photo RSMAtnWebAdRed13.jpg

Reflections on Nine Years as an SPA Dogwalker

By Teenie Gibson

Someone asked me once which SPA dog was my most favorite. It’s like asking a mother which is her favorite child. I love each one for different reasons: Maya, who always stops every two or three feet and turns around for a hug; Mitzy and Bailey, mother and daughter, who are affectionately known by my walking partner and me as “the sniffers;” and Snowflake and Thunder, who are so full of joy on their walks. And what about Mia and Simba and Lani? Well, you get the picture.

Another new year. A time for reflection. Yes, I am still too fat. I’m not always as nice as I could be. Neither my bridge game nor my artwork has improved much in the last year. But what did strike me about 2018 was that it will mark my ninth year as a retired civil servant and my ninth year walking dogs at the SPA. Why, I wondered, do I keep coming back? To honor this milestone, I have come up with nine reasons why I show up every year:

1. I was determined not to undertake any volunteer work that resembled my 40-year-long office job. Walking dogs in beautiful San Miguel is a wholly different challenge, both physically and mentally.

2. I love dogs. Honestly, I like them a lot better than I like a lot of people. When I got my first dog at age 50, I fell in love and I never looked back.

3. Every year I lose 5 to 8 pounds as a dogwalker. They always find their way back, but for those four months, I feel grand.

4. I’ve become stronger. Walking the dogs is a great upper-body workout. Pickle jars are no longer a match for me.

5. It’s a social outing. We often walk in pairs, sharing mostly dog stories but also, occasionally, stories about ourselves.

6. Walking helps to socialize the dogs and makes them more adoptable.

7. ’Cause it’s not about me. When we first arrive at 11 am, the forty or so dogs are jumping and barking, clamoring for their turn. But gradually, as each dog is walked, the noise level diminishes, and quiet comes to the SPA, at least for a while.

8. It’s good for the soul; I leave happy.

9. I do it not only for the dog, but also for Harry, Megan, Lynn, Irene, Christina, Gilda, and David—the people who make sure every single dog gets a walk, 365 days a year. They are my heroes.

Think about volunteering at the SPA, any day, Monday–Saturday, between 11 and 2, Los Pinos 7, 152 6124, and start building your own list about why this was such a great decision.



Comments are closed

 photo RSMAtnWebAdRed13.jpg
 photo RSMAtnWebAdRed13.jpg

Photo Gallery

 photo RSMAtnWebAdRed13.jpg
Log in | Designed by Gabfire themes All original content on these pages is fingerprinted and certified by Digiprove