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Old December 6th, 2011, 04:48 PM
violagirl violagirl is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Canada
Posts: 90
Volunteering at Local Rescue

I decided instead of going to the gym during my lunch hour, I will walk dogs at the local SPCA. Volunteer orientation was last night and today was my first day!

A couple of things surprised me.

Fortunately, I was dressed in old clothes, but I forgot a dog who is cooped up in a kennel where they poop on the floor will be excited and jumpy...AND poopy. I may go to local thrift store and try to find some scrubs.

Another thing that surprised me was my reaction to the dogs. The reason I haven't volunteered in the past was because I didn't feel like I could be there and not want to take them all home with me.

When I was walking them, I felt oddly dispassionate. There wasn't really a connection. Now the dogs I walked were former strays, so maybe that made a difference, but I am used to my dogs always looking to me for direction, reassurance, treats, pats, waiting on my every word. And these ones were single-mindedly sniffing and walking occasionally when i'd stop because they were pulling they would notice me but it was generally quite businesslike.

It was like I was kind of superfluous to their walk. Which probably was the reason i didn't really feel a big emotional connection to them like I thought I would.

Since I plan to be volunteering 3-4 times a week, should I concentrate on building relationships with a few dogs so that they will learn better and so be better able to score a new home or is it better just to do the dogwalking triage of who has/hasn't been walked yet this week and go from there?

Also any tips and tricks about working with rescue dogs would be good.
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