A chance to cuddle with some lovey dogs is the main attraction for the volunteers on the Thursday 11-2 Kennel showing shift.
Ten-year volunteer veteran Gwyn Jones, who also helps out at the plant sale and with gardening on the shelter property, said since she started volunteering at the shelter she’s learned a lot, including that “I don’t melt in the rain.”
Gwyn calls herself a failure as a foster mom, having adopted a terrier named Freddy and a Chihuahua named Carmina who were originally supposed to be temporary houseguests. She says her shift, which has been together for more than 2 years, works very well.
“We recognize each person’s strengths and willingness to do whatever is necessary and best for the dogs,” said Joan Ranger, who joined the shift in April 2014. “We assist each other whenever help is needed, and share the tasks assigned to our shift.”
Joan also fosters dogs and volunteered at an offsite event to help spread the word about how “WSHS is devoted to the care of their animals and dedicated to finding them the best adoptive homes possible.”
Chris Dedowicz began volunteering a month after Joan, and loves spending time with the shelter dogs, though her only pet at home is of the feathered variety … so far.
“I have a peach-faced lovebird named Cubbie -- yes, I’m a die-hard Cubs fan!” Chris said. “She’s 6 years old and loves to cuddle. I’m waiting for that special canine to come to WSHS for me to adopt.”
Like Gwyn, Chris is an avid gardener, and so is Debbie Wagoner, also on the shift.
Debbie started volunteering in October 2013, and quickly picked up how to deal with different types of dogs and interpret dog behavior. She has a 12-year-old Papillion/Bichon mix at home.
She most likes “socializing with other volunteers and cuddling all the dogs,” and helps out with humane education programs during her volunteer time.
After so many months together, Debbie said the shift is a well-oiled machine. “Everyone knows what needs to be done,” she said.
Chris agreed. “We all know what needs to be done on the shift and we get it done,” she said. “Help is never far away.”