Volunteer Spotlights

Foster Care Spotlight: Gregg Diamant

Greg with foster dog

Volunteer since: April 2017

Volunteer position: Foster, and soon Animal Care Dogs at the Quebec Street Shelter

Why he volunteers: I started at animal rescues to overcome my fear of dogs and maintain a balance of purpose outside my day job. I wanted to foster and volunteer for the Dumb Friends League even before I moved to Denver in March.

A favorite quote: Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. – Mark Twain

What’s one of the important things you’ve learned while volunteering at the League? The resiliency of animals is inspiring. I’ve primarily fostered behavior and medical dogs (typically both at the same time). It’s incredible to see such progress in the limited time I spend with these pups. A few months back, I fostered a couple dogs from a Texas shelter. One — Bach, was so terrified of his new environment he didn’t leave his crate for five days. He froze whenever a leash was put on him and was overwhelmed by living indoors for the first time in his life. Day-by-day, he started to trust more and make progress. Over just a few weeks, he was comfortable enough to walk on a leash and even went on a hike. I’m still inspired by how Bach continued to push his boundaries and changed to become a great family pet.

What do you do when you’re not volunteering at the League? Usually dog sitting, hiking, biking, swimming, or sailing. I’m still looking for a few good sailing spots in a landlocked state.

Harmony Equine Center Spotlight: Lee Vickery

Lee in healthcare recovery

Volunteer since: August 2012

Volunteer position: Barn Attendant at Harmony and Surgery Recovery Aide at the Quebec Street Shelter

Why she volunteers: I retired in 2011 and wanted to have meaningful experiences giving back to the community. During my interview, I was asked what I wanted to do; I responded, “Where do you need help?” I’ve been in surgery recovery since and love it. I volunteer with two amazing colleagues –we’re known as the Tres Amigas! I also attended the Harmony Open House that year, fell in love, and had to be part of that facility. I’m filled with pride every Thursday when I clock in at 7 a.m.!

A favorite quote: Never stop learning. – Various

What’s a favorite memory from volunteering? My funniest, coolest, favorite memory is of a pot-bellied pig in a stall at Harmony who got adopted immediately!

What do you do when you’re not volunteering at the League? I’m a court appointed special advocate for abused and neglected foster kids. I also volunteer at Rosie’s Ranch in Parker, helping with summer pony camps for all kids (they specialize in kids with cochlear implants or hearing aids). In addition, I volunteer at Little Flower food bank and help tutor English as a Second Language students. For fun, my husband and I do Habitat for Humanity and I play Bunco with my neighbors!

Buddy Center Spotlight: Pamela Pearson

Pamela with cat

Volunteer since: April 2017

Volunteer position: Animal Care Cats and Kitty Comfort at the Buddy Center

Why she volunteers: Over the years, I’ve adopted cats from the Dumb Friends League and always admired their work in providing compassionate care to all animals. One day, I came across the Buddy Center Open House volunteer notice and knew I wanted to be a part of it.

Favorite quotes:
What greater gift than the love of a cat? – Charles Dickens
To err is human, to purr is feline. – Robert Byrne

What’s one of the important or surprising things you’ve learned while volunteering at the League? I’ve been around cats all my life. I thought I knew them pretty well. Ha! The cats I’ve spent time with at DFL have taught me so much more. My heart falls in love with a new one every time I’m there.

What do you do when you’re not volunteering at the League? Most of my time is devoted to my family. I have a wonderful husband, two awesome, very busy, teenagers, and two pets– a lovable senior yellow lab and a very silly, pampered puss. I also enjoy training in martial arts. I’m a First Degree Black Belt and am learning the “gentle art” of jiu jitsu.

Quebec Street Shelter Spotlight: Julie Savage-Wade

Julie with golden retriever

Volunteer since: June 2012
Volunteer position: Laundry, Quebec Street Shelter

Why she volunteers: My love of animals, especially dogs. This seemed like an excellent way of giving back. It’s very rewarding to help get blankets and towels clean and ready for both the daily surgeries and the kennels. It’s great to see dogs go by the laundry on their way to their walks outside. I’m there Monday mornings and Thursday afternoons — please come by and say hello!

What’s one of the important or surprising things you’ve learned while volunteering at the League? Always adopt a pet from the Dumb Friends League. I hope I can be around these great animals for a long time to come.

Favorite quotes: A couple that helped me get through each day joyfully, after the loss of my 26-year-old son 6 ½ years ago:

What could you not accept, if you but knew that everything that happens, all events, past, present and to come, are gently planned by One Whose only purpose is your Good? – A Course in Miracles

If you knew Who walks beside you on the way that you have chosen, fear would be impossible. – A Course in Miracles

What do you do when you’re not volunteering at the League? I run five days a week, read great mystery thriller novels, and enjoy time with my husband, Don. We do lots of walks on the canal with our wonderful yellow lab, Riley Brae, whom we adopted from DFL 4 ½ years ago. She’s the best.