Volunteering with Rufftail Runners

Rufftail runners austin pets alive volunteer do good austin charityMy experience with RuffTail Runners...For the first time in my life, I have had my own personal experience with volunteering.  After my beloved dog, Celis, passed away in October, I knew I wasn't the least bit ready to open my heart to another furkid.  My only past involvement with volunteering was donating money or goods, because "I just didn't have time" for anything else to take up my time in my day.  About two weeks after Celis passed away, I discovered how much "extra" time I had in my day,  so I decided I would explore my options. 

A good friend of mine, Rob Hill is one of the Co-Executive Directors of RuffTail Runners, a running group that allows you to run with the shelter dogs on Lady Bird Lake that are associated with Austin Pets Alive! After the initial orientation, I was ready to run with my first dog, Dempsey... It was more emotional than I thought it would be.  Running and being active was something I loved to do with Celis, but seeing Dempsey's smiling face throughout the time out on the trail made every minute wonderful.

Austin Pets Alive Rufftail Runners Volunteer Austin Animal It's been almost 8 weeks since my first run and I find myself going back to APA! every chance I get. There are dogs at every level to match everyone's fitness level, walking or running, or just hanging out with the dogs even if its for a few minutes. The interaction and exercise reduces the stress level on each dog, and makes them more approachable for a possible adoption. I encourage everyone to volunteer, even if its once a week.  If walking, or running dogs is not your thing, they are always needing help with IT, social media and even the housekeeping part of keeping APA functioning. It's been very healing on my heart, and I can say with certainty that I have never left APA/RuffTail Runners in a grumpy mood, maybe just a little dirty.


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