Thursday, June 14, 2007

Paw-jama Party

Warmer weather has finally arrived in northern VT. With it comes an unexpected complication for me. Walking around Burlington has become like having that dream where everyone around me has what I want but can't have. I try not to be jealous of what seemingly every person I pass is proudly parading up and down Church Street. They've all got a best pal with a beautiful coat and a wet nose. I'm talking, of course, about dogs.

Dogs have become one of my new obsessions. I see them everywhere, but I just can't have one!! And with good reason. First of all, I live in a one-room apartment. Second, I don't exactly have an abundance of disposable income. Third, I work all day all week in a non-dog friendly office. But I must be satiated. So I found a way; I'm a problem-solver. I volunteer as a dog walker for the Humane Society of Chittenden County. It's less than a mile from my office, so when I can, I take my lunch hour to go play with the dogs.

The ultimate goal is to host a paw-jama party, aka foster a dog for a weekend. A party host is called in when a dog needs time away from the kennel, or the staff wants to see how a dog will react in a home setting. Or if a qualified host just wants a dog for the weekend, she can call and see if there's a dog available. I want to find a summer hiking buddy. But to become qualified, I first have to log in five hours of dog-walking.

This is Jake, we hung out together a week ago. It was a really hot day, so we didn't go too far. It was really more of a wander than a walk. So far I've got a grand total of 15min of dog-walking. Between the weather and my workload, I don't often take lunch breaks, so it's been kind of hard to bank much time. If all of my training time counted toward the 5hrs though, I'd be half done!

There are tons of volunteer opportunities at the Humane Society, from dog-walking to cat socialization to keeping a garden for the little critters. If you're in a similar dog love limbo as me, find your local chapter and volunteer your time! Probably the most mutually rewarding volunteering option out there.

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