How I spent my weekend volunteering at a animal shelter / hostel

Woot… it’s been 2 months since my last post! I have been neglecting Dramatic Soul a lot ๐Ÿ™ Well, I had many many things to write about but by the time I sat down to right about it I felt like the moment had past long back and it was too late to write about it!

So, about this post: I went to this place called Petsitters situated about 5-10 km away from my office in Pune, with my family on last Saturday. It’s basically a place which provides lodging for dogs, has a few rescued dogs, provide activities for dogs and their owners, and also have puppies up for adoptions at times.I had found about them a few years back through a few school friends and I have been wanting to visit there ever since then. Last month, after my sister’s college exams got over, she contacted the owner of Petsitters and asked if we could come over and see the place and interact with the dogs there. The owner was more than happy to have us over as volunteers, and allowing us to play with and interact with some of her dogs and those of her clients’. So we planned a trip on last weekend.

My parents don’t allow us sisters to keep any pets of any kinds and sizes in the house. My father has the opinion that we won’t be able to bear the loss of the pet and this he says from his own experience of having a pet dog and my mother simply refuses because she will have to take care of the pet completely since she is always at home and my sister and I would leave all responsibility on her when we go out for work or college. But they allow us to make as many stray animal friends as we want and were more than happy to let us volunteer at a place like Petsitters.

When we first arrived there, Shalaka, the owner, asked if we were scared of anything like dogs biting, jumping on you, licking you, etc. which we totally weren’t, except my mom and she decided not to enter the play area and just watch from outside. After saying so, Shalaka let out a gang of 6-7 dogs, most of them from the rescued lot and only a couple of client dogs. When she let them out they all rushed to greet us by jumping on us, 2-3 of them at a time, running around in a frenzied manner. I tired to greet them sitting down on on knee and calling them to me, which was sort of a mistake cause they just dashed into me, with me losing my balance as the dogs tried to lick my face all at once. One of the dogs, Poppy, was the most excited golden retriever I have met in my life. She just wouldn’t stay put! If you sat some where on the blocks around the fence she would run from under your knees with extreme enthusiasm.

Our dad had also entered the play area with us, and my default, my dad usually have all dogs fawning over him even if he did absolutely nothing and there guys were no exception when they fell for his canine magic and gather all around him just to get a pat on their heads!

After playing with the dogs for over an hour or so, we were given the task of grooming a few of the client dogs. They had about 20-25 dogs currently there for lodging and we got to brush about 5 of them… the friendlier ones and those who weren’t afraid of new people.

Our first canine to be groomed was a male golden retriever called Pegasus. Before we entered his kennel he was sit calmly without any great interest of what happened outside his kennel, but once we entered, he was so overjoyed that he came again and again to meet me and my sister by climbing and jumping on us. He had the softest coat ever and was so super friendly and obedient as we tried to brush him down. If I could ever adopt a dog, I would surely get some one like Pegasus.

After Pegasus, we got to groom a few more dogs, a brown Labrador called Yuko, ย and a few other dogs whose breeds and names I forgot. There were all kinds of dogs in the hostels like Rottweilers, German Shepherds, even Shih Tzus! We would have loved to play with them all but may be next time ๐Ÿ˜€

Since there was some time before an activity arranged for the dogs began, we were allowed to spend some time in the kennel of any one dog of our choice from the ones we met. We immediately chose Pegasus who was again jumping with the same excitement after we entered his cage! ๐Ÿ˜€

We were called after some time for the swimming activity for which some client dogs were also brought in by their owners for an explicit swimming lesson. Bonnie, a lodging dog and Pegasus’s kennel mate was brought out for a swim because she needed it to built her hind leg muscles as she suffered from hip dysplasia. Man, she loved swimming! This dog did not want to move out of the water once she jumped in and swam really beautifully. She also loved to come out of the pool from time to time and spray water on her audience. There were a few Beagles who were brought in for a first time swim and it was fun to watch how the trainers put them in the water with a lease tied to train them to swim. We got to meet and talk to the owners too and all were so extremely proud and happy of their dear canines!

Between all this, Shalaka asked us if we would like to meet some bigger dogs and we readily agreed. That day it was an open day for the dogs were dogs came over with their owners to socialize. Since the inside area near the pool had some really small dogs, a bull mastiff was playing on the outside ground areas with his owner, alone. So we went out to meet him. That dog was huge. He first sniffed us cautiously and after believing that we were not a threat to him he allowed us to pat him, but after few pats he wants to show his appreciation back by climbing on us like the other dogs had. But in Mickey the Bull Mastiff’s case, he weighed about 65 kg and was really heavy to try to do this on us so this owner had to pull him back! ๐Ÿ˜€ The owner also told us that Mickey was a shy type of a dog who didn’t allow strangers to easily touch him, but he must have realized that we really love dogs and meant him no harm to allow us to pet him! (this was so awesome to get the doggie approval)!

We went back to the pool area where Bonnie was still swimming to her heart’s content. Finally she was pulled out and Shalaka asked us to dry her off since it would be a great cardio exercise for us too! ๐Ÿ˜€ I have never ever drier a dog and it is really a fun experience to ask a dog to sit down while you rub his body with a huge towel. Bonnie was a sweetie and did not trouble us at all as we rubbed her dry.

We played with the other dogs for some more time and then finally took our leave promising to return and help again, anytime we can!

This was one unforgettable experience for us, that’s for sure!

 

5 Comments

  1. Aw, Iโ€™m glad you got to spend a weekend doing this. Volunteer work is really rewarding, and itโ€™s even better that you got to spend the day with dogs! โค๏ธ Iโ€™m also a fan of dogs, so I got a bit envious of you!

    Sounds like all the dogs were very lovable. I especially like that some of them went swimming (wish I could see some photos though!). I think I have only ever seen a dog swim once… and even then, he was just in the water on the beach so not really swimming.

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  2. This sounds like such a lovely experience! I always wanted a dog growing up but my parents thought it would be unfair as they worked all the time. I think if I were to go self-employed I would get a dog, mainly to keep me company.

    Pegasus looks like such a gorgeous dog!

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  3. One day I’ll do this. I love animals so much ๐Ÿ™‚ Glad you had an awesome experience with it!

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  4. I love animals, especially dogs! I have one named Chewie, he’s a pomeranian-shih tzu mix and he’s the cutest but he’s so mischievous
    Pegasus looks like such a good dog awww I love big dogs and would get one if my house was a little bigger. Golden retrievers are my fave, I’ve always wanted one. They look so sweet even though they’re big.
    I would love to volunteer at an animal shelter What you did was so kind-hearted and such a good use of time!

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  5. I wish I could adopt dogs too but same problem as yours.

    Reply

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