Jumping in with Both Feet

I’m not one to do things half way. It’s all in or not at all, at least for 99% of things. I’m a leaper. Want to hear about my latest leap?

A while back I decided I wanted to volunteer with animals. I’d tried before, but I feel so bad for the less adoptable ones, and I can’t bring them all home with me. Three cats is enough – especially since we are approaching a combined total of 40 pounds of cats! I did a walk to raise money for the San Diego Humane Society, and while I was there I encountered a breed-specific rescue group for Labrador Retrievers, called Labrador Rescuers.

Lab Rescuers

These are big, lovable, drool-ly dogs that really need more than to spend their lives outside in the back yard. With both me and DH2U gone all day, it wouldn’t be fair to a dog for us to adopt. I adore loving on them and then going home. How perfect! So I am now a Home Checker for Lab Rescuers. I go out to people’s homes and make sure their place is safe for a big dog whose breed has digging tendencies, and that the potential adopters have a plan of care and exercise for their new family members. It’s great that it doesn’t matter how long a person has been waiting; it’s all about what is the best fit for the dog.

Before I was let loose on my own, I shadowed three home visits. I’m so glad I did, because everyone has their own style, and each of the families is different. My mentor, Vickie, is wonderful. She’s so supportive and was introduced me around to everyone when I attended my first adoption event.

Vickie gave me some excellent advice: Don’t volunteer for everything right off the bat. Ease your way in.

Although it is very much against my leaping tendencies, I have followed the advice. I’m not jumping at all the families that submit their applications, only the number that I can manage and give proper attention to. Okay, so I have spent quite a bit of time helping to generate donations for their annual Gala – Lab Amore.

Lab Amore

I volunteered Kurt for some dance lessons, asked a friend and former coworker from two decades ago (thanks, David Veit Photography!), and last week I sent out twenty letters and four emails trying to get more contributions for the event.

I’m trying to pace myself, but the excitement of the new is really hard to ignore.

Ironically all of this came up when I reviewed my Yom Kippur goals for the year during Passover. I gave myself permission to stop looking for a place to volunteer. I didn’t want to force anything, plus I want my writing to take up most of my free time.

Question for my readers: How many of you volunteer? And if you do, give a shout out to your charity – links welcome.

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