We have had a huge response to this program. If you are interested in knowing more about it, email our Shelter Manager, Laura. To participate as a doggie buddy, sign up to become an APRA volunteer.
Here is a wonderful account of an experience a volunteer had with shelter favorite, Francine. Francine is up for adoption Tuesday through Sunday.
Hi Laura -
First, I want to thank you for making me APRA's first official Dog Buddy. I'll do my best to represent. :)
It's been a great first week with Francine. I was so excited to get started, that I couldn't wait until Tuesday to see her. So, I came in on Monday. And as you've seen, I've been in every day since because, well, we've been having so. much. fun.
We've spent our mornings at Tanyard Creek Park, where we walk the trail end-to-end (nearly 2.5 miles). She is a fantastic walking companion. She would also be a great running partner, too. She keeps good pace and stays focused on moving forward. Sometimes she gets a little too excited to keep going and pulls on the leash, but we're working on that. :)
In the process of working on her leash manners, she's shown me just how smart she is. It didn't take her long to realize which of my pockets holds the treats. But more important, she's quickly learning that when I stop, she stops and when I go, she goes. And she is a pro at sitting!
In the car, she's an absolute dream. She'll sit politely in the back seat if you want her to. But she really prefers riding shotgun, so she can see all the traffic action and can be within easy reach for you to pet her big, soft ears.
After our walks she's been equally adorable. She curls up in the front seat and before we even get out of the parking lot, she's snoring softly, fast asleep.
I still haven't been able to get her to go poo while out on our walks, despite the distance we cover. My hope is that she'll get comfortable enough with me & the routine to do the doo-doo outside. :) One day...one day....
As far as our interaction with people, we've been stopped a number of times this week because they see the "Adopt Me" vest, which has been awesome. People have fawned over Francine, but aren't interested because they have their own dogs or just don't have room in their life for one.
While these interactions haven't resulted in an interest in Francine, they've been great because it has given me an opportunity to tell people about the Dog Buddy Program at APRA. It's been pretty cool.