We love our volunteers, and the Sanctuary would not be what it is without them! We wanted to share another special story about an amazing volunteer at the Sanctuary, Katrin Weixel. Kat found HWAH through her work at the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. They did a supply drive for HWAH back in 2009, and Kat helped to drop off the supplies. We asked her to tell us a little more about herself and about what brought her to House with a Heart:
I started volunteering at HWAH in 2011. I prep 2 weeks of dog medications every other Wednesday night. And while I cut and count out pills and measure liquid meds into syringes, I enjoy conversation with Sher and others from the Wednesday night crew. I can’t leave without sneaking cuddles and photos of some of my favorite pups and doggy visitors.
I’ve always loved animals, and especially dogs. I never had a dog growing up because of allergies. Luckily, I grew out of them and couldn’t wait to adopt a dog as an adult. We adopted our first greyhound back in 2000 and eventually had a pack of 3 rescue greyhounds for most of that decade. We haven’t gone more than 3 months without a dog in our home since then.
Right now, my husband and I share our house with 4 senior rescue pups. Dexter is my 15 year old Chihuahua, Shadow is my 9 yr old mutt (chi/poodle/pom/etc according to DNA), Clank is my 10 yr old mutt (chi/dachshund/poodle/etc according to DNA), and Chica is my 14 yr old small Chihuahua.
I love volunteering because it gives me a chance to work in my many passions. I volunteer with senior dogs at HWAH, I get my big-dog fix by walking dogs on Saturdays at the Montgomery County Shelter (MCASAC), I get my vacation animal fix by vacation volunteering at Best Friends Sanctuary in Utah, I get my human connection at Montgomery Hospice by giving massages to patients and sharing my therapy dog, Clank, with patients and families each Sunday and Monday. I spread out my time, I do what I truly love, and I set boundaries. That is how I never burn out!
Volunteering with adoptable dogs can be a bit dangerous for someone like me. Clank became an “accidental adoption” when my husband and I vacation volunteered at Best Friends, and Chica became another “oops” adoption when I fell for her while walking dogs at the county shelter. I try to control myself, but sometimes it’s really hard. 🙂
I am so thrilled to be a HWAH volunteer. Seniors and special-needs animals have a soft spot in my heart. HWAH truly is “my” sanctuary- I can go feeling stressed or tired and instantly feel calm and happy when I walk through the gate! It’s truly dog heaven on earth!
Thank you to Kat and all of our other wonderful volunteers for everything you do!