A funny thing about this volunteering business: I started walking dogs at the animal shelter because Fenway has been lame, I'm no longer riding, and I thought it would be nice to do something helpful and selfless with my occasional free time. I thought it would be nice to use that time, when my children are at school and my work is caught up, to help someone instead of spending it reading, writing, or relaxing at home.
The funny thing is that my four hours a week at the animal shelter are downright WONDERFUL! I am helping myself, too. I love taking a crazed, maniacal, bouncing-off-the-walls dog out of his or her kennel and bringing back a happy, tired, mannerly canine citizen fifteen minutes later. It's amazing what a transformative effect a walk and some fetching can have on these bored dogs.
It makes me realize how much we all need to get out and stretch, and how important it is for all of us—human and canine alike—to reset our systems with a daily walk in the fresh air. It's uplifting.