Sweet Miss Hippo Shares Her Love

July 2, 2019

Molly Clark, one of our fabulous volunteers, recently took Miss Hippo on a shelter break, and says something happened that day that she’ll remember forever. Here is her account:

I took Miss Hippo to the beach, and we stopped at several places for tons of snacks. We love snacks.

While we were walking on the beach, we came across a woman sitting on a log. As we got closer, I noticed she was crying. I tried to go a different direction to give the woman some space and privacy, when Hippo yanked the leash to go toward the woman.

“Whoa, Hippo! Let’s leave the woman alone,” I said, pulling her back. The gal lifted her head and a small smile crossed her lips. “Is it okay if I say hi to your dog?” Hippo started to wag her tail and pull even harder.

I let us walk to the woman who stayed sitting on the log. Hippo pushed her head into her while the woman pet her chubby body. I explained how Hippo was a shelter dog and said that we were just out on a much-needed break.

“She’s so friendly,” she said, and Hippo took that as an invitation to sit down next to her and shoved the lady over a few inches. “And pushy and stubborn,” I said, “sorry about that.” The woman smiled, but only at the dog. “I don’t think you’re stubborn,” she said.  “Or pushy. I just think we both need someone to lean on.” And she leaned her body into the dog and started crying again.

Hippo didn’t move. She sat with the woman and looked out over the water and let her cry into her fur. It was a soft cry —  she wasn’t wailing and carrying on, and it was oddly soothing. I sat behind them (I mean I couldn’t drop the leash) and felt like I was intruding on a private moment. After a bit, the woman kissed Hippo on the head and said, “thank you.” Hippo started to get up slowly, wagging her tail and turned back to me. She was smiling, and I was so proud.

We left the gal sitting by the beach. She never looked back at us and neither did Hippo. I kept looking back and forth between them wondering if I should go into some story about how and where she can adopt Hippo, but realized how out of place that would be. What happened between them wasn’t about adoptions, or shelter dogs, or maybe a need to match people and dogs. It was about kindness and goodness, empathy and love.

Basically, it was about all that a dog is. That moment will forever be one of my best memories. The day a homeless chubby Hippo saw a sad woman and gave her all she had. Her kindness and love, and her strength and peace.

Dogs are the best — and Miss Hippo doesn’t disappoint.

~Molly Clark

Sweet Miss Hippo is currently available for adoption, waiting to connect with her forever-family. Click here to learn more about Miss Hippo and how to adopt her.