This month, nine super volunteers have travelled to Romania to get stuck in at our Nisipari shelter. As a shelter volunteer, your days are spent in the company of our dogs, not just cleaning up poop but walking, grooming and generally giving the dogs lots of love and attention.
It is not always easy and can be hard graft. You'll get dirty and sweaty. You might get bruised or scratched but for sure it can make you passionate about dog rescue and your life might just change forever. Karen and her UK team have worked so hard for the last week to make sure the dogs really benefit from getting time out their pens. The Romanian team try to ensure that not a minute is wasted so as many dogs as possible can make the most of having so many helping and caring hands available.
These volunteers, like others before them, also have been helping out with other necessary shelter chores, such as poop scooping, cleaning and watering. This is first hand experience of exactly what it takes daily to look after all these animals, and makes us in awe of the strength and stamina it takes to do it. On Sunday, the volunteers took over the day's jobs, under Gea's watchful eye, to allow Ion his first real day off for weeks.
Volunteering for BMDR in Romania means your office job may seem just peachy! Even though it is tough out there, it may probably be the most rewarding experience you might ever have.
The dogs above are clearly having a fun time. Look at those happy faces!
By day four, this hardworking UK team had walked nearly 100 dogs. This also allowed for grooming, nail clipping and a fingertip health check as well as defleaing and worming.
Indeed, a big part of a volunteer's role is to walk dogs. The shelter is surrounded by farmland so there is plenty of space to wander around in. Each dog benefits hugely from spending quality one-on-one time with a person. The walks also help to teach them to walk confidently on a lead and get them ready for adoption or fostering in the UK or Germany. These are also perfect photo opportunities that can be used for promotional purposes. BMDR's ultimate hope for all the dogs is that they eventually find a family and home of their own. Walks also allow the dogs a chance to showcase their character and personality. Some are really playful. Some appear stubborn, but really are just not understanding what is being asked of them. Some are shy. All are deserving.
Thank you to the volunteers for giving their time and hearts to the dogs this month, and to all the hundreds of volunteers who have helped before, our dogs are all the better for it.