Volunteer Spotlight Summer 2019

Amy Caswell – Foster Parent

Amy

What inspired you to volunteer at DLF?
My husband and I wanted a dog at the time but weren’t ready for the commitment. Around this time I received an email from the Dumb Friends League explaining that they needed foster parents and that the League was having an open house. I signed up for the open house thinking I was going to foster dogs. I have fostered a few dogs, but found that I loved fostering cats (especially the harder ones-behavior and medical) and small mammals.

What’s one of the most important/surprising things you’ve learned volunteering OR what’s the funniest thing that has happened while volunteering?
When I tell people I foster behavior cat, most people automatically think of the feral ones, and don’t think they can change. Some are under-socialized, but some cats who were in a home before they were relinquished don’t react well to the shelter environment and show behavioral issues in the shelter.

What do you do while you’re not volunteering at DFL?
Outside of work and volunteering, I enjoy hiking, white water rafting, photography, scrapbooking, traveling, reading, and hanging out with my four resident cats (plus husband and adult kid).

Do you have a favorite quote you’d like to share?
“People who say that ‘money can’t buy you happiness’ have never paid an adoption fee.”

Cheryl Gray – Harmony

Cheryl

What inspired you to volunteer at DLF?
I decided to become a volunteer at Harmony because I missed being around horses and being in a barn. I got my one and only horse in my late 40s. Because she was trained in Dressage, I figured we’d just continue her training and work on my catching up. HA!! I was surprised at how much she knew and how clueless I was!! However, what was the bigger surprise was the amazing connection with a horse. I learned all kinds of “horse stuff” but really learned more about myself. She was amazing to ride, groom, and breath in. Because life has a way of changing, she needed a new human in her life. I still stop in to see her from time to time, thanks to her new owner’s kindness. But I wanted more horse time. Enter Harmony!

What’s one of the most important/surprising thing you’ve learned volunteering OR what’s the funniest thing that has happened while volunteering?
The surprising but fun thing I’ve learned since I started at Harmony is what it takes to train a horse. Because Alex was very well trained when I got her, I never understood the time and patience in starting a horse. I’ve watched the amazing staff start small with getting the horse to allow contact, then halter, then ride. They even are willing to educate me when I have questions. I look forward to being with my Thursday morning team and the fun we have together!

What do you do when not volunteering at DFL:
In the other part of my life, I enjoy being with my family and grand babies. I also help my husband, who is a custom home builder, in his office from time to time. It’s fun to see plans drawn on paper become something you can walk through. 🙂

Do you have a favorite quote you’d like to share?
There are two sayings regarding horses that I have always liked. “We borrow freedom between a horse’s ears,” which I have experienced. I think it was an Arab saying and appropriate because Alex was half Arab. And, “The outside of a horse is good for the inside of a man/woman.” Not sure who that’s attributed to, but I so agree with it!

Anything else you’d like to share?
Thank you for allowing me to be a part of all that is Harmony! The great thing about Harmony and its mission is that it draws many wonderful and kind humans as well as creating a new opportunity for so many horses. What is not to love!

Sandy Queen – Buddy Center

Nancy

What inspired you to volunteer at DFL?
What inspired me to volunteer at DFL was that I had at one time volunteered for a different shelter in the metro area. I realized at that point what an important service all shelters provide to the surrounding communities. Since my working career was coming to an end, I knew I wanted to take part in some way once again. The Buddy Center had been on my radar for some time, so I jumped in.

What’s one of the most important/surprising thing(s) you’ve learned volunteering OR what’s the funniest thing that has happened while volunteering:
The funniest thing that has happened to me since I’ve been volunteering occurred one morning quite early while I was giving meds. (A side note here, I didn’t think it was funny at the time but now it gives me a little chuckle.) I had entered a kennel to give a dog some medication and was trying to leave the bolt extended so that the dog could not push the kennel door open from the inside and somehow the bolt actually made contact with the hole that locks the door and I was instantly locked inside with the dog. There were very few people at the shelter because it was early, so I contemplated my options which were few with my one choice being to wait for someone to pass by and see me. As I stood there feeling really stupid, I realized that I had a spoon in my hand from giving the meds to the dog in the kennel, so I decided that it was my only other chance to get out. I maneuvered the spoon so that I could lift the latch from the outside and low and behold I had MacGyvered my way out!

Favorite Quote:
A quote that resonates with me is, “If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse.”

What do you do while you’re not volunteering at the DFL?
When I am not at the Buddy Center I am spending my free time playing golf. If I’m not playing golf, I am most likely watching golf on TV. 🙂

Gudrun Job – Quebec

Kimber

What inspired you to volunteer at DFL?
Ginger. When I first moved to Colorado, one of the first things I did was to go to the Dumb Friends League to find a new furry friend. That friend was Ginger, the most beautiful, gentle, smart and tennis-ball-obsessed Australian Cattle Dog! From her, I learned so much about love, responsibility and compassion. Ginger was my heart. We did a lot of growing up together, and I learned so much about patience, dog behavior and dog handling because I wanted to be the best possible dog mom. I soon realized that I wanted to give back to the organization that brought this sweet girl into my life. So as soon as I was able to arrange a flexible work schedule, I signed up to volunteer at DFL.

What’s one of the most important/surprising things you’ve learned volunteering OR what’s the funniest thing that has happened while volunteering?
I started volunteering to help animals and that continues to be my focus. However, the one thing that has surprised me is how much I adore the friendships that I have made! I’ve been volunteering here since 2006 and have been in contact with so many amazing dog walkers!! Many have come and gone but I’ve loved meeting those volunteers and learning about them and their lives and their stories. I keep in touch with several past and current volunteers and even though we are so different in lifestyle and backgrounds, we have one thing in common, our love for pups!!

Do you have a favorite quote you’d like to share?
“Be Yourself, Everyone Else is taken.” -Oscar Wilde

What do you do while you’re not volunteering at DFL?
Lately, I just work a lot. I’m a Human Resources Manager for a small software development company. In addition to that, my husband and I just opened a brewery in Southlands Mall called Bent Barley Brewing. When my husband and I first met, I showed him how to brew beer and, fast forward 25 years, he took up the hobby and we developed it into a brewery. Who knew?!

Before the brewery opened, my husband and I used to travel quite a bit. We lived in Germany for several years before moving to Colorado and got bit by the travel bug!

Other than that, I LOOOOOVE hockey and have become a huge, noisy Avalanche fan, attending as many games as possible for the last several seasons. Go Avs!

Anything else you’d like to share?
I know what you’re thinking … what’s up with the name? My parents both emigrated from Germany so that’s where the name is from. It doesn’t have any translation or meaning but it is an old German name. And I have a twin sister named Sigrun, so she didn’t get off any easier than I did in the name game!