On Saturday May 9th, a few of our members visited Monika's Doggie Rescue at Ingleside to volunteer. Getting to Ingleside wasn't the easiest of trips and problems with public transport definitely didn't help. With one member lost, and an apparent fallen tree blocking one of the roads, the day wasn't exactly turning out how I would've liked . Nevertheless, everyone eventually arrived (and all members were thankfully accounted for).
The amount of people who were already at the shelter; out walking dogs and talking to Monika's volunteers, was staggering. Obviously we couldn't resist going over and looking at all the adorable dogs that were out the front, and watch the dogs who were being leashed up for their walk with a volunteer.
After a month of back and forth emails between Rachel and myself, it was great to finally meet her in person. Rachel is an extremely kind, enthusiastic and appreciative individual who is the customer service coordinator at the shelter. A group of us were spoken to by Rachel and another volunteer on the purpose and work done by the shelter, along with their appreciation for the general public who volunteer their time. Personally, there were two stand out pieces of information that Rachel told us. Firstly that there are at least 100 dogs currently looked after by the shelter, and secondly that the bedding of every single dog is washed every single day. Now I really understood why laundry was such a big issue for them.
Following our conversation we split into smaller groups and waited for the dogs we were going to walk. One by one the dogs were brought out and accompanied by lots of "Aww"s. After getting some photos and giving plenty of pats, we set off on our walks at segmented times.
I was handed Russell, a 3 year old Sheltie x Kelpie. He was a very energetic and strong dog who didn't mind in the slightest when I was out of breath from jogging with him. When passing other members on the way, it was easy to see the personalities of the other dogs - those who didn't mind taking their time, to those who couldn't keep still. It was rewarding to see that not only the dogs were enjoying themselves, but my fellow Deluminators were too.
Once the groups had arrived back from our half hour walks, we headed around to the back of the shelter to help with the washing. We folded up and placed the well loved bedding into their separate piles whilst observing the nearby dogs.
As our time at the shelter came to an end, Rachel kindly gave us Doggie Rescue calendars and magazines, as well as offered us a beautifully finished "Footy Dogs" book. We took some last photos and sadly said goodbye to the dogs. I thanked Rachel again for her effort in organising us a date and time, and told her the Deluminators will be back in the future to volunteer again.
It truly is incredible what Monika's Doggie Rescue does. I had looked through their magazines a few times when I was younger, and it was so fulfilling being able to help out in person. It was such a joy to see the life in these dogs eyes and know that here they are safe, cared for and loved by volunteers and the public alike. It was exciting to see that whilst we were there, a couple of dogs were adopted by a loving family.
I would like to thank the following Deluminators for their dedicated time, patience and effort. There is no way this could've happened without your support.
Joanna van Zeller
and my mum, Jo.
Finally, please see Alice's blog for more information on the importance of MDR and ways you can personally help the shelter. The blogs also talks about the first time the group volunteered at the shelter.
Thank you from me,
There's no doubt that Hermione would approve as well :)