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I have a confession… I’m not a dog person.  I mean, nice dogs are cool.  And puppies are the bomb!  But dogs barking at me scare the crap out of me.  My fear of dogs is not unsubstantiated.  When I was a kid, an angry German Shepherd barked at me and then chomped on my leg.  That event has left me emotionally scarred for life.  So you can imagine my resistance when my daughter begged me to be a volunteer with her at the local animal shelter!  The Toledo Area Humane Society shelter is a great place though, and they recently relocated very close to our house, so we stop by there a lot to check out the latest kittens, puppies and assorted animals looking for “forever” homes.  Our newest kitten was a rescue from there.

Eventually I gave in and we went through our volunteer orientation, got our badges, and put on our new Volunteer t-shirts.  We were official Dog Walkers and Cat Cuddlers!

I was totally freaked out on my first day walking dogs.  I have never walked a dog in my life.  Now my task is to get a large dog out of a kennel, in a room full of barking dogs, and go for a walk!  My blood pressure was sky high just thinking about doing it.  Thankfully, I quickly realized that the dogs whom are barking are not angry dogs who wanted to shred my face (honestly, it’s impossible for me to tell the difference between an “angry” dog bark and anything else…), they are just dogs who want attention and want to go for a walk!  What a great surprise.

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I can now say we have walked dogs that I would have never approached before.  Like Pit Bull mixes!  The dogs are all quite lovable and great tempered.  They leash up pretty easy (I still have struggles with overly excited large dogs!), go for their exploration of the yard, and then head on back to the kennel like well mannered pups!

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This dog was the most challenging because he only had two modes – super sprint mode, and laying on the ground begging for a belly rub.  No in between.  And he switched between those modes every 5 mins.

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The best bonus… when they get new litters of puppies!  Look at these adorable doggies!!!

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As for the Cat Cuddler duties… well, cats are lazy.  That’s a well known fact!

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I can’t wait until it’s “kitten season”!  Love me a tiny kitten!!  But not those tiny, needle like claws.  But I’ll have to put up with those to experience the irresistible creatures 🙂

So now you know where you can find me approximately 2 1/2 hours each week – when I’m not running, working, blogging, eating, or sleeping that is.  In addition to helping out the animals and shelter, I also get bonding time with my daughter and have great conversations on our walks. Volunteering is a great thing!

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Q:  Do you volunteer?

Q:  Have you ever adopted a cat or dog from the shelter?

Q: Favorite breed of dog, or cat?


8 thoughts on “What’s up pup?”
  1. Awww that is so wonderful you guys volunteered. I cannot do that. I would get too sad and want to rescue all of the animals. Even if they are happy at the shelter, I would just think of how much happier they would be with me. Instead, I give money because I just could not stand to go to a shelter! I told Paul when we get cats again if he wants to go to the shelter and pick them out that is fine but I can’t go. Chrissy and Jelly came from a stray cat that hung out on my friend’s back porch.
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    1. I totally understand that feeling. I was actually shocked at how fast the dogs get adopted. They are there only a couple of weeks at the most. I figured they hung around much longer. The adult cats take a little longer, but there are always people adopting them too. There was 3 new litters of puppies tonight and I bet they will all be gone it 2 days!! The building is new and they have really nice open spaces for all of the animals. It’s quite impressive.

  2. My 11 year old daughter and I are TAHS volunteers, too!! We are Cat Cuddlers. (We love dogs, too, and always go visit them, but she was a tiny bit nervous to walk dogs we don’t know well.) She and my son reallllllyyy want a cat, but it isn’t possible right now. So we get our kitty fix at TAHS. 🙂

    We adopted our dog Molly from TAHS almost 13 years ago. 🙂

    1. That’s great! I’ll keep an eye out for your name tag! We had some very high energy walkers last night, so we switched over to more focus on the cats. We were exhausted!! They were taking us for the walk. Whew. All of the “easy” walkers got adopted!

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