Saturday I was a bundle of nerves as I dressed in my only pair of blue jeans (I hate jeans) and pulled my nonslip sneakers out of the closet (I also hate shoes.) It was volunteer orientation at my local humane society, and I was ready to help out. Unfortunately it was a busy day so orientation was just an hour, and we all went home afterwards to stay out of the way.
I was still determined to start that weekend, and the way they have their volunteer program set up is amazing. It’s pretty much come in whenever you can and do whatever you want. They have certain activities and jobs scheduled, but most of it is “help when you can”. So Sunday morning I woke up early and made my way there.
I arrived shortly after the staff did and signed in. I found a nice lady and being the socially awkward person I am, opened my arms wide and said, “Use me as you will.” She was amazing and seemed unfazed by my strange introduction and tattoos. She showed me around and I started with helping her with sanitizing the carriers and cleaning out the kitty kennels. I then helped organize the weeks donations.
Once I was done with the cat area I helped with some laundry. Gods do they have laundry, soooo much laundry. Anyways, while I was doing that one of their regular volunteers was taking all the dogs on walks one at a time. I was a little jealous, but the dogs were getting some walkies and I’m sure the woman spraying out the dog kennels was happy she didn’t have to tackle the mountains of laundry alone.
As you can tell I was determined to dabble in a little bit of everything on my first day, and next came the fun part. Yard time! Twice a day (I think) they let each dog out into the yard for some individual play/potty time. The staff is always busy so most of the time the dog is out alone during his turn unless they have some volunteers in. I was in, so out into the yard I went.
It was amazing! I’d let the doggo come up and say hello, give them a little scratch, and play with them for a bit. I always made sure to leave them alone for a few minutes so they could do their business. Once it was done I cleaned up the mess and resumed play. Let me tell you these dogs, the adoptable ones at least, were some of the best behaved dogs I’ve met. They played fetch better than Rufus. They were polite and adoring, most of them knew basic commands, and even if they didn’t they still behaved…. Okay there was one that was a little too excited, but I couldn’t blame her, she was the second to last one to go out and had seen me playing with all the dogs before her.
All in all I can’t wait to go again this weekend. It felt nice to help the overworked staff, and simply amazing to help the animals get a few butt wiggles in. Volunteering is amazing for both animal and volunteer, and I can’t recommend it enough. Hopefully next week I’ll be able to connect my senior management at work to their volunteer/community outreach person. I’d love to get my company involved with a charity collab or something.