Volunteer of the Month
Here are the Golden State German Shepherd Rescue Volunteers of the Month! We appreciate all of them for their tireless work.
Volunteer of the Month for June 2012 is Tony Charriere!
My name is Tony Charriere. I've been with GSGSR for about a year now. I became a foster parent immediately after talking to Dez. I was originally looking to adopt, but after talking to Dez I realized fostering was the way to go for me. I've had five dogs and loved them all. It's tough to let them go, but you have to if you want to help another. It's always such a bittersweet feeling and I'll never stop doing it. Shepherds are the perfect dog to me because their intelligence, loyalty, playfulness, and beauty. Most of the dogs I've had also seem to understand English if I have a treat in my hand.
I also love the other volunteers. Everyone is so nice and helpful (shout out to Debbie Bellamy-Reyes), such a great group of people with such huge hearts. I feel so lucky just to be a part of them.
Volunteer of the Month for May 2012 is Cathy Bollong!
My love for German Shepherds started with Kirtchen, a German Shepherd that we rescued from a divorce. He taught me how intelligent the breed was, and he showed me that with love, routine and obedience, these dogs can make amazing changes to belong in a loving home, regardless of their previous circumstances.
So that is why I'm so excited to do volunteer work with these amazing dogs and amazing people, that I have met in this group. I'm 65 years old, live with my husband in Wilton, CA, on five acres filled with two dogs and an old retired dressage horse (my other love). My two daughters are grown and on their own. Thank you so much for this honor.
Volunteer of the Month for April 2012 is Katie Takemura!
I began rescuing German Shepherds in 1996 because I lost my beloved dog, Buddy just after moving to Lodi from the Bay Area. The experience forced me to visit shelters all over the central valley and made me realize the overwhelming need to help homeless dogs facing euthanasia in shelters. After rescuing and re-homing some German Shepherds on my own, I met other volunteers who suggested I join Diablo Valley German Shepherd Rescue. Since then I have volunteered with San Francisco Bay Area German Shepherd Rescue and German Shepherd Rescue of Northern California, as well as Golden State German Shepherd Rescue, and over the past 15 years have been involved in a number of activities including evaluating and transporting dogs, fostering, adoption counseling, answering the hotline and handling a variety of adoption day duties.
One of the biggest rewards of volunteering with German Shepherd Rescue for me is watching the transformation of a homeless shelter dog into a valued member of a loving family. I have had the opportunity to see many dogs first hand at the shelter, and after receiving proper care, nutrition and training, blossom into wonderful, loving pets that give so much to their new families. The success stories are a constant reminder of the value of doing this kind of volunteer work.
I also appreciate the opportunities I have had to meet and develop friendships with many extraordinary people through volunteering with German Shepherd Rescue. The generosity and kindness given to homeless German Shepherds by volunteers, adopters, donors, shelter employees, veterinarians and their staff and companies like Pet Food Express and Robinson's Feed has been a real inspiration to me and I'm proud to be a member of the GSGSR community.
Volunteer of the Month for February 2012 is Darcy Clark!
I joined GSGSR as a devout volunteer in the fall of 2010 when I adopted Molly, a stray found by Camp 4 Paws staff in Clayton. As soon as I saw her on the website I knew she was the one for me! She’s an absolute love.
Thinking back on all the dogs I’ve had in my life I find it very interesting how, since the 1970’s, they’ve all been a GS mix or purebred. I actually didn’t have my first pure GS until 1997 when I adopted Jette (Jeanette) from Guide Dogs for the Blind in San Rafael. She was born at their facility through their breeding program with, unfortunately, hip dysplasia in both hips which automatically disqualified her from their program. But, being the wonderful organization that they are, Guide Dogs wouldn’t think of putting her down. Veterinarians donating their time and expertise performed the needed surgery on both hips and I was then allowed to adopt her at 9 months of age. When I met Jette for the first time she only had one hip “repaired”. The other hip was obviously defective but that didn’t stop her from bouncing towards me (as happy puppies do!) only to smother my face with kisses. That was a wonderful lesson in life! There was no doubt from that moment on that I would adopt her. She lived a very full life of 12 years and was a wonderful companion through some very rough years in my life. After Jette’s passing I knew I had to have another GS to fill the void, that there was one out there waiting for my love. And sure enough, thanks to GSGSR, I found her!
I can’t say enough about being a volunteer for GSGSR. To be involved with finding “forever homes” for these dogs in need is SO rewarding. To work alongside other selfless volunteers a few times each month at adoption days brings so much joy and happiness into my life. The feeling inside is so wonderful when you know you’re a part of making it all come together…putting happy, loving dogs with happy, loving people! Nothing makes me feel better than receiving that special kiss from each GS in need that says…“thank you”.