Hopeful Human Touch | Teen Ink

Hopeful Human Touch

March 21, 2015
By AWriterOfWords DIAMOND, Hamburg, New Jersey
AWriterOfWords DIAMOND, Hamburg, New Jersey
59 articles 13 photos 9 comments

“All I ever wanted was to reach out and touch another human being not just with my hands but with my heart" Shatter Me, by Tahereh Mafi.


  If you ever looked into the eyes of an animal that has been abused, you will see the human emotions- the fear mixed with a glimmer of hope. Through my experiences fostering animals I have come to believe that animals have a soul seen through their eyes that depict the same emotions humans possess. Similar to Juliet, the protagonist who proclaimed the quote, I always wanted to make a difference in the lives of others and the opportunity presented itself in form of rescuing animals that were close to their death beds. As a sixth grader, fostering an animal, meant taking  total responsibility of the animal; this was a daunting task, but one that I embraced as I took home my first foster- Samson a shepherd mix that weighed under five pounds, despite being twelve weeks old. 


Like many of my foster animals that I would have later on, Samson was undernourished and weary of humans at first. He would flinch at the touch of a human hand, but I vowed that I would be able to help him overcome his traumatic experiences and re-learn to trust humans.  I did not just want to touch Samson, but I wanted to make a difference in his heart, making his life better than what he had previously experienced. After many hours of working with him through one-one-one training sessions, Samson was able to overcome his past and form a bond with me. He would follow me around my house, but the true bond showed at the end of our time together when his “forever family” awaited him. 


As required as part of the fostering experience, Saturdays were adoption days at local stores, where the foster parents, like myself, would attempt to find their fosters a perfect match. I placed Samson in his cage, next to all the other dogs, and hoped for his forever home to come soon. Fortunately, within an hour a family was filling out the adoption forms for Samson. The children played with him through his cage and he seemed to revel in their attention, so different than the pup I first met who cringed at the slightest touch. When the adoption was approved, Samson was taken out of his cage and presented to his new family; instead of regressing into his past behavior at touch of his new family, he wagged his tail in bliss.


The father of his new family gingerly picked Samson up, thanked me, and walked away to take the pup home, with his family following. Samson looked back over the Father’s shoulder, his big brown eyes watching me intently with confusion at first. Then the little girl reached up to pet him and Samson licked her face. Smiling to myself, I know Samson had changed- not just shaped by my hands but he was touched in his heart. He had made a full circle in terms of behavior as he no longer retreated from humans but relished the interactions. As my first foster pup, saying goodbye was bittersweet, but I vowed to help others- not only to touch the animals on the outside, but to truly make a difference and change their hearts, like I did for Samson and consequently, what he did for me.



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