No matter what the season, there are so many little animals out on the street, and as much as we hate to be out starving of both food and love, they do too. Our recent trip to The Stray Dog Center in Umm Al Quwain organised by Club Impact at our university made us realise how much happiness can be felt by just being surrounded by four-legged bundles of joy.
It is impossible to shelter all these little friends as there isn’t any shortage of them on the streets. But that doesn’t mean we can’t help them. We can and we should. The minimum you could do for them do it. Treating them right is a reward in itself and the satisfaction felt within you is something you’ll cherish for a lifetime or more.
The Stray Dog Center UAQ is home to more than 200 dogs almost all of who have been rescued or found on the streets either abused or abandoned. The Umm Al Quwain municipality offered founder Amira William a land to build a shelter for her little friends. Today the shelter is successfully taking care of these abandoned animals and giving them all the love and respect they deserve.
The shelter offers people to volunteer on certain days where they can walk the dogs from a kennel and shower them with love and cuddles. Middlesex University Dubai’s Club Impact organised one such visit and made it possible for 31 students to spend time with these lovely little dogs.
Noura Abouelrous, the coordinator of club impact says, “I felt like we got the chance to love dogs that missed out on it for most part of their lives. I was glad that I got the opportunity as coordinator of Club Impact to organize this trip along with Student Activities.”
Enroute Umm Al Quwain was a journey full of fun, music and laughter. A couple of students assembled in university at 7.45 am yet had all smiles only because it was a trip to see dogs. A long yet exciting journey, and even funny as we got lost trying to look for the place. We made it, and everyone’s happiness was twice as much as it already was.
Just walking into the shelter and the sound of all these little dogs barking with excitement, some crying only to be held, and others wagging their tails at the sight of human beings was a heartwarming feeling. It makes you think of how anyone could ever abandon or heart such pure creatures.
“It was my first time walking dogs. There was one dog who came out of his kennel and jumped straight on me with his mouth wide open with excitement. The volunteer working there told me that the dog chose me and asked if it was possible for me to deny walking him. I was surprised and touched; I just wanted to adopt him right away.”
Walking them was a task of its own, some dogs liked to run, some wanted to walk backwards, some just stopped in one place, while some needed to be carried and then cuddled in the sand. However, not a single student complained. It was a moment of, ‘we want what the dog wants,’ it just brought a smile on all our faces.
“Taking the dogs out for a walk and watching them get all excited was honestly the best feeling and I’m so glad I got to be a part of that.”
When the time came to leave, it was a struggle, not just for us but even for the dogs. Goodbye became the hardest emotion. But there is one thing we learnt; everyone says, ‘I’m okay alone, I can survive by myself,’ but we all know we’re lying. We all do get lonely and look for a friend. The UAQ Stray Dog Center gives us the opportunity to change our reality; if not a human friend to depend on, a four-legged friend could make so much more of a difference. One of the students on the trip Leane has been a consistent volunteer at the dog shelter, She says, “I have fostered many pups from the shelter and I’m currently fostering an older dog. It was such a happy feeling to go with people my age and watch them experience the same happiness as I do everytime I go to volunteer.”
“It was a very ‘paw’some experience giving all our love to dogs, who lacked it their entire lives. Our visit helped us understand that it isn’t about looks or pedigree but just the love they have for us.”
Adopt a pet, or befriend one on the streets, you have no idea about the happiness it can spark in your life. Someone to yell at and cuddle, someone to play with or completely ignore, someone that becomes more than just family.
The UAQ Stray Dog Center also allows people to help these animals through donations of cash, food, treats, toys, and even encourages adoption and foster care for these little animals. We have decided the go by and walk these dogs whenever possible, and we ask you’ll to do the same.
In the end, all I can say is, remember, these animals don’t ask for worldly things like we do, all they want is a little love and attention, and you’ll have gotten rid of the lonely, unhappy, person within you because of the little bundle of joy in your life.