The holiday season always brings a rush of activity for staff and volunteers with events and extra activities. Last night was no exception, and the prep work and coordination needed to participate in the Roanoke Christmas parade is great. As usual, everyone jumped in and then settled into our now familiar, controlled chaos. And, as usual, we were very well aware and appreciative of the tremendous amount of work that our little old Assisi family tackled and knocked out.
Vehicles were picked up, float was decorated, people and dogs decked out for the occasion and on time for the starting line- up. Off we went, surrounded by roaring motorcycles, flashing lights, blaring music, and kids jumping out of the crowd to pet the dogs.
During it all, the overriding proud moment after moment was how well our shelter dogs handled their night out on the town. Not only did they walk very nicely on leash, but they were focused on their human, and when we stopped, they would also stop and then sit, waiting patiently. Considering the fact that almost every dog we had at the parade was either from our Roanoke pound or prevented from entering the pound, they have come a long way. We attribute it to our evolving shelter enrichment program, giving the adoption center dogs a variety of the things they need- training, walks, play time, quiet time, toys, beds, and most of all, human interaction, with the goal of making them more adoptable. Bobbie Wiggins, our dog trainer, and her army of volunteers have done a tremendous job with the canines entrusted into our care.
The imagine above detects more than a cute dog at a parade who is available for adoption. It portrays the dedication and love of a community for our homeless animals, and it is a powerful one. Well done.