Monday, March 29, 2010

March's Volunteer of the Month


When I'm Not Volunteering at the Shelter

I work at Nolo, writing and editing books and pieces for their website. In a previous life, I was the type of lawyer who has to wear a suit and not bring my dog to work, but that's all behind me now. I really enjoy rock climbing, so I'm often at one of the local rock climbing gyms, Indian Rock, etc. I've got other hobbies, but since I started walking dogs at the shelter, that's mostly how I want to spend my free time. It's addictive.

Why I Initially Volunteered

I have always had and loved dogs, particularly my BFF Faith, who in the first two months of her life had already been used as bait and thrown out of a car. BACS's own Jill Posener rescued Faith as she was being wheeled through the Pinole shelter on her way to be euthanized, and I adopted her a few weeks later. Last year, when I decided Faith (and I) needed a buddy, Jill suggested I check out some of the shelter dogs. Then I accidentally fell in love with all of them and couldn't stop dropping by to visit my favorites. So I figured I may as well start doing something helpful, and not just getting in Tim's and Thomas's way.

My Favorite Thing About Walking the Dogs

I love being able to help a dog become more adoptable, whether it's by helping them overcome shyness, get better on the leash, learn some basic commands, go to training class, or just get out of the kennel for a while. The biggest draw for me, though, is just being around dogs. I really enjoy their company, they crack me up, they surprise and impress me, and I learn a lot every day I spend walking them. It's a lot of fun, even though their circumstances are not always the best.

My New Favorite Dogs

Well, there's Rocky -- who became such a personal favorite that I just adopted him! I also love Sandy, whose intelligence and attentiveness are second to none (not to mention making me look good at BAD RAP). Raulon is very sweet; we discovered that we share a common interest in "resting our eyes for a minute" (as my mother used to say) in the sunny spot on the pier at Aquatic Park. Jelly Bean is a goofball, a pit bull quality I can't get enough of. And Albert, who has been at the shelter way too long but I've just started walking: his half-pipe act in the kennel always puts a smile on my face, and he's a lot of fun on the trail. I also heart Avea.


Joel said...

Thanks Lisa, I've seen you at the shelter quite a few times and the dogs certainly like to see you heading their way. Thanks for helping with Albert, he's one of my favorites too and I try to walk him every time I'm in. He's just been cooped up in that kennel for too long.

Lisa said...

Thanks Joel. I might not be at the shelter quite as often for the next couple of weeks, as I try to get new pack member Rocky up to speed. Faith has already explained to him that the humping is a non-starter.

And great work with Azul! He's really coming along since I first walked him, when he spent the whole time fighting me for the leash . . .

Joel said...

Lately Azul only seems to want to attack the leash during the first 10-15 minutes of Bad Rap class. He knows he's stuck doing what I tell him to do and he doesn't like it one bit. It's been at least a month since Azul has tried to chew the leash when I get him out of his kennel or take him for a regular walk. I walked him up to 4th Street last weekend when it was crowded and he was a perfect gentleman even with all the people and a few dogs out. I should write another blog entry.

That's great that you adopted Rocky! He's another good dog.