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Volunteering at K’S PATH

September 2, 2012
Last week I was asked to fill in a volunteer profile for K’S PATH, the shelter where I volunteer:

Name

Kate

 

Profession/Occupation

School Teacher (but not at the moment!) & Technical Diving Instructor

 

How long have you been volunteering with K’S PATH?

Six months, I came to the orientation in March 2012.

 

What made you want to volunteer with K’S PATH?

Kate and two dogs

Kaliya wins first place at only four months old!

I was inspired by what I saw at the Dog Show back in January, and had such good fun training my own dogs for the show (my own 4 month LabCross puppy won the musical sit!) that I realised I was able to help the shelter dogs too! Plus, my husband and I were having a spate of strays being delivered to us, which we couldn’t keep (I would have, but they say a marriage is about compromise, and hey, three dogs, two cats, terrapins and tortoise seems like compromise enough for a guy who just wants a bit of peace and quiet)!

 

I am saddened by seeing the steady stream of animals who do come to K’S PATH for shelter, and gladdened when they get adopted.  I wish there were more responsible people out there who could give one of these loving creatures a home!  I really can’t take any more home, but I can do what I can for those who are in the shelter.  Which, BTW, is an incredibly happy place for the animals there.  They love it.

 

What are your core volunteer functions?

Cat and cats on couch

See the bright cushions and covers? I made them!!

Well, since there aren’t many of us ‘midweekers’, I get to do a huge range of challenging jobs, from walking the dogs in cooler weather, and washing and grooming them (and boy does it take a long time to wash that many dogs) to get the tangles out, and make their bushy tails look bushy again! There’s also plenty of other stuff to do – for example, it always seems to be me who fills the watercooler! There are storage bins, cupboards and odd rooms to clean out, stock to dust, kennel boards to be updated, cats to be detangled, loo roll to replace, covers to be made for furniture, fabric to be bought to make said covers, (Oh, and thanks to Ahmed at SPECTRUM FABRICS for donating extra material free of charge to make the throw cushions), macramé cat toys to be made, new electronic forms to be redesigned, (yup, my volunteering time overflows into my home as well!)… Oh, and a few surrenders!  I’m sure there’s more, but I have to stop somewhere!

 

What is your favourite thing to do at K’S PATH?

 

Kate, Haley, Roisin (visiting from UK) and DeeDee.

Socialisation and training are the most rewarding for me, and these occur throughout all the activities I conduct.  I love seeing the progress a dog makes.  The ability for the dog to relax in a shower and enjoy the massage, the wagging tail to say thanks, the huge grins (yes, dogs DO show facial expressions, all the time!) and the affection they show.  These are a few of my favourite things!  Oh yeah, the people are quite cool too.  In fact, they’re all really great.  Perfectly tolerable, in fact!

 

What do like about volunteering at K’S PATH? How do you feel about volunteering at K’S PATH?

My motivation for joining K’S PATH was, certainly, motivated by a sense of duty on my part.  I had previously told myself “Well, we have our own little shelter, we’re doing enough”!  The experience has certainly strengthened my sense of duty, but that is now a miniscule part of why I keep coming.  I just totally love it!

 

Oh, and after thirty years of dog ownership, I thought I was pretty ‘good’ at Dogs.  Half a year of volunteering has taught me loads.  Last week I picked up a clicker training video, and yesterday I taught my  LabCross (who is nearly a year old now) to sit, stand, turn around, sit, lie, roll over, stand up, turn around and sit down again and back through the sequence in reverse order…  in that or any other sequence.  That’s thanks to clicker training, which K’S PATH got me into!

 

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