No Better Way to Spend the Weekend

As if working 40+ hours in a week at the shelter wasn’t enough for me, I more often than not find myself volunteering for something dog related on the weekends (as you can tell from this blog).  I keep asking myself when the day will be that I burn out – but so far there is no sign of that. I absolutely love doing all the things I sign myself up for. There are so many perks to volunteering, no matter what cause you’re helping with.  There’s got to be a reason why I continually offer my time to help these animals, and believe me – the “good feeling” isn’t always it. Check out a few reasons why I find volunteering so awesome:

1.  It’s usually FUN! I wouldn’t sign myself up for something I thought wouldn’t be enjoyable. Volunteer opportunities are often a great time to meet new people, hang out with animals (or kids or new adults, whatever your cause may be), and help with activities you’re interested in.  Not surprisingly, there is a reason why thousands upon thousands of people across their country donate their time – because it’s fun!

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2.  You get to open the world up for an animal. This generally only applies to bringing animals to adoption events, but boy is it one of the best parts! I brought this adorable cutie to an event on Saturday, and I can almost guarantee it was the first time she’d been in a place with so many new sites and smells. She’s a versatile little thing, so she loved it (it’s important to keep in mind some dogs may not).  Plus then she slept like a baby when she went back to the shelter that night!

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3. You make really great friends. Hands down one of the best things about being so involved in the sheltering/rescue community the past year and half has been the friends I’ve met. Whether through work, through fostering, or through volunteering – it’s amazing the amount of people you meet and click with when you’re doing something you love! Well, I guess it’s not that surprising considering most of us do it for similar reasons, but it’s still an awesome perk. I know I have made some friends for life through doing this. Volunteering can be a very social experience!

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4.  Once you put in time doing what’s needed, you can spend time doing what’s wanted. After a day of volunteering on Saturday, I found myself curled up on the floor of the shelter offices with this handsome boy named Admiral once all my duties were finished.  Often times if you’re volunteering at an event you have an allotted time you’re needed for help, and then some down time to do what you want.

Here’s a hint: it’s the perfect way to get into an event for free! Don’t take this the wrong way because obviously I don’t want people mooching off rescue groups, BUT I have definitely seen folks who can’t afford to attend an event themselves (usually a gala type or something similar) offer to volunteer so they can still experience the evening while helping out. It’s a win-win for the organization! Plus I have seen volunteers still donate to raffles or buy merchandise, etc. to do their part (in addition to giving their time – did I mention volunteers are awesome!?).

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5.  Resume booster! Volunteering shows that you’re willing to give up your own time for a greater cause, and that can be very appealing to a potential employer.  Not to mention there are a lot of skills to be learned as a volunteer, depending on what exactly you’re helping with.  Don’t think that just because you’re not getting paid means it might not be great experience for a job position!

6.  The “good feeling.” It’s pretty obvious that most people volunteer at least in part because they know how much it helps, and doing your part sure makes ya feel all warm and fuzzy inside.  I certainly cannot complain about spending an afternoon spreading the word about adoption with a pup who was grateful to get out of the shelter. Sure I could have been out shopping with my friends or relaxing at home, but I couldn’t pass up this opportunity to try and get more animals adopted.

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I know I’ve spammed you with this message enough on the blog. . . but consider volunteering!  There are so many groups out there who could use your help.  Volunteers are absolutely invaluable to most non-profits.


Thanksgiving Day Parade

There is no better way to get in the Holiday spirit than a festive Thanksgiving Day Parade! Our shelter participated in one this weekend and it was so much fun. It’s a great chance to interact with our community, and – better yet – get some adoptable dogs into the spotlight.

I brought adoptable “pit bull” dog Luna. I cannot even begin to describe how hard I fell in love with her in just the few hours we hung out. She is less than a year old, and she’s got so much energy that it’s rare for each of her four paws to be on the ground at the same time when you first meet her. But I love her. She immediately caught on to the fact that jumping on me was going to get her ignored, and that sitting politely would get her treats.  The transformation I saw in just one hour while we were waiting for the parade to start was remarkable and showed me how much potential she really has. She’s also great with other dogs. Awesome dog, no? Not to mention she is stinkin’ CUTE!

We also had adoptable Mystic on the route with us! She wasn’t too keen on all the noises and people, so she greeted fans from inside our van. You can see that she performed that job perfectly!

We invite shelter alumni to join us in the parade as well.  MCHS alum Taz come with his family, and he was dressed to the nines in his elf outfit. Here he is with his big brother.

As you can see, it was a great morning for shelter dogs in the community! Happy Thanksgiving week!

If you think you’d like to add Luna or Mystic and their adorable ears to your family, email me at peacelovefoster@gmail.com.


When a Family Says Goodbye

As Bloggers, we make the decision to share ourselves with those on the other end of the computer screen. For some, this means sharing things about our lives and who we are. For others, it is just about our involvement with certain topics. But in this specific blogging and social networking community, we usually share most about our dogs.

To many people, blogging is “putting your life out there for anyone and everyone to see” – a scary thought. For most of us though, it is a chance to build new relationships and bonds with people we probably would never have met otherwise (in person or online). I can’t even count how many friendships I’ve made through this blogging and Facebook community of people who stand for the same things I do. Furthermore, I can’t even begin to put into words how special they all are to me.

With these friendships comes support and advice for your challenges, motivation for your struggles, and excitement for your victories – all from people who mostly only know you through the words you write online. We get so close to each other as we go through journeys together that we feel more connected than just as “fans” on Facebook, or blog followers. I feel like I personally know the people who are in this social media circle, as well as their dogs.

So when someone in this blog family suffers a loss, we all hurt. We all watch as a dog we’ve grown to love through pictures and stories gets taken away from their family. We feel heartbroken because the loving people who have shared their dog and their lives with us hold a place in our hearts as cherished friends – even without ever meeting them in person.

Blogging friends over at Pittieful Love suddenly lost their dog Knox this weekend to a rare blood parasite. Knox was the quintessential happy-go-lucky pit bull type dog, with a big goofy smile and a blocky black and white head. Stories about the way he interacted with his foster siblings always made me smile, and the pictures were so “aww” worthy. It was easy to feel a connection with him because he was so similar to all the pitties we love in our own lives. Knox was also a blood donor, and of course a wonderful ambassador for the breed.

Knox - Picture from Pittieful Love.

So it’s easy to see why Knox’s passing has shaken the whole blogging community. If you’d like to head over to Pittieful Love’s Facebook page to learn more about Knox’s story and leave a note, I think it would mean a lot to Knox’s parents. If there is any positive in this situation, it’s you wonderful people who have come together to give words & thoughts of comfort to this family in a time of need. Thank you.