Newer visitors to the site may be a bit confused as to why a site dedicated to training, nutrition, fat loss and performance has a page about the Austin Humane Shelter and volunteering/donating on it. While I could spend a lot of verbiage explaining it here, that’s not efficient. I already wrote those articles.
Rather, I’m going to point you to a series of articles that describes what I went through this summer and how my experiences at the shelter helped to pull me out of it. First and foremost, I’d suggest you read about how I got to where I got in terms of being depressed and overtrained. That’s a 2-part series of articles:
If you don’t want to read the tedious account of how my training and life collapse occurred, you can skip that outright and go straight to the meat of the issue and how my summer volunteering at the Austin Humane Shelter impacted my life. Below are links to a 5-part series of articles I wrote in November describing my experiences at the shelter and the good it did for me. Be warned, it’s not the easiest series to read in some spots and I will make you cry if you get to the last part.
Volunteering at the Austin Humane Shelter Part 1
Volunteering at the Austin Humane Shelter Part 2
Volunteering at the Austin Humane Shelter Part 3
Volunteering at the Austin Humane Shelter Part 4
Volunteering at the Austin Humane Shelter Part 5
About a week later, I did a followup of thanks for the donations that came in for the Loretta fund.
Update (December 14, 2010): Loretta is going in for eye surgery on Friday. I hope she gets an awesome eye-patch afterwards so she can be a pirate dog. I’ll make sure and check in on her when she’s back at the shelter and try to get pictures. Here’s a quick post and a Merry Christmas wish from Loretta herself.
Update (January 11th, 2011): Loretta is now in foster care with one of the shelter volunteers. Here’s information on her new foster home while she re-adapts to being a doggie. Thank everyone again for their help.
And I will be adding more links to this page as I write the pieces or find things that I think are relevant.
Update (February 25th, 2011): Finally, after quite some time in foster care, Loretta has been put up for adoption. Hopefully it won’t be too long before someone gives her her forever home.
Update (March 14th, 2011): And at long last, Loretta has been adopted and found her forever home.
Originally posted in May of 2012, this continues with my situation at the shelter, mainly focusing on 2012 and all the craziness that ensued.
Volunteering at the Austin Humane Shelter: Part 6
Volunteering at the Austin Humane Shelter: Part 7
Volunteering at the Austin Humane Shelter: Part 8
Volunteering at the Austin Humane Shelter: Part 9
Volunteering at the Austin Humane Shelter: Part 10
Why This is Here
Primarily, I’m putting this page up because it’s important to me, I still volunteer regularly to walk the dogs or do volunteer events (along with helping the shelter get the word out with things like this). I still think it’s a good thing to do. As well, the articles on the main site will be lost into the void once they are off the main page and I wanted to put them in a permanent place. Finally I still want to entreat people to consider volunteering at their local dog shelter (or some other opportunity, read the series). If you can’t do it for some reason, consider donating.
If you’re local to Austin, feel free to donate something (money, blankets, whatever) to the Austin Humane Society. If you want to donate cash (every little bit helps) you can do it on the Austin Humane Shelter Donation Page. If you can’t do cash, bring in old blankets, the dogs love having something soft to sleep on in the kennels. Every little bit helps and even if you feel as you don’t have much to donate, the dogs will still appreciate it. I will too. And trust me when I say it will make you feel better about yourself. Do it for that reason alone.
But if you’re not local, I’d ask that you donate to your local shelter. My dogs need help but the ones where you are do too. And everyone already came out of the woodwork to help my dogs; which I appreciate more than anybody can imagine. But now it’s time to help the ones in your area. And, again, it doesn’t matter how much or how little you have to give. A mere $5 means another dog gets to eat that day, or sleep somewhere warm. It’s not about the amount, it’s about the gesture. You spend more than that on stuff that gives you nothing back; this will give you more back than you can imagine.
And here’s what I ask of you: when you donate to your local shelter, I want you to find a picture of the dog that got you to open your heart (and wallet) and either email me the URL (firstname.lastname@example.org) or put it in the comments on this page. I’d like to do a regular monthly update showing specific dogs that are getting help from people giving and caring enough to give of themselves. I’ll collect the URL’s and pictures and show the real dogs who are getting real help from real people who really care.
About 2 weeks after all of the above happened, I ended up adopting my own dog. The story of how I came to adopt him along with his first weeks in my apartment, along with further updates will appear below.
So it’s been a year now since I’ve been at the Austin Humane Shelter and I recently added a second dog to the mix. This is the story of NORMAN! and how he came to be part of the family with ALFIE! and I.