Asians for Humans, Animals & Nature

How Much Do You Know?

As modernization takes us into the future, we humans have become more and more focused on technology; but this kind of attention puts us further away from other important things in our life, such as animals. I, too, was consumed by the idea of modernization which blinded me from acknowledging the importance of animals. Throughout my childhood I was never interested in dogs or cats because they were little importance to the progress of our society. And even when I come in contact with them by chance, I would be reluctant and intimidated to approach them. There are times when I was obligated to pet dogs because I didn’t want my friends to think I was coldhearted. But the truth is, I felt awkward and mostly, I feared that they would attack me.

But these ideas have proved to be foolish after I joined the AHAN Organization and got to know the animals. AHAN is an Animal Shelter for abandoned cats and dogs. Vicky Lynn, the founder of the organization, uses her own house as a shelter for these homeless cats and dogs. It is amazing to know someone who has been willing to help out animals with her own home for over fifteen years. I think this is the reason why my friends decided to be so dedicated in this volunteer job, because it is a non-profit organization purely based on sympathy and love. I think this also is the reason why I was so touched and wanted to get involved.

I remember volunteering at AHAN for the first time. It was a Friday afternoon. I was not very anxious to be going because I knew nothing about dogs and cats, and I feared they would attack me. But everything turned out to be different from the way I imagined it.

I walked into AHAN’s home shelter and entered the kitchen, where the cats had settled down, I realized I had never seen so many cats gathered together in my life. It was a scary feeling, so I stood there stiffly next to the kitchen counter and refused to get closer. But my friends put a cat in my arms and I had to hold it. I was so nervous that I didn’t know what to do for I never held a cat before. But something intriguing caught my eye. It could have been her cute whiskers, or maybe it was her hazel eyes, or wait, it could have been her little paws trying to grab onto something to stand on. Her quietness and calmness made me feel comfortable and relaxed. Maybe because she was trying to make me realize that I was wrong about them and that they were actually friendly. I kept on petting and petting until I was calmed, until I was smiling, until I had to go home.

It was a fun and knowledgeable experience, where I learned to view things from a new perspective. Those are things that I could not have learned in a class or from a book, because that is what makes experience so unique. It allowed me to discover that each animal has its own individuality, and that they have mood swings just like a human. I never acknowledged these factors about animals because I never tried to familiarize myself with them. When I finally did, I realized their significance is important. And along with millions of other people, I was one of those who neglected their being. But I think AHAN has changed my point of view and encouraged me to learn about animals, to have contact with them, and to appreciate their existence.

By: Diana Sun