I once volunteered at a county animal shelter that had a fabulously well-organized volunteer crew. It was in a wealthy area with lots of ladies who did not have day jobs, so they could spend hours a week at the shelter, looking after dogs and cats.
They did great work. In addition to the day-to-day dog walking, cage cleaning and customer helping, they would cough up thousands of dollars for crazy things, like hip replacements for young Golden Retrievers. Or for private vet care when the county vet was...oh, God knows what he was. He once cut open a male cat to spay him before he spotted the testicles. Enough said.
All of the ladies had also adopted multiple animals, many of them the hardest-luck cases. Cats with one eye and epilepsy. Dogs who needed shots 3x a day. Things like that.
So of course, because the volunteer crew was organized and functioning like an expensive Swiss watch, the county had to mess with us. They found one of the shelter directors who wanted to retire, but who wasn't quite of age, so instead they gave him a well-paid position as the "Volunteer Coordinator."
He decided to further organize us by having expensive volunteer binders printed and t-shirts (for which we had to pay) made. We all had to show up at 8 a.m. on a Saturday for our "training."
He then had to enlighten us with his theory of animal care.
"Remember, animals don't have feelings," he proclaimed. "It may seem like they do, but we are just projecting human emotions onto them."
All of the air left the room. Everyone glared at him. Every one of us was a stone-crazy animal lover.
Even if he had evidence to back up his proclamation, why would you say that to a room full of 40 women who chose to spend their spare hours covered in fur, dog spit and kitten vomit?
While we were on a break in the bathroom talking about the moron volunteer coordinator, someone stated the truth: "At least this will be the only time we ever see that jackass."
And they were right. Having done his training duty, Mr. Jackass slunk off to collect his county checks and wait for retirement. The volunteers went on running things just like always.
But I think of him often, especially when this happens: I put food in Goldie's bowl. She is hungry, but she does not like the food I have offered. So she walks into the kitchen, licks the edge of the bowl, and gazes at me mournfully.
The message is obvious. "I am hungry. However, I do not choose to eat this crap you have provided me. Please rectify this situation."
She not only HAS feelings. She tries to manipulate my feelings. Or maybe I'm just imagining this.
Note on the header: It is a photo of a day during my unemployment when I decided not to get out of bed. It was about 10 am and Goldie was seriously distressed at my horizontalness. In the photo, she is not resting comfortably. She is menacing me by thumping her head down on my side about every minute or so. Again, she has no feelings and no way to express them.