This semester, I decided to do something different. I had volunteered at Aldersgate the last two semesters, and before that, I had volunteered at Hawkins Elementary School. So, I decided to go back to something I had enjoyed doing during high school; working at an animal shelter. This semester, I decided to volunteer at Southern Pines Animal Shelter. It is a shelter just up the road from Southern Miss, and it a busy little place. There is always something to do.
From February to March, I went to Southern Pines about once a week so long as the weather was not bad. The main thing I did was walk dogs. There was always a dog that was ready to get out of its kennel, and I would walk them around the path that was on the outside of the shelter. It went over two small walkways and through trees and an open area. The dogs would always love to sniff everything they saw. Some of the dogs loved to walk quickly to see the next thing. Some of them went slowly and enjoyed being outside. A few of the dogs even did not want to walk; they wanted to stay outside as long as they could. Although this was the main task I performed, I would also help with laundry. Everyday, there were several loads of towels, blankets, and bath cloths that have to be washed, dried, folded, and put up. When I was not walking the dogs, I was typically doing this.
However, there was always something else that needed to be done. One day, when I was finished walking one dog, I had a guest who came up to me asking me questions about the dog. I loved being able to tell them how sweet and good the dog was, and I was happy to hear that they were considering adopting her. I do not know if they did, but I hope so. I also had to help wash dishes and clean kennels one morning. It was not the most fun thing to do, but it needed to be done and I was happy to help!
I greatly enjoyed going out to Southern Pines this semester. It was great to take a break from school work to play with the dogs. They seemed to enjoy it more than I did! I would definitely recommend volunteering here if you love animals and want to help!
—Majoring in social work, Dianna Couch has completed her third year at Southern Miss. She is from Magee, MS.