Thursday, April 22, 2010

appreciating volunteers - round two

So many volunteers to thank, so little time. Here are four more people who keep BR alive and moving forward. Once again - we salute everyone who volunteers their blood sweat and tears to help the underdogs among us. You are compassion defined.
(in case you missed round one.)

Many of our supporters have met the inimitable Susi Ming through email correspondence after making a gift to the group. Suz has been volunteering as BR's Secretary and sage advisor of all things holistic and corporate (somehow, they mesh) since our beginning. She's also the one who inspired us to stay on the look out for dogs that were geriatric and/or in health crisis. She and her hubby Charlie have been taking in special needs dogs since we met them, and have provided the best care and family comfort a dog could hope for. We're still not sure how she does it all. After her 9-5 day is done, Suz wears the hat of the president of Bull Terrier Rescue. And if you think you're spinning a lot of plates, go see how many needy bull terriers she has to keep track of. Knowing Suz, every single dog will get exactly what it needs, come hell or high water. Suz is shown here with a homeless senior named Georgie. Always a multi-tasker, she brought Georgie to a meeting and by the time she left, she'd helped us organize our budget while assessing his personality, and had brainstormed up a good home for him. We've come to believe that she has magical powers.

Tom Becker is so behind the scenes that I had to steal this photo of him from the Net (sorry, Tom). But we couldn't appreciate volunteers this week without flagging Becker. This proud-to-be-a-geek is the reason we can find our way to the Cyber World everyday. He's been our tech support extraordinaire for years and doesn't even roll his eyes (in front of us, anyway) when we explode our mail programs again or ask the dumbest of questions. I seriously don't know where BR would be without Tom's help. When he's not leading Luddites into the light, he's perfecting his skill as a photographer (that's his photo, below). He's owned by a gazelle-like pit mix named Chloe and a cat. He's single too, ladies. Oh -- and he's a Mac Man.

Many of BR's favorite dogs have Katie Moyer to thank for their lives. We met Katie when she adopted our Katrina survivor Sydney (right) to be a companion for her sweet senior pit bull, Toby shown here. Since the adoption, she got bit by the rescue bug and has become one of BR's steadiest foster homes. She's not afraid to try a new challenge and, with the help of Linda Chwistek, has smoothed dogs with health issues and caveman manners into awesome super stars, including Stella Polari, Binky and Huckleberry. It really is wonderful to see the dogs morph in her care. Part of the Katie 12 Step Program includes lots of obedience training, at home and in class. Adopters that select one of her projects get the fun of having a dog that has CGC style manners and is as well socialized as you could hope for in a dog. We heart you Katie!

Catherine Godlewski came to BR ready to learn and she sponged every lesson we could give her. She and her partner Brett Green both joined our Ambassadog team while we were at Oakland Animal Services and jumped in to help wherever help was needed, even taking home a lil' girl named Tulip for ongoing vet care -- which ended up in a full adoption. Catherine got the dog training bug during her mentorship and kept coming back for bigger challenges. We watched her evolve from a good dog handler to an excellent handler, and now she gives up her Saturdays to helping ill-mannered shelter dogs receive the learning they need to become more adoptable. She's shown here shining up the halo of a handsome boy from Berkeley Animal Services. She and Brett were one of the first to raise their hands when Oakland Animal Services brought in a group of dogs from a cruelty case and are now fostering Brutus - a peanut butter loving pup that lived his first few months of life in a shed. They told us "well, Oakland is our town, so we had to do what we can to help out." That kind of commitment is music to our ears.

Thank you for caring so damn much.


Anonymous said...

Whoohoo! Fantastic volunteers who keep the Bad Rap engine well oiled and moving. We all appreciate you guys for helping to make a great group - even better!!

Lynn in N. Cal

dilonsmom said...

It's people like the wonderful BadRap volunteers to allow me to keep some faith in the human race when faced with those who view animal cruelty as free speech and sport. Thank you for all you do!!!

Dianne said...

More kudos to all. Susi was very helpful to me when my first donation to BADRAP got lost in the system somehow.

Could you please tell Tom Becker to get the word out that helping with rescue is a great way to meet cool single women? Men are in such a minority, at least where I am. (Single in DC). Very nice photo, too.

EntropicUtopia said...

My deepest thanks go to those who see past breed stigmatization and know the miraculous and unparalleled love that is inherent to the American Pit Bull Terrier. I own an APBT mix and he is the light of my life. Despite previous abuse, he has done well with all of my foster dogs and every person he meets is his new best friend. You don't know love until you've had a pit bull in your life.

Elizabeth Kennedy said...

Katie's an extraordinary foster momma. Stella tucks and runs like a happy little jackrabbit every time she sees Katie. She LOOOOOOVES her some Katie.

What a safe landing she provided my girl. I'm infinitely thankful.

Unknown said...

I wish I had gotten to meet all these wonderful peeps. If they are all as awesome as Catherine, then you have a group fabulous folks working with you. ;)

(I am designing Catherine's album right now. Tulip and Brutus are so cute. Can't wait for her to see the album!)

pitbull friend said...

There are many BAD RAP blog entries that I come back to and read again when I'm feeling low. These volunteer features will definitely be among them! Thank you for letting us know about these wonderful people!

Donna said...

Thank you, Pitbull Friend. I have a feeling you've earned your way onto a volunteer appreciation post somewhere. For all the good deeds you do - thank you. :-)

And Lori - you earned your BR angel wings in one Saturday's worth of work. Thank you! We can't wait to see the albums, too.

Scout and Freyja said...

We know that the backbone of any organization is its volunteers. Without them - well, there would be a lot of sadness.

Pam said...

Great to get to know the people behind the faces (except Tom) I've been seeing so consistently over the years in Saturday's classes. Special kudos to those volunteers who foster dogs as they transition from terrible situations to ahelluvalotbetter ones. It takes a special kind of person to do that skillfully, lovingly, and without incident. Awesome work, all of you (including Tom)!