Sunday, 25 January 2015

OSPCA volunteering

In August I connected with the manager of the Muskoka OSPCA and asked about volunteering to spend time walking, training, and generally socializing the dogs. It took a little while to get organized, but I've gone pretty much every week for the past 6 months.

I've met some pretty awesome dogs, and a few who definitely pulled at my heartstrings. A few others who drove me crazy. I'm certainly learning what I like in a dog and what I don't. While I tend to prefer herding dogs, there have been a few anomalies who have been phenomenal dogs. Good thing I have no room for more animals in my apartment! That will all change when I move to a house with a fenced yard, hopefully in the spring. Kidding...I'll likely hold out for another Aussie, a few years down the road. I do enjoy helping the local dogs, and hopefully teaching them a few core skills, like sit and wait, to help them acclimatize to their adoptive families.

Generally when I get to the shelter, I check in to see if there are any dogs who can't be walked (usually due to recent surgeries), and who is most in need of a walk. Usually these are the dogs who are super high energy, or really nervous and in need of extra socialization. I take them out into the little off-leash pen and let them get their zoomies out, hopefully at the same time learning that I have lots of tasty treats and that they can offer things like sits to get them! Then I pop them on a leash and take them out on the little trail behind the shelter. It only takes about 10 minutes to walk the trail, I wish it was a longer route. Leash walks are sometimes successful and sometimes super frustrating, depending on the dog, their food drive, and their existing leash skills. 

I plan on continuing to volunteer indefinitely, and eventually to help further develop their volunteer program.

This little female was super cute, very friendly and outgoing. Some type of large breed mix. Already adopted, but I always try to spend some time with puppies when they are in :)
Porter was a 3 yr old boxer cross (nudge nudge - doesn't look anything like a boxer to me) who totally stole my heart. He was surrendered by an owner who could not afford the vet bill to remove porcupine quills from his poor pooches face :( He was in the shelter a number of weeks, and was the most gentle dog I've ever met.
Teddy was a 10 year old spaniel...this little old man had enthusiasm and ball drive to spare. If I wasn't in an apartment, I would have taken him home in a heartbeat.

No comments:

Post a Comment