Fast forward to Valentine’s Day 2015. On this day, we dropped off donations to a local rescue. After taking the shelter tour, I decided to return the next day to volunteer and the day after that and the day after that. I was addicted, which became quite evident when one morning I strong armed Julian into driving me to volunteer when the roads were covered in ice and snow causing every other rationale human being to stay home, but I didn’t care. I had to be there for the dogs to give them a break from their kennels. This addiction admittedly spiraled a bit out of control and I needed to find more ways to make a difference, so we dove into the deep end head first tackling enrichment/hiking, rescuing, fundraising, financial planning, planned giving, adoption events, transporting, and governance. We wanted to get our hands into EVERYTHING to make an impact EVERYWHERE we could.
After almost 2 years in rescue, it was time for an organizational change so we trialed 2 local rescues, including Gateway Pet Guardians. There was something about GPG that drew us in. Initially, we were in awe of how much love and enrichment their shelter pups received, plus there was an intimacy to the organization that we loved. After just a few times volunteering, I knew I had found my new home at Gateway. Once we’d fulfilled our mandatory 20 hours volunteering at the shelter we started taking dogs hiking. What’s so cool about hiking is that you can actually see the dogs transform and their spirits renew as they climb though the woods and breathe in the fresh air. And when they return to their kennels exhausted, then you know you did your job. Next up I checked out GPG’s community outreach program. I mean, what a cool concept: A program where GPG provides critical resources FOR FREE to pet owners in their metro East St. Louis service area. This experience of volunteering in the community has taught my heart and mind so much about the world we live in. Throw in a dash of fundraising, then onto my last stop: Kitten fostering. I fostered my first litter of 4 kittens, I mean truly fostered, for the very first time. I love looking back at their photos because the photos tell their journey from sickly, 5 week-old-kittens with their eyes glued shut to healthy, prospering beings who found their forever homes. Fostering is such a beautiful thing and I can’t wait to do it again, although I’m not so sure our resident cats would agree.
Rescue is good for the heart and the soul. It is a necessity in my life that drives me and I have Boots to thank for helping me find my passion.
Please show your support for your favorites (and mine) by making a tax deductible donation to my page, which will go directly to Gateway Pet Guardians. Every $10 makes a difference.