Give a Little TLC

| March 3, 2011

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Me and my first PawPal, “Princess”

The Mr. and his PawPal

After a family pet passed away, I sought volunteer opportunities with the local humane society in my then college town. The shelter was in need of people to walk and care for the adult dogs. We committed to 2-4 hours a week (by this point, I had lovingly “forced” the Mr. to join me).

I had a blast. I was nervous at first that I would be sad every time a dog left the shelter (I get attached easily). But it was quite the opposite, actually! I looked forward to showing up every week and seeing who wasn’t there…because it meant that dog got adopted!

Volunteering together helped strengthen the Mr. and I’s relationship. With the hustle and bustle of college, work, and extracurricular activities, it was a chance for us to spend alone time together.

I encourage you to look into volunteering at your local animal shelter. It’s a great weekly activity for you, you and a friend, or you and the kids. If your kids have always wanted a pet but you just can’t take one on right now, volunteering at a shelter is a great compromise. The kids get to play with dogs every week and you get the satisfaction of knowing you helped homeless pets get the exercise and attention they so greatly need. If you’d prefer not to work directly with the dogs, volunteer to do office work, clean the pens, or man the phones. You could also help by collecting newspapers, dog toys, dog food, and blankets for the shelter.

Take it from me–don’t let the fear of falling in love with every pet stop you from helping a local animal rescue. Let your love for the animals be your motivation to get involved.

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