I began volunteering at Bideawee’s Westhampton Adoption Center exactly a year ago, in August of 2014. I found myself with some extra time on my hands and wanted to donate my extra hours to a worthy cause. When I was considering what organization to volunteer with, I immediately thought of Bideawee because I had adopted my dog Eva from Bideawee. It was four years ago now, but I still remember walking into Bideawee’s kennels for the first time. They were playing Zen meditation music for the dogs, and the fact that they took those extra steps to make the dogs more comfortable, really stuck out to me. The staff also allowed me to bring a blanket from home for Eva to sleep with while she remained at Bideawee. I brought the blanket in so that I could adapt Eva to the scent of her future home. When I went to pick her up and bring her home, I expected that they might have lost the blanket in the shuffle, but it was right there next to her. They remembered that I had brought the blanket for Eva, and had it ready for us. That thoughtfulness made an impression on me that have lasted throughout the years.
Now, four years later, I volunteer at Bideawee twice a week. I walk the dogs, help with the laundry, clean food bowls, clean toys, sweep, and mop, clean the cattery, provide fresh water, and play and socialize with all of the dogs and cats. Getting the cats moving by playing with cat teasers is one of my favorite things to do. It keeps them active, and you can see how much they enjoy the stimulation. I’ve been volunteering for a while now, and a lot of my favorites have come and gone. It can be tough to say goodbye, but it’s always so nice to see your favorite dog or cat go home to a loving family. After every adoption of my favorites, the hunt for a new favorite begins. I have recently been bonding with Keira, a sweet and active female kitty. She is shy at first, so getting her to bond with me means a lot. In September of 2014, I adopted one of my favorites, Paulie. He is a Dorkie “dachshund-yorkie” mix, and he gets along beautifully with Eva!
From the first day I began volunteering, the staff, and existing volunteers have been so incredibly welcoming. I enjoy volunteering because I know that I’m not only helping and enriching the lives of homeless animals, but also helping and bonding with other volunteers, and staff. Each staff member has been great, and I’ve enjoyed working with them. They provide tips to make working with the dogs easier, and even provide housekeeping tips to make life easier when I’m cleaning in the early morning hours. I find everyone to be encouraging, appreciative, and quick to lend a hand.
I also love the workshops that Bideawee provides to their volunteers. I really enjoyed Dr. DiPaola’s most recent workshop. I walked away with new knowledge that applied to my own dogs at home. I didn’t realize that my dogs should receive the Bordetella vaccine every 6 months. My dogs go to the dog park, and I want to be sure that I am protecting them from kennel cough. The workshop also helped me discover why my dog Paulie was vomiting. Sometimes dogs get a buildup of acid in their stomachs, if their stomach is empty for a long period. Paulie would get sick in the morning, at 7am, like clockwork. Breakfast was at 8, and he would vomit while awaiting his next meal. I switched breakfast to 7am, and it resolved the problem. Thank you Dr. DiPaola!
I really love volunteering. It’s a no-pressure environment, and any help is appreciated. If I’m unable to come in, everyone shows their concern as to why I wasn’t in, yet no one hounds you. They just appreciate and value the time that you can give. As a volunteer we receive updates on events, transports of new dogs and cats and upcoming workshops. This helps me pick and choose the dates I’ll be coming in, and sign up for the programs I can attend. There is a flexible schedule, so anyone can get involved, no matter how busy your schedule.
Make a difference in the life of an animal today by signing up to become a Bideawee volunteer today.