My Take: Rescue Dogs Offer Abundant Love | Opinion

This story begins over 20 years ago when my husband and I picked up an Italian Greyhound during a rescue in Ithaca. Jenna was a special dog and you could tell all she wanted was to be loved.

Mary A. Ben is a dog lover and SPCA volunteer.

At first she was very nervous and scared since her owner kept her in a tractor trailer as part of a puppy mill. It was his life for five years and we were lucky to have him for another 15 years. She gave us so much joy every day.

Fast forward to 2015, we were able to adopt another Italian Greyhound who was only 6 months old. His name was “Ravioli” and his brother was “Spaghetti”. (Rescue agencies often name dogs after food or vegetables). These dogs were in a shelter in Alabama and were transported to a shelter in Syracuse.

On the return trip, my husband expressed his wish to change the name to Jeter. Currently, Jeter is still with us and has helped us stay busy and focused during the pandemic.

In the summer of 2021, I started volunteering at the SPCA. My first experience was helping with the laundry and feeding the dogs. I never did the work necessary to keep the animal enclosures clean. There was an endless supply of bowls of food that needed to be put in the dishwashers and piles of blankets and other things to wash and dry. The dogs loved mealtime and there was always a lot of jumping and barking when their food bowls arrived.