am lucky enough to take for granted every day. If I put myself in their shoes, the shelter dog’s fascination with the smallest thing makes sense. Let’s say I’m forced into a shelter, placed in a locked concrete box, and given one poop break a day (if I’m lucky!). I can hear other humans shouting but I can’t socialize with them. Sometimes it’s hot, sometimes it’s cold. I miss my dog and my memory foam bed.
It wouldn’t take long for me to desperately seek out any little thing that makes me feel normal again. Brushing my teeth. A familiar face. Sitting in a chair. Driving a car. I’m betting these everyday experiences would gain new meaning and joy.
Another way of looking at it is that shelter dogs are way better at living in the moment than we are. Take a shelter dog out of his/her kennel for five minutes and you’ll get a quick lesson in how to make the most of things. Shelter dogs bring back the novelty in what we consider the same ol’ same old. They are satisfied with the little things in life.
Here’s our proof…