How to Manage a 5lb Ball of Anxiety

Step 1-give up trying

Iva Ursano
6 min readDec 9, 2020



In 2019, during my one year stay in Mexico, I volunteered at a rescue shelter for dogs. Every Sunday. It was the happiest day of the week for me. I loved each second of the day and every single furry critter. It never once crossed my mind to actually take one home. Until it did.

Now most dogs that come into the shelter have been abandoned or found on the side of the road, hungry, dirty and scared. Some are brought in by owners or family of the owner.

Every now and then we get a mom with brand new pups or a mom about to deliver. Those are my favourite. Puppies!!!!! :) We get to watch them grow and then get adopted out. Such fun!

Each and every dog has a sad story.

Life at the dog shelter

It’s a huge piece of property with 15 pens and 15 kennels. The pens are various sizes, some for small dogs and some for the big ones who like to run around. It’s completely outdoors. All of it. The kennels are small, all concrete, each one has a dog house and at bedtime they got lots of blankets.

Unless they eat them. Then they don’t get any blankets.

The volunteers leave at 2 pm each day, each dog goes into his/her kennel and is there until the next morning. Yes it’s sad but there’s nothing we could do about it.

The night guard comes in around 5, feeds everyone dinner, makes sure everyone has clean water, and protects the grounds at night. Volunteers come in around 9, all dogs come out of their kennels and get to play and go for walks all damn day. Until 2 pm.

So you can see it’s not an entirely horrible life but still. It’s sad and lonely. We do the best we can with what we have.

The revolving door of the shelter

It’s very rare that a dog gets adopted and then returned. It happens though, just not very often. Many of the dogs get flown up north to the US and are instantly adopted into loving homes.

We take in an awful lot of dogs and sometimes have to turn people away because there’s simply just no room. It’s sad but unfortunately it happens and there’s nothing we can do about. Honestly it breaks our…



Iva Ursano