A Summer Well Spent This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   Summer is usually a time of rest and total relaxation. However, last summer, instead of catching all the daytime soaps, I put my free time to good use. I volunteered at our local SPCA. This was right up my alley; since I was able to put my love of animals to good use.

I was a little nervous on my first day, not knowing exactly what to expect. However, one look into the eyes of the many pups and see they were almost begging for love and attention. The animals needed me, and made me feel at home. My job included walking and playing with them, getting them fresh air and out of their cages. They looked forward to the change in scenery that a short walk could bring. Each day I faced a new challenge, whether it was spending time with timid new pups

(puppies always seemed scared when they first arrived) or bathing a filthy poodle. I did anything I could to better an animal's chance of adoption.

As my hours at the shelter accumulated, I went on animal therapy visits with a more experienced volunteer. Pet therapy is an effective way of promoting self-confidence. Many feel more comfortable talking to an animal than another person. Each day we would make a different visit, usually bringing two dogs and a few kittens. The nursing home visits were the most enjoyable. I loved to see the smiles and hear the stories from the older folks, as they held the animals close to them.

My summer experience at the SPCA was unforgettable and worthwhile. It felt good to make a difference in the lives of both humans and animals, which is why I suggest to everyone to give your time to a worthwhile organization that needs you. You'll get just as much out of it as you put in! fl


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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