Saturday, September 3, 2011

Afternoon in heaven

Late Saturday morning, a half-dozen dogs from the Ewing Animal Shelter arrived at Princeton Shopping Center. To get there, they were walked out of the shelter building, along a sidewalk lined with grass, to the cars in which Easel volunteers would drive them to the Princeton Shopping Center.

The drive gave the dogs big gulps of fresh air, sunshine and new sights, as well as the excitement of being free -- out of their cages, socializing with other animals and people. Once at the Cutter's Mill pet store, where adoption day was scheduled, each dog wore an orange vest that said "Adopt me!" They all got treats, a bowl of water and time to loll in the grass or on a blanket with a person who petted and talked with him or her.

In the grassy court area inside the ring of stores, Cutter's Mill staff had set up fenced rings with children's swimming pools inside and wooden chairs here and there. Balls and other toys were scattered around. It looked like a pool party, and the best thing about it was that it was for the dogs.

People there to shop slowed their pace to interact with the dogs, who by then were in utter heaven: freedom, positive attention, exercise, fresh air, food and water -- and little did they know: also the chance they'd be seen, liked, adopted.

But whether any adoptions resulted from the dogs' afternoon out hardly mattered. They got away from the animal shelter for a few hours and experienced the good life many dogs have -- and all dogs deserve.


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