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Why I Volunteer

Author: Debbi Behrman

Why do I volunteer with Lab Rescue?

That’s a really good question! When I retired, I knew I was going to volunteer somewhere. I had volunteered for the Humane Society, was on the Los Gatos Library board, and the board of a therapeutic adoption/foster care agency. But I knew that I wanted to do something with dogs, Labs in particular, and the first organization I reached out to was GGLRR. I was screened by longtime volunteer Kathleen, and talking with her made me even more certain that this was the place I wanted to spend my time.

It’s now almost 9 years since that first phone call, and I love volunteering with GGLRR as much as when I started. The best thing about being a GGLRR volunteer is helping Labs to find great forever homes. As a volunteer, you don’t do this alone; you became part of a wonderful community of committed Lab and dog lovers, all with the same mission. It’s a supportive community; there’s always someone to mentor you when you first start, to answer your questions, and to help you out when you feel over your head. And after being there for a while you become one of those mentors, helpers to other volunteers, which is also very rewarding. Working with the dogs is the frosting on the cake; where else could you meet wonderful dogs, giving them a safe place to live and be loved until they find their forever home, collaborate with other dog lovers to help resolve whatever issues the dog has, whether it’s anxiety or needing surgery, and then meeting (and deciding on) that perfect person or family for the dog’s forever home. There is nothing like the look of joy on a family’s face when they gather around their new canine family member for the adoption photo before heading off to home. And you can tell the dog knows it right away too, by the way they jump (or sometimes are lifted) into “their” car. Yes, it’s sometimes sad to see them go, but having had a role in finding that home helps you to be confident that it’s the right place for the dog.

GGLRR also provides you lots of opportunities to grow. I started out as a Phone Rep, then became a Surrender Rep, then did Evals, became a Rescue Rep, managed South Bay Pet Fairs, and now sit on the Board. You can do as much as you want to do, the opportunities are endless. At the same time, if you have to pull back at times for personal reasons, you can do that too; the Lab Rescue community helps you out and when you are back, you help them out. I’ve volunteered at many places over my lifetime, but never for as long, or felt as fulfilled, as during my time with Lab Rescue. So volunteer and feel good by doing good!

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