Reflections: The Painful Paradox

Today, we went to our local animal shelter to make a donation of bags and cans of food that I purchased with a little extra money I made this month. Five years ago, we adopted our beautiful Baba from that place, and this was something I’ve wanted to do for the longest time, and that I intend to do in the future as many times as possible. In the past, I’ve crocheted and knitted blankets for the puppies/kittens, and some of you will remember that I donated one of my favourite oil paintings to one of their raffles.

With the trunk of the car filled to the brim, we were there five minutes after opening, the wolunteers also arriving, the dogs and cats playing and sunbathing in the morning’s warm sunlight. I have to say that there are no grim stories to tell – the dogs are loved there, taken care of with the uptmost devotion, and you can tell by their relaxed faces, their shiny hair, and the smell and appearance of the cages. This is a place of miracles, where abandoned animals have the chance to find a new life, and if they don’t, they live a peaceful, comfortable life.

And still, I left the place in tears. One, because what we purchased seemed like so much in the supermarket, but so little when we saw how many dogs were there; and two, because any of them could be my Baba, and they weren’t because that day five years ago, they were not chosen. I could have adopted them all. The heartbreaking paradox of how painful it is to help those in need was my lesson for today.


Our beloved Baba.


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