Briar Rose and a Birthday Surprise

A few years ago, back in August 2015, I’d been volunteering at my local animal shelter for nearly a year–having started in the beginning of November 2014–and was getting on to having almost 1,000 hours. I had started volunteering there by walking/running/playing with the dogs, and eventually in time–after a few months of being there everyday–I moved up to bathing/grooming the dogs. And soon after that, I was assisting the Volunteer Coordinator in the orientations for the new volunteers, as well as, helping potential adopters find their “forever dog”. (I was able to help them find their “forever dog” because I spent time with each dog in some fashion–walking/running or just sitting in the kennel talking to them–and so I knew the personality, etc of every dog there).  And then in August 2015, one of the rescue employees there at the shelter, Chris, asked me if I would like to assist them–as a volunteer–in their rescue work. (He had asked his boss for permission and his boss had said yes to his request). In the rescue work, we would take photographs of certain dogs who are the best rescue options, do blood work to be able to find out if they have any medical conditions, take their vitals, name them–names of some of the dogs: Ginger Lady, Almond, Pecan, Pistachio, Peanut, the characters from Peter the Rabbit were named after a mom and her puppies (just because), Spahetti-o, Flip-Flop (a mini Doberman Pinscher–he was named Flip-Flop because when he walked his ears flip-flopped back and forth)–and then send out their pictures to rescue organizations. When November 2015 came around, a few days before my 28th birthday, a dog came into the shelter. She was a black terrier-mix and about 3 years old. We selected her for rescue and so brought her in for picture-taking, blood tests, taking her vitals, and naming her. Because it was going to be my birthday in a few days, as a birthday present, Chris and Audi, the two rescue employees, let me name her. And so, I named her Briar Rose, after Sleeping Beauty. For some reason, that name fit her so well. We had just taken her picture, when Amy, the assistant to the Volunteer Coordinator walked in. She had a card and a mini cheesecake. “Surprise!” she said. “What’s the occasion?” I asked. “Your birthday,” she said looking at me. “Take a picture with her,” she said motioning to Briar Rose. And so Audi, Chris, and Amy signed my birthday card–all the other employees had signed it too–and then took Briar Rose and put her paw on to a pad of ink that you use for stamping addresses on (I can’t remember what it’s called) and put her paw on to the card and it made imprint there. The same thing was done with another dog we had in the room too. And then they took a picture of me with Briar Rose, as you see, along with holding my mini-cheesecake and the card. That was the best birthday I’ve ever had–they also posted it on their Facebook page. A total surprise–I didn’t think they knew when my birthday was and I also wasn’t expecting this at all. I still have that picture–as you see–and the card. 😀

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