A to Z Challenge: Day Three – “C”

‘C’ is for ‘Compassion’, ‘Community’ and ‘Cruelty Prevention’

Seventeen months ago, my husband and I began to volunteer at our local SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals). Each Tuesday, we spend the afternoon walking dogs. As with most volunteer experiences, we gain  much more than we give.

Volunteering has provided us with our weekly ‘dog-fix’ (which we have desperately missed)! It has also exposed us to a  broad range of dog types and has made us significantly more confident with breeds of which we were previously leery.

The British Columbia SPCA currently has 44 locations. In 2017, over 550 staff members and 5,500 volunteers assisted 48,946 animals across our province. Due to these combined efforts, in that single year, 22,659 homeless animals received shelter, and 3,861 lost animals were reunited with their families. (source) Richard and I are very proud to be part of this team.

Today we worked with Cassie (Labrador Retriever puppy), Diesel (American Bulldog) and Bruno (Pitbull Mix). Each of these dogs possesses unique qualities. Cassie and Diesel (pictured below) are currently available for adoption.

SPCA
Cassie
Diesel

You can find out more about the SPCA here. You can read about its Volunteer Programs here and adoption here. In addition, the Parksville-Qualicum & District SPCA Branch will be holding its ‘Books and More’ sale on Friday, April 27 (9:00 a.m.- 5 p.m.) and Saturday, April 28 (9:00 a.m. – 3 p.m.). If you are in the area, please come out and show your support!

Last March, I wrote a bit about the BC SPCA and their focus on Humane Communities. You can access that post here.

Are you currently engaged in volunteer work for your community? Please tell us more.

And, on a completely different note….’C’ is also for ‘Cut and Colour’. Thank you to Anissa,, owner of Full Throttle Hair Garage, for doing such a great job this morning (again)!

47 Replies to “A to Z Challenge: Day Three – “C””

  1. Hi Donna,
    I am new to the role of volunteer, but I think all the “t’s” have been crossed and the “i’s” have been dotted. I am going to be a volunteer at my local art gallery. My illustrious title will be Gallery Ambassador which really means I get to cut the cheese in preparation for the various receptions which will be given for opening shows for various artists. Like you said I will get more of doing this than they will get out of me. I get to meet the artists and learn about their style and motivation. I also get to mingle with the local artists’ community. Looking forward to getting to know my local community better.

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  2. Love you “C’s” Donna! Right now, in between my day job and writing, I’m helping my father who’s my mother’s full-time caregiver. It’s been a learning experience and one I’d like to utilize one day in a volunteer capacity. Those dogs are adorable!

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    1. Hi, Jill – With your full time job, helping your parents, novel writing, blog, journal writing, puzzle addiction, etc., etc., you are a very talented and busy lady. When you do find yourself with enough time to volunteer, there will be MANY places with their arms wide open to receive your support!

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  3. I so envy you. Every time I walk into a shelter I walk out with new unplanned pets. My last two were not planned at all (but no regrets either). Dog walking would be a great way for me to get a dog fix as the cats do not want a dog in the house. (I just work here and do as they say.) 🙂

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    1. Hi, Kate – I must admit, I was very tempted to sneak Cassie in our Jeep while Richard was walking Bruno. If you are ever looking for a ‘dog fix’, walking dogs for your local shelter is an awesome experience (at least Richard and I think so)! But you may need to shower before returning home to Hazel, Morgan, Mollie and Gracie. 🙂

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  4. Hi Donna,
    Dog walking is such a great volunteer gig, providing all of the C’s you mentioned and probably a great feeling of competence and confidence besides, especially as you get used to breeds that are often a concern for people – i.e., pit bulls which are banned in Ontario.

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    1. Hi, Karen – You are right about increased confidence and understanding. Prior to this volunteer experience, both Richard and I were quite leery of some dog breeds, including pit bulls. Since we have begun working at the SPCA and Best Friends Animal Shelter, pit bulls have honestly been some of the sweetest dogs that we have worked with. Previously, we would never have believed that! Thanks for dropping by. Bring on ‘Day 4’!

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  5. You have inspired me to do more volunteering. At the moment the only thing I do is meet and greet when cruise ships come into Port Kembla (not very often). As a Friend of the Botanic Gardens I meet them off the free shuttle bus and direct them to the Gardens. Wollongong is not an obvious choice for a cruise destination (although I think its beautiful) so the city rallied together and decided to make it the friendliest port. Hundreds of volunteers do their best to give the cruise ship passengers a great day. I was inspired to help after the friendliness of the people in Sydney, Nova Scotia on a cruise we did a couple of years ago.

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  6. Hi, Linda – Okay, now you’ve really made me want to visit Australia again! The people of Wollongong getting together to try to make it the “friendliest port ever” says much about your community. I am so glad that I found your site through the A – Z Challenge!

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  7. Love your theme for the challenge! I’m also a big animal lover but not brave enough to volunteer at SPCA, we would certainly be cited as hoarders! We currently have 2 dogs and 2 cats…we would have oh so many more. Hope your post helps find these sweet fur babies a home!

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    1. Hi, Julie – I definitely know what you mean. When my husband and I first discussed volunteering at the SPCA, one of our concerns was that we would get too attached, and want to take every single dog home with us. Luckily, our area is very good at spaying, neutering and adopting, so most dogs do not stay with us for long…and many are adopted prior to our weekly shift! I am of visit your site now!

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    1. Hi, Joanne – Thank you for your kind words. I now find myself judging all of my calendar events by their initial letters. In addition, I am currently using my thesaurus much more than usual! It was difficult not to take Cassie home today (Richard and I especially love Labs), but we are confident that she, and her kennel mates, will be adopted quickly!

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  8. Hi Donna – Cassie is so cute (more c’s). I totally understand how it was difficult not take her home with you today. You’re doing great with your A to Z Challenge. Bring on “D” day! Could it be something about Donna?

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  9. Great to come across your blog through the A-Z Challenge. We volunteer with a foster group called Paws & Claws and we’ve taken in 2 x 2 pups. The first two are still here. Our initial plan was to adopt one and foster the other, but we had a split jury on which one to keep and have kept both. They’re a brother and sister, Zac and Rosie and are Border Collie x The other two were both kelpies and they would howl along when I played my violin. They were so cute and we do miss them.
    We had some unexpected activity in our back shed and found mother cat with three kittens. We live on a suburban block near the beach so this was a surprise. Unfortunately, two out of three passed away and the mother moved the third one.
    I wasn’t too sure if mother cat wanted to get too close to the rescue group as they’d put her out of business. Don’t know who owns the cat. I must say that with 3 dogs at our place, I was surprised she chose our shed.
    My theme for the challenge is: Letters to Dead Artists. Today’s is Edgar Degas who sculpted The Little Dancer.
    Hope you enjoy the challenge.
    Best wishes,
    Rowena

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    1. Hi, Rowena – Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting. Richard and I would love to foster animals…but as you have just proven, we know that we could never give them back again. I now have a strong visual image of two kelpies howling to your violin. So cute!
      I definitely want to read ‘Letters to Dead Artists’. I will go make myself a tea, grab a piece of chocolate (or two pieces for good measure) and settle down for a visit to your blog. See you there!

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  10. Great topic, Donna. And, what a good idea to incorporate your daily occupations in this A to Z Challenge. I can see how this works splendidly now! If I ever volunteer, I’d love to do it at SPCAs. One of the things I like about pet sitting is getting to know and experience different doggie breeds and personalities as well. That might come in handy one day, right? 🙂

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    1. Hi, Liesbet – THe SPCA (or any animal shelter) would be incredibly fortunate to have you as a volunteer. From your posts, and our conversations together, I know what incredible pet-care (and warmth and compassion) you provide. If I ever have a dog of my own again, you and Mark would be my very first choice for pet-sitting!

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  11. Hi Donna, I’ve often said my husband should volunteer with RSPCA as he loves dogs but doesn’t want to own one anymore. He sponsors two and receives a photo and letter from them regularly. As you know I volunteer at my MIL’s Aged Care Home and it is so rewarding. I’m enjoying your AtoZ Challenge and look forward to ‘D’. x

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    1. Hi, Sue – If your husband is interested, I highly recommend volunteering with your local SPCA. It is very rewarding! The sharing that you have done about helping out at your MIL’s Care Facility has made me quite interested in that kind of volunteer work as well. Thank you for reading and for commenting!

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  12. Hi Donna – loved the doggie pics (great way to have a dog without having a dog!) I’m just back from my little volunteer position where I mentor a 10 year old girl for an hour each week. It saddens me to see the messy family background she has and I hope I can provide a little bit of joy and stability in her very dysfunctional life.
    BTW the new haircut looked lovely on you too xx

    Leanne | http://www.crestingthehill.com.au
    D for Don’t Give Up

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    1. Hi, Leanne – I believe that mentoring children is the number one investment that can be made for our world’s future. Thank you for doing this!
      And thank you for your kind comments about my new cut/colour. I had booked the appointment even before I knew that I was taking part in the A to Z Challenge…so it was quite serendipitous that it fell on a ‘C’ day!

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  13. Simply wonderful! As you say you gain more than you give. But you give a lot. It really is a win-win situation.
    I’ve volunteered forever (10 years) it seems at a school assisting young pupils who are poor readers. This year I’m taking a break. We will probably relocate elsewhere this year, so I’ll be looking to volunteer in new place next year … I wonder if there is an SPCA in that area. All our past pets have been SPCA specials ..

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    1. Hi, Susan – As I just mentioned to Leanne, I believe that working positively with children is the number one thing that we can do to assist the future! Good luck with your relocation. We volunteer at two different animal shelters/sanctuaries (SPCA and Best Friends). If there is a shelter in your new area, I highly recommend checking it out.

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  14. I volunteer with Glasgow Women’s Library (cataloguer, tour guide) and Maryhill Burgh Halls (also tour guide). I’m not really a dog person so I don’t think I could do what you’re doing, but I do sponsor a Guide Dog in training and enjoy getting the updates so that I can see how “my” puppy is doing. I also sponsor an orangutan in a sanctuary we once visited n Borneo – I’m on my third or fourth: they get released into the wild eventually, though one died and I was so sad!

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    1. Hi, Anabel – One of the many things that I love about your blog is the info you share about your volunteer work with GWL an MBH. Several things that you have shared have made me more observant in my own community.
      BTW – Sponsoring an orangutan is very cool!

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  15. What a great post Donna! I love that you volunteer and get so much out of it. I’m involved in Rotary and really enjoy helping out in the local community and with the Rotary Youth Exchange Program helping with the students on exchange here and those preparing to go away for a year. It keeps me busy and it’s fun.

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    1. Hi, Debbie – Two of our very close friends have children (now adults) who were involved in Rotary Youth Exchange. In both cases, this program significantly changed their lives…in very positive ways. Thank you for contributing to this awesome program!

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  16. So, does three “C”s mean there are going to be 4 “D”s? LOL.

    I’ve actually started a volunteer thing this past few months. I’m not sure it’s quite right for me, but I’m giving it the full year commitment I made. It’s very different than dog-walking! It’s a philanthrpopic-community for collective giving – all women…called Impact 100. I love the premise, joined one of the grant-review committees, and am learning a lot. Trying to keep an open mind about being engaged in it.

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    1. HI, Pat – That’s the fun thing about retirement, we can try things out for a while and see what works best for us at that point in time. The first ‘volunteer’ job that I did once I was retired was to interview local business owners and write articles about them for our area’s “Buy Local” Campaign. The writing was fun…but tracking down people, arranging meet up times and doing the interviews was more of a time commitment than I was prepared for. I then landed on weekly dog-walking and that fitted me perfectly!

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  17. Our dog Kate is not a rescue dog, but our previous dog, Sophie was. Our cat, Oliver, also is rescue animal, and so were most of our previous cats. We have found such loving, loyal companions this way, while giving animals who need one a home.

    Jude

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