Monday, May 21, 2012

May's Volunteers of the Month

Peter and Michelle

Michelle and Peter

These two volunteers have been making a big splash. It seems like they're always at the shelter. And just look at all the friends they've already made.

Why did you initially decide to volunteer at BACS?

We recently moved to Berkeley from Philadelphia in mid-August, and we thought volunteering at a local animal shelter would be the perfect way to volunteer together, meet people, and feel more at home in our new city.

Peter: I have a family dog back home--a pomeranian named Panda--and I miss her a lot. I signed us up for volunteer orientation because I wanted to spend time with dogs in some way. I hope we can welcome a dog into our home soon.

Michelle: I, on the other hand, have never had a pet and never walked a dog larger than Panda before. I was so nervous about volunteering at first...and I definitely thought I’d stick with the small lap dogs.

Peter: That didn’t last long. One walk and belly rub session with Paco and Michelle was sold.

What are your favorite things about volunteering?

Our favorite activity is just relaxing and playing with the dogs in Aquatic Park. It’s great to see dogs in their element, outside of their kennels. Their personalities can just shine! We have realized that, once the dogs start trusting you as a handler, they can be so eager to show affection and learn new commands. It’s also great when they just want to take a nap on your lap. We recently started taking dogs to BAD RAP class (Peter takes Bernard and Michelle takes Jeannie), and we so appreciate the extra opportunity to build bonds with these dogs so they can get that much closer to finding their forever homes. In addition, we enjoy the company of other volunteers and staff.

Michelle and Jeannie

Who are your favorite dogs, past and present?

Past dogs: Jada (, Dottie, Betty, Latif, Zeta, Bentley, Smithers
Current dogs: Paco (the first pittie we ever walked!), Bernard, Jeannie, Lady Belle, Fergus

Looks like Peter just lost his staring contest with Bernard

What do you do when you're not at the shelter?

In our spare time, we enjoy getting to know our new home and state. We like walking around Berkeley and Oakland to visit farmers markets and local stores -- we love how abundant and affordable produce is out here! We enjoy various outdoor activities, and this region offers plenty. We recently spent a long weekend hiking in Mendocino and Fort Bragg. Last fall, we camped in Big Sur. We also love to find good food to eat (suggestions welcomed!)

What a coincidence! Paco loves to find good food to eat, too!

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