“Why I Volunteer” by LINDSAY SACCO

I don’t know about you, but for a long time, I could not figure out my passion; the one thing that brings me joy and drives me to work hard everyday.

About 3 years ago, my husband and I brought a dog into our home. We had been talking about it for months, and after much debate, we settled on a Boston Terrier. From that moment he came into our home and pooped everywhere, and I knew he was ours forever, because I still wanted to pick him up so he could lick my face.

He also fueled my passion for dog stationery, opening up an Etsy shop that sells unique gifts for the dog lover.  After awhile, I realized I wanted to do more, give back somehow.

After doing a lot of searching on Google, Companion Pet Rescue came up on my screen. I read about their mission, browsed the dogs for adoption, and saw all the events they were having. I was impressed, and knew I had to be a part of it. So, I filled out an application. Within 24 hours, I was approved!

I was so excited for my first day. I showed up, with a hat and tennis shoes, a water bottle, and an overenthusiastic smile. I had never been at an adoption event, so it was exciting to see how one operated. The volunteers were friendly, welcoming, and showed me some things I could help out with. For a few hours, I got to hold puppies. I was in heaven.

From then on, I continued to attend events, learning the ropes, understanding the procedures, and even helping with checkouts. Every week I get to meet a new set of adorable dogs, learning about their personalities and the unique beauty each one possess.

One of the best things about volunteering is seeing how every staff member connects to the dogs; how they genuinely believe and know that every dog deserves an amazing home. We cry when a dog that has been in foster care or at our center for months gets finally adopted by a deserving family. Our excitement goes further when we hear updates. Our hearts grow even bigger knowing these dogs are thriving each day being in their new home.

Recently, I got into fostering. For two weeks, I took care of a 3 year old Boxer Mix, who had been overbred, underfed, and who knows what else in her previous life. However, she was nothing short of being incredibly sweet, cuddly, and playful. A friend of mine adopted her, which is an extra bonus because I can see her frequently.

These dogs don’t ask for much. They remind us that all you need in life is a loving home, a warm bed, food, and lots of cuddles.

Our world is a bit chaotic right now, but dogs teach us to be kinder to one another.  Every time I volunteer, I learn a new lesson. I look forward to many more years of volunteering and fostering!