Tuesday, October 16, 2007


[Post Preface: I’m not really volunteering at the L.A. Zoo anymore. It was too hard to devote an entire day of my weekend to the grunt work part of zookeeping… for free. Without the best part of getting to interact with and train the animals.]

One of the exciting opportunities I’ve had for my animal-missing side is in the world of humane society volunteering. I’m actually doing it at two different shelters.

The first is a county shelter with very little funding (as reflected in the facilities) that needed dog-walkers on Sunday morning (and that’s the ONLY time those dogs all get walked during the week). I joined about 10 other volunteers in doing this before my church on Sunday mornings. The majority of the dogs there are pit bulls, Rottweilers, chows, German shepherds, and bulldogs - all the breeds labeled as "aggressive". But I haven't met a dog there who isn't thrilled to happily slobber on and walk around with me!

The other shelter is on the opposite end of the spectrum – private, wealthy, posh, and with hundreds of volunteers. The advantage to this shelter in Pasadena is that they have opportunities for me to volunteer with their dog training programs. Those of you who’ve heard all my primate stories know that I’ve been REALLY missing this type of interaction with animals – it’s challenging and mentally stimulating for me. I haven't finished the shelter's extensive volunteer "training" process yet (by "training" I mean hours of having them give speeches to us about the value of the shelter), but I'm looking forward to getting started there.

So, yay!

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