"Our Best Friends" is a weekly installment to honor just a few of our outstanding Best Friends LA volunteers. This is your chance to get to know some of the shining stars in the Best Friends LA volunteer program! Volunteers are either nominated by Best Friends LA staff or other volunteers in our program. If you would like to volunteer, e-mail the Best Friends LA Volunteer Department at volunteerLA@bestfriends.org
Carolyne B. - honored December, 26, 2015
Carolyne tell us.....
What programs and projects do you volunteer with at Best Friends-LA?
I focus on the dogs at the NKLA Adoption Center. I try to come in after work as often as I can to give a few dogs their before bed time walk and a little TLC. I especially like to focus on the dogs that get overlooked for some reason, for example the more reserved dogs. I also go on the group hikes, fill kongs with goodies so we have special treats in reserve and give an occasional bath or brushing. For some of the longer term residents I sometimes plan off site activities like a hike to the Tree People or a visit to my mother’s house were they are able to run around in the yard and enjoy the sunshine or a snuggle on the couch.
Why do you choose to volunteer with Best Friends-LA?
I found out about the NKLA adoption center from a flyer in my Sunday newspaper. It took me about a month to come in and check out the place. It only took a few seconds for me to decide I wanted to volunteer there. I signed up for a volunteer orientation that happened to be the next day. So it took me less than 24 hours between viewing the adoption center and taking my first dog out for a walk. It is very conveniently located for me and it is a no-kill organization.
How long have you been a Best Friends-LA volunteer?
For a little over two years. I started about a month after the NKLA Pet Adoption Center opened.
What type of fun stuff do you do when you're not volunteering?
I am a molecular biologist and I do research related to finding therapeutic interventions for a rare type of hematologic cancer called multiple myeloma. Besides working, quite a bit of my free time is used checking in on my elderly mother. In addition, I like to read, go hiking (sometimes with a NKLA four-legged friend), travel, visit the museums in LA and enjoy dance performances. I also sometimes bake dog biscuits for my friends at the NKLA center.
Do you have a favorite story to share about an experience volunteering with Best Friends-LA?
Share it! It is great being part of a larger community and being around people that like dogs as much as I do. I have come across other volunteers (recognized through their strut your mutt t-shirts or best friends T-shirts) at the gym and on hiking trails. I was recently at a party and one of the guests mentioned that his father had recently adopted a dog from NKLA. I asked for the dog’s name and it was Shadow, one of my special friends! I was able to see a photo of him with his new hair cut and freshly groomed and provide some information about his behavior.
Do you have any pets?
No, sadly I have never had my own pet. That is why I volunteer, because I LOVE dogs and unfortunately my living situation does not allow for dogs. As a child I used to dog sit the neighbor’s dog and even though we never had a family dog, a few of our neighbors did and we were able to interact with them and spoil them a little bit.
What others are saying about Carolyne:
It's so wonderful when Carolyne comes to the center. Carolyne always takes extra time to make sure she's giving every animal the love and attention that they need. She brings a calm and relaxing energy to our animals. The dogs she spends time with always light up when they see her. She also provides much needed overnight sleepovers for some of our longer term dogs so they could enjoy a nice quiet night out of the kennels. We love Carolyne! - Alyss Tsukayama, Pet Caregiver