Mood: crushed out
Topic: "Walkin' the Dogs"(8)
At the dawn of that first day when Frodo did not "have to" get up, he sipped a cup of coffee and considered what came next. He decided that he would take on a number of "to do" projects around the Shire, but make no committments of time or resources, just yet. Frodo opined that many events would be at hand, and that the capacity to deal with the unforseen would be critical. Looking back, Frodo seems prescient.
Now there seems to be an opportunity or two into which the Hobbit can throw himself.
With the passing of Mick, the Wonder Dog, and the subsequent entry into the Shire of his able-bodied replacement, courtesy of the local animal shelter, Frodo was particularly appreciative of the young volunteer who helped him obtain his Newest Friend. Frodo then found himself as the recipient of the question he could not answer.
Frodo applied to be an unpaid volunteer. After a background check, he was called in to attend an orientation session, assigned a "mentor," and spent this Sunday afternoon past as a "dog walker." In cage number order, each canine is leashed and accompanies one such as Frodo into the open lands beyond their immediate captivity. The time period for each trek is 15 minutes or so, for some merely the opportunity to evacuate outside the sleeping area, and for others, a fleeting moment to whistle the wind and dream of chasing squirrels endlessly.
Frodo is free to come and go as he pleases, as long as it is during business hours. Outside of business hours, the facility is closed, and no one services the inmates, if you will. In fact, since the facility is closed on Mondays, that means no one gets walked and "holding it" takes on a whole new level of feeling.
Frodo walked several dogs, including a thoroughbred Australian Cattle-Dog who is gentle to the human hand, but ferocious when brought into the presence of another canine. His time is short, and few would risk adopting what could be a major problem. Time, in such an instance, can be as little as somewhat more than two weeks. There are so many in similar circumstance.
There was a young female Labrador Retriever mix who was trembling whenever anyone neared her cage. Under Frodo's gentle rumblings, she raised her head and the structural lines took on a statuesque point into the wind. Noticing her matted coat, the Hobbit obtained a brush and spent several minutes gently removing tangled hair. As he bent down toward her muzzle, she licked his face, smiling gratefully.
Frodo will go back for a few hours tomorrow. Hoping he is, that some young Hobbit found this well-groomed and loving creature to his liking, and that she has found a good home.
Frodo has found something at which he is very good, and his gentle ways are needed. The Ring, he supposes, is present in many aspects of life, not just in the struggle up Mount Doom.