This was our fourth visit and very different to our others temperature wise. Soaring heat in the 40s. I'm not know for coping well in heat so this was a challenge. Fortunately Kostas who helps S had the cleaning regime off to a T, so the majority of our time was spend socialising, lead training and cuddling dogs. This is a very important part of any volunteer visit. The daily work of cleaning leaves little time for these important tasks by S and helpers. These dogs just want cuddles and human attention. Releasing the puppies is quite a moment. All the younger dogs are kept in an area opposite the Orange House. Once it's time to clean their area, the gates are opened into the main run and out come the puppies. Best hold on to your hats! Out they come led by Spike, all wanting to greet you, it's a bit like a whirlwind as they jump and bark looking for attention. You might think,' I might sit save me from being bowled over' - hmmm not always the best idea as you are covered in squirming puppies. This is not your Battersea Dog Home with scrubbed cages and purpose built areas for exercise, this is a put together best as we can with the money we have, shelter by S and a group of volunteers. It's smelly without any mod cons. It has three falling to bits chairs, rats are frequently seen running around the open areas, so not a place for the faint hearted, but oh so rewarding. I remember well the first time I mentioned a visit to the shelter, Stuart's words to me 'you seriously want me to spend my holiday poo picking and swilling pens? Are you crazy?'. Well, guess what every visit since then has been at his suggestion and my suggested visit of once a year has changed to two . The sad dogs, the scared dogs get under your skin, you spend a week trying to get them to come to you and eventually you get that break through, the moment they take that treat from your hand or let you touch them. But then you have to leave, just as you made progress. It makes you want to return to continue the work. Fancy as we arrived was very unsure of humans, standing back as the others came forward for hugs. After a couple of hours with Susi, gently sitting talking to her, enticing her with treats you could see her start to come forward. Day two and Stuart was stroking and sitting with her. These are the things that make the visits so worthwhile. If you can do the smells and the occasional rat, a visit to the shelter is so rewarding. Stuart is already starting his plans to return, probably early next year, if work permits.
Give a Dog a Home
Give a Dog a Home, helps find homes for rescue dogs from abroad.