My Experience With The Meriden Humane Society
Start writing a post
Lifestyle

My Experience With The Meriden Humane Society

I basically grew up at the Meriden Humane Society and I'm glad I did.

28
My Experience With The Meriden Humane Society
Patricia LaRusso

I was entering the seventh grade when I first walked through the doors of the Meriden Humane Society. My dad was with me because we had previously determined that I was too young to start volunteering somewhere alone. He's not much of an animal person, so it meant a lot that he was there.

The first two people I met were Marlena, the director, and MaryLou, who worked with the cats. Because my dad was with me, Marlena let me walk a dog that day. I was thrilled because I had heard volunteers my age usually didn't walk the dogs. I can't remember the dogs' name, but I wish I could. He was a really sweet dog. When I got back from the walk, MaryLou trained me to clean cat cages and taught me the specific way things are cleaned and organized in the cat area. My dad doesn't like cats so much, but I was hooked.

After a few more times volunteering at the humane society, my dad asked if I was OK volunteering on my own. And, of course, I said yes. I was shy at the time, so I originally continued working with the cats and didn't say much to anyone who I hadn't met yet. Lucky for me, the people there were outgoing and always introduced themselves to me. The more time I spent there, the more my confidence grew. I started hinting that I wanted to work in all aspects of the shelter, and the staff started to notice that I really loved being there.

I started getting trained for all sorts of jobs around the shelter. I learned how to professionally answer the phone in the office, make copies of adoption applications, do laundry and soon enough, Heather agreed to train me with the dogs. By the time I was in high school they even had me walking in parades. I guess you could say I was happier there than pretty much anywhere else.

The staff and regular volunteers became my second family. I told my friends all about how wonderful the humane society was and how I finally found a place that I felt like I fit in. They knew that I wanted to go into veterinary medicine so they kept me updated about what was medically occurring with the animals. They explained why declawing is so horrific and they explained the answers to all of my obnoxious veterinary questions that didn't even always pertain to the shelter. As people as the people there were, taking care of the animals, they always had time for me.

I have volunteered at countless events. I have helped paint the shed and small dog room. I have assisted with medications and I have sat between two food aggressive dogs to ensure they don't go at each other's throats when their dinner was brought out. I would call my mom and beg her to wait to pick me up from the shelter so I could be there to make sure nothing went wrong. I have the instructions for food preparation for the small and large dog rooms memorized by heart. I couldn't even begin to explain how many times I've tried to help organize the back storage room or how many times a cat has tried to escape into the lobby with no success. I could navigate the shelter backward with my eyes closed, and I haven't even been there for months.

As I'm writing this, I'm realizing that a lot of my best memories took place at the Meriden Humane Society. Giving flea baths to kittens in a small area doesn't sound like a good experience, but it made me so happy to know I was making a difference. Socializing with customers and helping unload donations from cars was always a unique experience. Having people with life experience to talk to was amazing and the bonds I formed with some of the animals are irreplaceable.

I don't know how it happened but on my 16 birthday, I was able to adopt my favorite cat from the shelter. Even my bad moments were good moments when I was there. It was heartbreaking to see animals come in abandoned or mistreated, but it was more rewarding to be a part of their rehabilitation and adoption process. There is always risk working with animals, but my only "serious" injury was when I sliced my thumb on a dog food can and needed stitches. That turned out to be a funny story. I was "famous" for a while at the shelter for saying "the can bit me" as I was trying to explain what happened to Heather.

I miss the Meriden Humane Society. It is a great place full of better people. At times the staff can be misunderstood but everything they do is for the good of an animal. I miss Marlena, I miss Heather, and I miss all of the staff and regular volunteers. I miss working with the animals and I miss making memories with my second family. To anyone from the Humane Society who is reading this, I promise that I will visit next time I'm home. I love you all.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Swoon

23 Pandemic-Approved Date Ideas That'll Send Sparks Flying From Six Feet Apart

There's a safe way to date right now and yes, it includes masks.

113790

While some people would rather opt out of dating altogether during the pandemic so they don't have to wear a mask on a first date, others are choosing to listen to both guidelines and their heart in order to find love during the time of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Should you be one of the individuals welcoming romance right now, there are pandemic-approved dates you can go on that still adhere to guidelines (and yes, you'll have to wear a mask).

Keep Reading... Show less

I didn't believe the notification when it came through to my phone: Ruth Bader Ginsburg had died from complications due to cancer.

Keep Reading... Show less

In our patriarchal society, men hide from their feelings, but toxic masculinity is literally killing men. They swallow the pain and move on so that they can look, feel, and act "tough."

But, strength is derived from asking for help and voicing your struggle and, trust me, working on your mental health is one hell of a struggle. The real way to "man up" is to acknowledge the downfalls in unjust societal norms. Mental health problems do not mean that a man is weak, they are neurologically-based disorders that require professional treatment.

Keep Reading... Show less
Swoon

11 Things Your Boyfriend Should Do Before He Drops $499 On A PS5

Let's start with spending less time gaming and more time with you.

3207

Scrolling through Twitter this week had me rolling on the floor laughing as I read some of the hilarious tweets from ladies who, whether in a relationship or not, shared reactions to the news that PlayStation 5 is on its way

As this "buy your boyfriend a PS5" joke takes off across the internet, let's just say, there are a few things your BF should be doing before dropping $499 on the new gaming system — or, if the tweets are real for some, before you buy it for him as a gift.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

Sorry, But 'I Don’t Care About Politics' Is Not A Valid Excuse For NOT Voting

The younger generation of voters is so crucial to the upcoming election because our vote is going to shape the world that we are about to enter as adults.

26252

When I ask my friends if they are voting this term most of them respond with "no" followed by an explanation of "I don't care enough," "It doesn't affect me," or "I don't keep up with politics," etc. I get it, as a college student I know that there are many other things to be concerned about like school, relationships, work, and friends. I also understand that keeping up with politics can seem like trying to keep up with an over-exaggerated reality show that has way too many seasons. Not to mention most news stations and websites are biased so it's hard to decipher if what you hear is true or fake.

However, despite all of this annoyance, as the next generation of Americans, we have to remember that we owe it to ourselves, our families, and to our futures to care.

Keep Reading... Show less
Tasia Sli

Tasia Sli and Anna Yang met in quintessential New York fashion at a chic rooftop event, inquisitive Yale grad Anna gravitating towards model/entrepreneur Tasia.

Keep Reading... Show less
Photo by Anna Hernández-Buces

"Do you have big parties on Cinco de Mayo?"

Keep Reading... Show less

Two of my favorite things in life are reading and books. Obviously, they go hand-in-hand. In my life, I've realized that there is nothing better than learning about the current world or getting fully immersed in another world. Reading can inspire, teach, and entertain you.

For me, the feeling of opening a book and smelling that fresh book smell can't compete with anything else.

Keep Reading... Show less

Expecting mother and wife to singer/songwriter John Legend may have accidentally slipped up and revealed the gender of her and Legend's third baby today on her Instagram story.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

20 Books About Latin And Hispanic Heritage Absolutely Everyone Should Have On Their Bookshelf

Any ally of the community needs to be reading these incredible reads.

8932

I go through phases when it comes to what I like to read. I am typically reading two books at any given time: one serious nonfiction and one escapist fiction novel to have on hand and open up depending on my mood.

What remains consistent, however, amongst most of my fellow bibliophiles is a desire to try new and different authors and genres. I, as an Indian woman, have been partial to reading books written by fellow Indian and Desi writers since I first got a library card.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

I Asked 46 Women What They Thought About The Term 'Plus-Size', And Here's What They Had To Say

It's 2020, where change is inevitable and norms are not only questioned, but challenged.

4419

We live in a world where it's become customary to push boundaries, break rules, and question standards upheld by society. Though try as we might, some of these standards are harder to conquer than others — body image is one of the top contenders.

For years, the body positivity movement has pushed for the acceptance of all marginalized body types not represented or celebrated in the media. Recently, we've gotten better at appreciating and accepting all body types, but one thing that's still lingering is the stigma of body image in the fashion industry — more specifically, the term "plus-size."

Keep Reading... Show less
Netflix

Many popular TV shows are holding off premiers until spring, so most people are relying on their television subscriptions to get them through a socially distant fall semester.

Thankfully, Netflix was busy filming this past year because there is a ton of new original content coming in the near future. From mysteries to romances, here are some of the best new shows you have to check out this year:

Keep Reading... Show less
Entertainment

Taylor Swift Sang 'betty' At The ACMs And It Was The Perfect First Live 'folklore' Performance

I guarantee that Inez is spreading rumors about how fire this performance was.

3648
CBS

The Academy of Country Music Awards were last night and the performances were wonderful, but Taylor Swift's live version of "betty" from her newest album "folklore" really took the cake for me.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

9 Reasons I Unfollowed All The Fitness Influencers On My Instagram Feed

I don't need to feel bad about myself because of who I follow on social media.

2192

Throughout quarantine, something that a lot of us picked up on was working out. With all the free time, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to work on that "dream bod" you've been wanting for years, or to just feel good about yourself.

A common way to stay motivated and keep yourself on-task is to follow fitness influencers on various platforms. For some people, yes, this can be a healthy and helpful way to keep your drive. In other cases, however, this can do more harm than good.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments