"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 atvolunteerLA@bestfriends.org
DAWN D. - Honored July 2017
Dawn D. tell us.....
What programs and projects do you volunteer with at Best Friends LA?
First I am so excited to be nominated! I feel like I should be walking down a red carpet.
I have participated in the Santa Clarita Bow Wows and Meows event, the NKLA Super Event for two years now and all of the classes that were offered to obtain my Blue Paw status. After going on the park walks and off site hikes in O'Melvany , Volunteer Angela, Volunteer Kim, Staffer Aimee and I have started taking dogs off site to hike during the week and have been amazed at the joy and excitement that they all show at the individual attention. I don't think bothering Amanda, Betty, Maryana and Drew on a daily basis qualifies as additional training, no?
How long have you been a Best Friends LA volunteer?
I have been a grateful Volunteer at Best Friends for a little over one year. Feels like home.
What type of fun stuff do you do when you're not volunteering?
I am a retired LAPD detective, 26 years, so a chance to deal with the clients I have now is a refreshing change. Dogs are way more predictable than humans, trust me! I rode my bicycle with eleven other Officers from Venice to New York and on to Washington DC to support the Law Enforcement Memorial and family survivors so when not at BFLA I am riding my bike, doing yoga, going to the gym and traveling, traveling, traveling with my husband, Laundry Czar Volunteer Arthur
Do you have a favorite story to share about an experience volunteering with Best Friends LA?
I don't think the stepping off the curb and breaking my leg qualifies as a funny story but it sure beats anything anyone else can offer ;~). I have done my time and done all the silly things we volunteers do and are embarrassed about. I've been affectionately knocked to the ground in kennels, chased a dog that door dashed me and been locked in one of the kennels with Dodge when the door malfunctioned. I ended up calling my husband in the laundry and asked him rescue me when I couldn't yell loud enough to get attention from the caregivers. Every day I learn something new about the dogs and am reminded how much I love my volunteer gig!
Do you have any pets?
I have two cats that we adopted when family members found them on the street and one we call The Cat from Hell that my Mom couldn't take when she went into a Board and Care. Cat bites both of us on a regular basis and hates the other two but it wasn't her fault that Mom couldn't take her. The loves of my life are Dexter, our big white pit that was dumped in a local vet's parking lot, Delilah the little pit that we got from Barks and Bitches in LA and our latest boy, big black pit Ranger adopted from BFLA. There is something very special about watching my husband kiss and hug each of the dogs before climbing into bed every night.
What other are saying about Dawn:
"Dawn spends time with some of our more challenging dogs and works with the behavior team on building each dog's skill set. She is a true asset to our team! She is always willing to jump in to help where we need it most and always has a positive attitude! " - MaryAna, Dog Care Manager
"Dawn always goes above and beyond for our team and the dogs. She is always looking for ways to improve the quality of life of the dogs while they wait for their forever homes as well as providing more enriching outings for them off-site as well. She has a great sense of humor and truly is a joy to be around. It is hard not to smile when she is volunteering! " - Amanda, Dog Behavior Specialist
"DAWN is AMAZING! She has great handling skills with the dogs and is great with working with our harder population and always wants to help us just get out dogs! She is the sweetest lady on this planet and is funny and kind. I think of her almost like a favorite aunt of my own. I love her her to death. Her an her husband are always so happy to be here and just spend time with the dogs, they always follow the rules and training plans"-Betty, Dog Behavior Specialist