Best Friends volunteer Barbara C. with a dog
Barbara helps grow our program in so many ways and always brightens our center when she is volunteering!
May 23, 2018

"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  

Barbara C. - Honored May 2018

Barbara tell us...

What BFLA programs/events/volunteer roles do you find yourself participating in?

I’ve have been part of the Data Team and will be helping out with Volunteer hour entry in the very near future.  I participate in both the Gray Paw Dog and Cat team activities.  Bad knees keep me from walking our gray paw pups as much as I like but I am involved in kennel enrichment and I am one-third of the founding members of the Read-Aloud Book Club which began a month ago as additional in-kennel/in-condo enrichment tool for both our dogs and cats (shout out to Robin Mores and Katie Jane Amenek).  I am a Cat Team mentor, a part of the Kitten Transport Team and will be joining the Kitten Nursery team once my training is completed.  Last, but not least, I am shadowing our fearless leader, Justin Varis with an eye to being able to host First Day Cat Team trainings.

Why do you choose to volunteer with Best Friends LA?

Initially, I chose to volunteer because the environment was so bright and cheerful, but now I volunteer because I enjoy being a part of such a loving and supportive community; not only for our kids, but also for each other.  There are so many opportunities to learn and make a difference which makes every volunteer hour very special. 

How long have you been a BFLA/NKLA volunteer?

A little over a year, I think.

What do you do when you're not volunteering?

I’m retired and, strangely, I am busier than I was when I was working.  The difference is I am busy doing things I truly love - cuddling more with my very own rescue, Moose, needle pointing, traveling, preparing to become a professed Secular Franciscan and hanging out with friends and just being.

Do you have a favorite story to share about an experience volunteering with Best Friends LA? 

Well, I do, but it is kind of embarrassing.  When I first started volunteering with the bigger dogs, I decided to take Taz for a walk.  I was a little bit freaked out because of his size, but he was super fabulous on leash and we were doing beautifully.  I was so busy feeling confident that I wasn’t paying attention and tripped over a tree root on Corner and did a face plant.  I wasn’t hurt, but I was a bit surprised and Taz walked over to me and me a big sloppy kiss and whispered in my ear, “I won’t tell anyone. You’re secret is safe with me.”  Okay, so I made that part up, but the sweetness and the gentleness of this wonderful dog is etched on my heart forever.  He made me the Gray Paw I am today.  Thank you, King Taz! 

Do you have any pets? Tell us about them! 

I do, indeed have a pet.  She’s a 9-year old terrier mix, named Moose.  I rescued her when she was 2 from one of our coalition partners, Dogs Without Borders.  Originally, I was only going to foster, but I fell in love and 2 days later adopted (surprise ending - I think not!). 

What others are saying about Barbara: 

Barbara is amazing! If you view her answer above as to what she does at the center, her work here is beyond compare! She has truly been one of the most important / most amazing people helping us grow the program into what it is becoming! And she is not only phenomenal with our cats and dogs, she is a phenomenal person! She has the best energy, she is so kind to everyone and just brightens our center when she is volunteering. You can try to find words to describe Barbara and her importance to our mission, but you won't be able to! She is a 1 in a million person, volunteer and teammate to us all. Thank you Barbara for everything that you do at NKLA! We appreciate you and your awesome contribution to the team! -Justin (NKLA Volunteer Coordinator)