samedi 23 août 2014

Test : Being volunteer in a Protecting Animals Assocation (dogs walker)

For my great pleasure, I'm a volunteer at the SPA (in France : Protecting Society for Animals) of Haguenau since 1 month.

It has been  a long time since I wanted  to invest in an action for the protection of animals, but I was afraid not being strong to support animal suffering ...
Thanks to my dear friend William, I went to the "Celebration Dayof the SPA" at the beginning of June and that was an "Eureka !".

And I don't regret my decision, on the contrary !
My job is to walk the dogs.I go there every Friday afternoon.
The first time I have walked only two dogs because I had had to familiarize myself with the place and the animals (I don't have a dog). But now I walk usually 6 dogs per afternoon, each of them for about half an hour (less time when it is very hot outside).
The walks are individual (a walker, a dog) except when some animals are two in a box : in this case, we must walk both of them together, which allows you to meet other volunteers.

And what is my feeling ? I loooooooooove that !!
Friday is for me synonymous of great happiness because I know I'll see my dogs ! My husband don't like dogs, so we don't have anyone, and going to the SPA allows me to get up regularly close to them.
And that feeling is returned : they are happy to see us (they know why we are here), and give us hugs, kisses ...
I bring them happiness, tenderness, affection and well-being with our ballads, but it also gives me a lot : morally, I have the impression to do something good and it's great to see them snoop around and frolic, and physically I felle a well-being to walk for 3 hours with them in the forest (the first two times, I was so  tired !).
And when I still have a little time before after the walks, I'm going to cuddle the many cats.

When I get home, it's always with a big smile and never with sadness. Because contrary to what we may think, these animals aren't as unhappy as we imagine : refuge employees and volunteers are there for them, thet take care for them, feed them, walk them, cuddle them. Of course, they don't have "real" house, but at least they aren't alone outside, left behind with all the dangers that entails...
Of course, when one of them is adopted, it's both a great joy and great sadness for me because I know I won't see them again... Since I was there, Bandit, Chloe and Bella found a loving home. I miss them a lot, but at the same time, I'm really happy for them ... !!!

Volunteering at the SPA is a real engagement.

No matter your age, profession, gender. .. everyone can become a volunteer in a refuge.
Nothing is imposed, you do the job as you can. But regularity is essential, both for the animals and for the refuge. It's an investment of time and a moral investment .
You also have to alert and report abnormal dog behavior during the walks (lack of appetite, unhapiness etc ...) and pay the annual fee (which is 20 euros for Haguenau).

I want to invest a little more in the future by participating to the various special events organized by the refuge like public open doors etc ...
Animals give us so much ... Bringing them a minimum of time and love is essential for me now. I cannot wait to be back on Friday to see them again !!!!

Website of the SPA Haguenau : click here

PS : all the volunteers are there for the same cause, but I'm particularly  touched by one of them : it's Gaby. She has been there for 10 years and spends all her afternoons with dogs. She all knows them and when I walk with a new one for me, I always know where to go to get some information like  his name or his character. As she told me yesterday: "What happens to them is not their fault."

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