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Volunteering With Golden Gate Lab

Author: Stacy Hallett-Brasher

People ask me all the time why we foster for Lab Rescue. It all started about 8 ½ years ago when my now husband and I watched a documentary called, “One Nation Under Dog”. I was so upset and moved to my core that I knew our family needed to do something. I barely slept that night and went straight to my laptop in the morning to research rescue groups. I grew up with labs, so although there are plenty of other great rescues out there, I googled, “lab rescue bay area” and GGLRR popped right up. Their site was full of bright photos showing so many smiling volunteers, and wonderful happy endings for so many dogs, I knew I found exactly where we could help, so I clicked on the Volunteer tab, read about fostering, and scheduled our introductory meeting with the foster coordinator.

Our lives changed that day and so have over 30 dogs and over 30 families since.

I also often hear how hard it must be to let the dogs go after fostering them. Yes, it is hard, but we know it’s our role to transition them through whatever their history may have been, love them, care for them, and help them find the right family. There is nothing like watching these little loves grow through the fostering process and as we move to the meet and greets with potential adopters, I truly feel they tell us where they belong and our role becomes so clear: we may always have a special bond, but they are meant to be with their people. Then, there is “gotcha day” and seeing how happy the dog and their new families are that day is such a heart-warming feeling I can’t put into words. I wish there were more things in life that give us such joy. I often stay in touch with the adopters and receive updates, photos, and deep gratitude for helping complete their family that my heart continues to be full. The GGLRR team also keeps in touch with all adopting families and sends us updates on all of the “Happy Tails” which are so fun to read and see pictures of how the dogs are thriving in their forever homes.

And yes, we have had one failed foster because in the end, Stella picked us, and as the saying goes, we don’t know “who rescued who”!

GGLRR is an amazing organization that makes fostering super easy. They provide all of the supplies that we need: crates, beds, toys, food, medications, medical services, and a community of like-minded volunteers that are available to support us with anything we need. In non-pandemic times, we host several pet fairs to show off our adorable adoptees including my favorite annual fair + event, Photos with Santa, where so many families come to a local Pet Food Express and bring their pets (adoptees or not) and get the most amazing photos taken with Santa. My kids, now 17 and 15, still love to come help volunteer for that event since it’s full of so much holiday spirit, good fun, and of course dogs, cats, and even rabbits sitting with Santa! Not to mention, there are many other volunteer appreciation events that are always such a nice time sharing all of the success stories we’ve had. We all rely on each other, support each other, and share in the enjoyment of making a difference for these great dogs.

Although we wish we could do more, we take pride in knowing we are helping one dog at a time.

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