Pat already has my dream job - retiree! She doesn't seem to be taking life easy though. We're lucky she has time for the shelter, with all of these non-dog activities she's involved in.
Thanks for being such a great volunteer Pat!
Why did you initially decide to volunteer at BACS?
As a long-time Berkeley resident, about two years ago I was thrilled to discover there is such a thriving volunteer program at the animal shelter. How could I have missed hearing about it? I signed up right away, for I knew I could join the group and provide much needed exercise and attention to the dogs, as well as get my "dog fix." I miss having a dog. I still have very fond memories of Cocoa, the shelter dog who grew up with our children, and of the family dog when I was a child. But now we have no family dog at home, only "grand dogs" and neighbor dogs – not enough. Plus, we are out of town so often that it doesn't seem right to have a dog right now.
I also knew BACS would be a great place to volunteer when I learned about the shelter's success rate in finding homes for the animals, especially since it is a city-operated shelter that has to take in all animals that come to it.
What are your favorite things about volunteering?
Some of my friends have asked me how could I want to volunteer in an animal shelter. It must be such a depressing place, such a heartbreaking experience, they say. But I tell them how much I like the experience: I love working with the dogs that arrive at the shelter and seeing the positive changes as the dogs evolve. So many of them are frightened, overwhelmed, under-nourished, and poorly socialized. Thanks to the caring and expert work of the staff and volunteers, almost all of the dogs become adoptable and find homes or are adopted by our rescue partners. I love being a part of that process and seeing those successes.
I also appreciate that the staff and volunteers are so friendly and helpful – and have a sense of humor.
Who are your favorite dogs, past and present?
Currently: Latif, Bettina, Simone, Bernie, Monty, Marty
Past: Raven; Sade, Zack and their brother (what transformations!), "The Berries" (there were four of them, Blue Berry, Straw Berry, etc.), Claudia, Godiva, Cola and Oreo (loved their January blog; so happy they're now in foster homes)
What do you do when you're not at the shelter?
- Family (husband, children and grandchildren)
- Former board member or current supporter of several community organizations, including Crisis Support Services, Luna Kids Dance, Berkeley Symphony Orchestra, Berkeley Rep, city and neighborhood earthquake preparedness groups
- Travel, foreign and domestic, including Berkeley's amazing Berkeley Tuolumne Camp, our family's tradition for four decades.
- Current member of the board of trustees for Oberlin College and Crounse Corporation, a privatie company based in Paducah, KY, my hometown.