Caesar is the animagus that lives at Pet’s Villa, the animal shelter I volunteer at. I met him last year when I was mopping the floor at Pet’s Villa. One humid day I was furiously mopping the floor when I felt a light scratch at the back of my arms. I turned around and in front of me was a pair of brown lipid canine eyes set in a broad ebony face with a wide muzzle and medium sized body.
“Love me” his eyes communicated to me silently, “Take a moment and love me”.
“Oh” I startled softly, caught off guard by the vulnerability and honesty of his gentle request.
Thoughts of all the cleaning that needed to be done then came rushing back to my mind
“I have a lot to do” I thought to myself,
“Hang on!” I replied brusquely and continued mopping the floor.
“I can’t just take a moment to give him attention. I’ll do that when I’m done.” I reflected in my mind.
So I finished up and about half an hour later I went to look for him and could not find him. It took me another couple of weeks to be able to pick him out from the other 350 dogs and find out his name was Caesar. During which time he appeared and disappeared on occasion, always asking for my attention.
Each week I wondered increasingly if I could take a break from the cleaning that needed to be done at the shelter and pay Caesar more attention. After all, I volunteered at the shelter because of my desire to express my care and concern for the abandoned and stray animals there. I had just got so caught up in the practicalities of what needed to be done that I had forgotten to show them this care and concern in a concrete way. When I eventually took a moment to do so, I was hooked. Now a regular part of my time at the shelter is spent showering the dogs with affection. Each time I do, I feel a ton of love coming right back to me.
In the busy lives, we lead, it’s easy to forget to take the time to show love and appreciation. Caesar reminded me that even when I don’t think I have the time to stop and show some love, maybe I still should. Appreciating Caesar and the animals at the shelter gives me great joy and makes me feel connected to the world and my inner spirit. I often get so caught up in my work and trying to be successful-whatever that means- that I forget the things that I really want, peace, balance, joy and love. Maybe it’s time I redefine what being successful is to me. This is what Caesar taught me.
Pets Villa is an animal shelter that provides lodging, food and care for 500 stray or abandoned dogs and cats that would have otherwise been put down. If you wish to volunteer or donate to this well-deserved shelter please go to www.animalloversleague.com.