"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
Susan B. - honored October 2018
Susan, tell us.....
What programs and projects do you volunteer with at Best Friends LA?
I volunteer with the dogs, mostly walking and spending time in the play yards with them, I also participate in playgroups and dog testing and help out the dog and behavior teams as needed.
Why do you choose to volunteer with Best Friends LA?
I actually only learnt about Best Friends as a result of a volunteer day through work, each year they have a national day of volunteering and in 2015, Best Friends was one of the options. As a group we spent a few hours sorting the event closets and cleaning cages but I really wanted to get my hands on the dogs so that evening I signed up for the next available orientation. I love the mission of Best Friends and am excited to be a small part in helping them achieve the goal of no-kill by 2025.
How long have you been a Best Friends LA volunteer?
Almost 3 years, I started in early November 2015.
What type of fun stuff do you do when you're not volunteering?
I am currently between jobs, due to a recent corporate relocation so I have been spending more time recently at BFLA. I play poker regularly with a group of friends, I enjoy golf but haven’t played much lately due to volunteering. All my immediate family lives in Ireland so I try to visit as often as possible.
Do you have a favorite story to share about an experience volunteering with Best Friends LA?
I have a lot of stories but most are too embarrassing to share so I will go with getting Binder, one of my favorite dogs, through CLASS training. He already knew quite a few of the commands needed to pass and being a smart dog and very treat motivated it wasn’t too difficult for him to pick up the remaining ones. Our biggest obstacle was an adoption, a return and a visit to BQ. In the end we made it and he finally found his forever home in August 2016.
Do you have any pets?
Unfortunately, I live in an apartment that has a no pets policy, so no pets of my own. I have to get my fix from volunteering and pet sitting for my friend’s golden retriever when they are out of town, which isn’t often enough.
What others are saying about Susan:
Susan is a go-getter and has been a devoted Blue Paw volunteer to the dog and behavior teams for some time now. She is a reliable and trusted handler for our more challenging population, often helping others develop stronger handling skills. Susan is always willing to help where help is needed, even when the dogs in Houston needed her support last year! Susan is a crucial part of the playgroup team, has built relationships with humans and dogs alike and always helps supply treats for the dogs for training sessions, enrichment and kennel presentation. Even some of the special diet dogs get goodies too! Our dog population loves Susan as much as we do. Thank you Susan for everything you do!! - Amanda, Dog Behavior Specialist.
Susan has proven herself a crucial volunteer during these hot summer months! She is here nearly every day early in the morning and is always instrumental in helping us get lots of challenging pups out! She is very skilled in playgroups and parallel walks. Our large dog population and staff is so appreciative of the generous time she gives. Thank you for always going above and beyond Susan! - Leah, Dog Care and Behavior Lead
Susan is the BEST! I'm a newer staff member and Susan made me feel welcome and included right away. I know I can trust her feedback about dogs, her handling abilities, and in a playgroup crisis - she'll have your back. Susan is always calm, cool, collected, and down to help in any area. You're just as likely to see her cleaning a kennel as you are to see her working with our most challenging dogs. - Janelle, Dog Behavior Specialist
Susan is a kick-ass dog handler and an absolute joy to be around. Not only does she help our dogs, staff, and volunteers in Mission Hills but she also went to Houston to help care for dogs displaced from Hurricane Harvey. She went back a second time to care for the remaining dogs in Katy while they waited to be cleared from distemper. Susan has a great sense of humor and I can always expect to share a few laughs with her when she's at the center. Thank you for everything you do, Susan.... you rock!! - Aimee, Volunteer Coordinator