As a shelter dog, life can be hard. Sometimes it’s loud. Other times, it is stressful and sad watching people pass you by in your kennel, picking another dog instead.
That’s just the reason why caretakers at Austin Animal Center decided to bring 3-year-old Bagel out for a field trip one day last week. And when they did, something magical happened.
The light returned to Bagel’s eyes, and for a few hours, she wasn’t a shelter dog. She was just a dog having the greatest time of her life.
Her caretakers brought her to a local lake to spend time in nature and to go for a swim. Bagel ran, romped, and splashed in the water, having so much fun in the moment.
She sniffed the grass and felt the sun on her fur. She played and hopped around. And after she was done having fun, she was so exhausted that she even took a snooze out in nature.
”Perhaps the sweetest, most endearing moment of our outing was when this girl fell asleep on a rock, listening to the peaceful sounds of the outdoors,” Bagel’s caretakers said on Facebook. “Bagel is a sensitive soul who needs people to move at a slower pace but gosh, she is so loving, playful and affectionate when people respect her boundaries and give her the little bit of time that she needs to open up.”
For shelter dogs, field trips are one of the most important enrichment activities. It helps them decompress from the stress of shelter life and truly helps people see them for the dogs that they are.
“It may just look like a picture of a dog taking a nap, but for us at AAC who know Bagel, it is one of the most heartfelt images of a shelter dog that has been taken,” Bagel’s caretakers continued. “When our volunteers are able to take time out of their day and take a dog on an outing, far away from the noisy shelter, magical things can happen. Just like these pictures of Bagel, getting that much-needed break and into a little bit of nature, if even for a couple of hours.”
Hopefully, it won’t be long before Bagel finds her forever home. The post of Bagel’s outing garnered so many kind words from her supporters and warmed people’s hearts — just as it should.
“These photos and this write-up brought me such joy,” one person said. “She looks so peaceful and content. Praying for just the right fit for this sweet Bagel. They ask so little and give SO much!”
Featured Image: Austin Animal Center