Adventures in Volunteering: Teamwork rules
Stepping out onto the exercise field with a dog at the Washington Humane Society is a thrilling moment — for me and the dog I’m with.
The dog knows he or she will be going for a walk or doing a training activity. I know that — as a result of the teaching, exercising, or simply socializing — the dog will be better for the experience.
After spending a few minutes walking and working with the dog I’ve taken outside, I think about how great it would be if I could always count on a second volunteer to be there at the same time.
Volunteering should be a team sport because it takes a lot of team work to provide the best experience for the dogs.
Each volunteer should be willing to do whatever is necessary to help the dogs, including exercising them and also providing care for the animals. If one person tries to do only one task, the team suffers.
That’s why I want to encourage others to volunteer at the Washington Humane Society. Volunteering is not a game or sport, but it does require acting in unison and working together, and everyone must work hard to ensure success.
If everyone works hard together more can be accomplished. A true volunteer is committed to helping in all aspects of the care, training, and exercising of the animals. Team work doesn’t always mean that each person gets attention for everything they do. The benefit to the dogs is the reward.
This brings me to a dog with whom I have spent a lot of time at WHS. Her name is Ginger. She has beautiful brown eyes and she loves sitting close to me on the park bench outside. She also loves a peanut butter kong for a special treat.
I also help train Ginger when we go outside. She is very smart and is always looking forward to “sitting” for a treat.
Participating in this “Shelter Enrichment Activity” is one of many things you can do as volunteer.
Ginger never wants to leave my side, and loves all the attention from volunteers. On Saturday, my fellow volunteer, Valerie, and I took out Ginger together with another WHS dog and they had such a nice time cooling off together in the summer heat, sitting in the cool shade of bamboo trees.
These are great moments to share with another volunteer and it is rewarding to know that we helped take the dogs out together and that they were so calm and happy out in the field.
To meet Ginger, stop by the Washington Humane Society Adoption Center located at 1201 New York Ave. NE. To see more of their adoptable pets, visit the website. If you are interested in providing anything extra for Ginger, please contact Katherine Zenzano at Kzenzano@washhumane.org.
Editor’s note: Volunteers are the foundation of most animal shelters – if not the heart and soul, at least the arms and legs. In this new feature, we invite shelter and rescue volunteers to share their thoughts. If you’ve had an experience with a particular dog, or a particular program, if you’ve found new inspirations, learned some lessons or just want to write about the day-to-day work you do with animals, send your story along, with photos if you like, including one of yourself, to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted by jwoestendiek June 22nd, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adventures in volunteering, animals, dogs, experiences, ginger, guest posts, humane society, julie stack, pets, rescues, shelters, socializing, trainer, training, volunteer, volunteering, volunteers, walking, washington humane society