December 3 – Moment. Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. Describe it in vivid detail (texture, smells, voices, noises, colors).This year has been a bit crappy really for 'moments' as I have spent most of it ill, and have only just found out the reasoning behind my illness.
One of the best feelings for me though was when one of the dogs that I worked with actually gave me a cuddle!
I worked at a dog shelter, one of those places where we NEVER put an animal down, no matter how long they have been there. Well I had had a SHIT day, I mean really shit. I had been sounded out by the owner for something I hadn't done right, and was made to do it again, which was fine I managed to do it (it almost killed me, I am not the fittest of people but still I will never make the same mistake twice!) I was so, so knackered afterwards, feeling sorry for myself, thinking I wasn't up to the job, you know all those thoughts that go through your mind. Anyway, I went and had a cup of coffee then went to the kennels, and made sure all the dogs had water etc... they had already been cleaned twice that day so sometimes I just went to sit with them, the job was heartbreaking and rewarding all at the same time.
There was this one dog, a pit bull. Now I know what you are all thinking but still, this pit bull had been picked up wandering loose around the town, and the dog warden brings everything to us as the police don't have anything to do with dogs now. Of course being a pit bull the police automatically wanted to put it down. It had not done anything wrong it was a stray, as I said we NEVER put a dog down. After a long legal battle the owners eventually got to adopt it, which you have to do legally with pits. Right from the beginning I was told 'this is a pit bull, you need to be on the look out for this one' It never phased me, in my mind a dog is a dog is a dog. I used to take it into the paddock and play ball with it, and bloody hell can those dogs run! He was lovely, well behaved, a fantastic dog.
Anyway this one day I was feeling shit, worthless, because I had been sounded out. Then I went into the kennels to check on all the other dogs. I went into his kennel and just squatted down beside him, he literally nuzzled himself between my legs, put his front paws on my shoulders and I swear, pulled me into him as though he was hugging me. He then just got down and sat at my feet, allowing me to stroke him. It was if he knew I needed that hug more than anything in the world, and right there and then he was the most perfect dog I have ever known. He showed me that even though he had, probably, been abandoned by his owners, he still knew what love was and I realised then why I used to go home crying a lot. He reminded me that for even a few moments a day, I meant the world to him and he could never say thank you enough.
I cried a lot that day, both through frustration and love. It stands out in my mind as a wonderful day.