Sitting in a Cage with Baxter

Guest Blogger: Animal Friends’ Volunteer and Blog Contest Honorable Mention Sergei Murray

I wrote this on Thanksgiving on my iPhone sitting in a cage with Baxter.
Perhaps the feeling of the holidays leave when you’re of an older age. Perhaps the rush and excitement of the giving seasons is something for the young and to survive must be transmitted vicariously by them.

As I grow older, I don’t think the holidays are what they once were – or what I made them to be.

It’s the final Thursday in February – Thanksgiving. My family is visiting my grandmother hours away and I’m at the animal shelter. It’s 8:21 PM.

I’m lying, or rather attempting to, on a 2×4 dog bed with an 80-pound Lab/Boxer mix sprawled across my chest occasionally snoring and twitching. His name is Baxter and he’s changed my life.

The story is as old as time; boy meets dog and best friends forever. The cliché of it has lasted through decades of books and movies. Strangely enough though, the reason it holds so much is because it’s true. Sometimes people need a best friend who can talk to them and help then through life – to which I have many. However, sometimes all you need is a seven-year-old lump of a dog to fall asleep on your lap to remind you that you’re doing something right.

I’ve been volunteering at the shelter for well over a month now and to be honest I’ve never felt more at home. The irony of it all is because I am an adopted individual from Russia and I’ve spent the larger majority of my existence despising the concept of adoption. I’ve always been closed off about it to a point and I’ve made points of personally never dwelling on the idea.

I love dogs though. My first word was Auf – which translated to my young interpretation of a  barking dog.

It’s funny though, that you can walk through a shelter and see caged dogs and want them all. You can pick which ones you’d like as pets, but  for me I walk through a shelter and see myself.

It was the middle of September and my life flipped itself over. I needed to change and I wasn’t happy with how things were and who I was. I remember sitting on the computer dwelling over life and then for some reason I thought of the shelter. I don’t remember the day or time, but I do remember looking at the shelter’s website and committing myself at that moment.

Fast forward to now? I’m over 120 hours in a month in a half. I’ve made friends (both two and four footed) and some of the dogs know my name. 

Sergei Murray received an Honorable Mention in our volunteer blog contest! Congratulations and thank you, Sergei!

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