Ramblings From The Ranch
Many of us living Lakeside have noticed the dramatic decrease in needy street dogs. Thanks to many hard-working volunteers, devoting time to shelters and spay and neuter clinics progress continues. The Ranch houses anywhere from 80 to 90 dogs rescued from abusive situations or that have been abandoned. In fact, the organization and the dogs rely on volunteers and to be a Ranch volunteer, loving dogs is the only requirement.
A typical day, generally a few hours, starts like this – a friendly volunteer will give you a ride at around 9:00 a.m. or we’ll give you directions. New volunteers receive a thorough orientation for their own and the dogs’ safety. Usually there are two dogs in a kennel where you’ll find a card indicating the dogs’ name and special instructions as needed. Like all dogs they each have their unique personality and volunteers are able to match their skills with the dogs’ temperament. Basic activities include walking or jogging with dogs, as well as grooming, bathing or training.
Some volunteers are soothers who choose to work with dogs who have had a harsh past and lost their trust in humans. These volunteers might sit with the dogs gently coaxing them to allow humans into their hearts again so they can be someone’s forever pet. Other volunteers choose to work with puppies. The hardest part of that job is deciding how many puppies to play with in a day. One thing that’s certain is all dogs stand alert at their kennel doors when the leashes come out.
By mid-morning the dogs are back in their runs ready for lunch. Feeding up to 90 dogs is quite a process, but the system runs well and every dog is fed in a timely manner. Once lunch is distributed the bowls are picked up then washed, ready for the next day’s meal.
The best job of the day is passing out doggie cookies. Everyone gets a treat and happiness abounds. After the cookies are gobbled up it’s nap time – for the dogs. Ordinarily that’s at about 1:00 and the dogs are quiet and calm, grateful for the attention they’ve been given.
To find out how to volunteer, adopt a dog or make a donation please contact The Ranch: firstname.lastname@example.org or 331.270.4447.
For more information about Lake Chapala visit: www.chapala.com