volunteering – day 1.5

So I didn’t volunteer today. Why you ask? Meet Olivia!!

olivia

Olivia is a hound from BARK that we are now fostering. My husband and I picked her up this morning!

As you know I have major love for beagles or any hounds for that matter sooooo last weekend when we did our initial walkthrough around the kennels I saw Olivia. She was in a kennel with two other dogs. While the other two were going nuts she was in the back curled up and terrified. I felt so bad for her! She just looked so miserable.

After interacting with most of the dogs out there on the farm I still felt the need to help Olivia so once we were done doing the dirty work I asked the foster coordinator about her. The coordinator said she had been at BARK for 14 months and before that she was with a different rescue! Depressing. Supposedly she’s almost 5 years old – who knows what her previous years had been like.

I told the coordinator that I was going to put in an application to foster and then did that afternoon. A BARK volunteer came over for a home visit on Wednesday and said I was good to go. Waiting 3 whole days was painful. I was too excited to get her out of there. Seriously earlier today I felt like a kid on Christmas morning!

Once we got to the farm my husband started collecting all her supplies while I sat with Olivia and waited. She was too scared to move much and her tail was tucked severely. Little did she know that her luck was changing!

We were told to take Roary and Olivia on a walk together before going in the house so when we got home that’s what we did. Again, she was too scared to move and get out of the truck so I helped her through it. After that the walk went pretty well and the girls seemed to get alone just fine. Roary wanted to play at first then finally cooled off while Olivia just darted back and forth to smell.

the first walk

the girls

After the walk and some yard work outside I walked in and found the following extreme cuteness. I DIE.

new buddies

I really struggled to write this post. This day has washed away any doubts I had about leaving a career I went school for to find a more fulfilling path.

I’m just so very glad I’ve been able to give a sweet dog a loving new life. It brings me to tears!

P.S. Olivia will be our first ‘foster failure’, I’m sure of it. 🙂

volunteering – day 1

Today was my first day of volunteering!

As we drove to BARK I felt both excited and anxious at the same time. Would I be too upset by all the dogs there and burst into tears or would I enjoy myself? I’d say I was in between.

We drove up to the farm and met with the BARK volunteer coordinator. She gave us the low down on what we were going to do – move all of the dogs to the outdoor runs so that we could clean their indoor shelters and then bring them all back inside. She said we could choose between moving/walking the dogs and cleaning the runs. It didn’t seem to fair to make the regulars push all the poop around while we played with the dogs so my husband, my sister and I decided to do both.

pretty lady

beagles!

Once we were inside the sights, sounds, and smells were overwhelming. The barking was at club music level where you have to scream at anyone in order for them to hear you. Over 100 dogs are held at this part of the farm, craziness. We wandered around a bit just to take it all in. The first couple rows were all beagles. The coordinator said that after hunting season is over a lot of beagles are just given away by their owners since they (in their minds) have no need for them anymore. This is horribly depressing to me. I must explain – 1. Growing up the ONLY type of dog I wanted was a beagle and 2. On Wednesday Caitlin from Healthy Tipping Point posted a video about former lab beagles experiencing grass and sun for the first time – article. I’m not much of a crier but I bawled when trying to explain the video to my husband.  Needless to say, I wanted to rescue all of them on the spot.

rocky

Over the next couple hours we moved dogs, got jumped on with poopy paws, played, scraped up said poop, and brought all the dogs back in to rest after their play time. At points I didn’t know what the heck I was doing but I just found a job and cranked it out. It was very rewarding to say the least. It really fueled my desire to foster a couple of them and volunteer their regularly. A career-worthy job? I should say so.

The day wrapped up with a great walk on a woodsy trail. Each of the volunteers got to pick out their own dogs to walk and well I chose a beagle. 🙂 It was such a great experience. After only one day volunteering is exactly what I hoped for. It’s tough at times but so very worth it.

me and heidi

2012

This year is going to be an adventure! We just moved to a new city and bought a new (to us) house so there’s lots of work to be had in that department. On top of all reno and DIY projects I have a couple other things that I’d like to achieve. I’m hoping for some positive changes and lots of learning in the months ahead.

  1. Yoga/Meditation/Stretching 3 times a week – A continuation from last years resolution that worked out wonderfully.
  2. Don’t let food go bad! – It pains me to throw away veggies that I don’t get to in time. Often my husband and I are too tired or too lazy to cook a meal that we’ve already bought the ingredients for so it goes bad. To help the problem we are going to try and make NO purchases during the week. That way we aren’t tempted by the pizza chains or the infamous junk food runs when our feet are dragging. Come to think of it, it’ll improve our healthy eating habits too!
  3. Cook new recipes – I read some amazing healthy living and food blogs but rarely do I use the awesome recipes I read about. I hope to cook at least one new recipe each week. Maybe on the weekend so I have more time?
  4. Volunteer often – There are tons of people, places, and animals that need help. It’s high time to do my part. This blog will be my proof!
  5. Write – I’ve always been afraid of writing. I’m an artist not a smartypants or at least that’s what I think. Writing this blog will improve my skill, bring clarity to my life, and help me in connecting with people that I might not have had the chance to meet otherwise.

After rereading what I just wrote I must say I’m excited for all the challenges ahead!

Good luck to you and your list of resolutions. Happy (belated) New Year!!

the beginning

This blog is called Hippie Itch. The name came to me one random night when I couldn’t sleep and realized that I needed to fulfill my ‘hippie’ appetite. This includes a little this and a little that – going ‘green’, DIY projects, volunteering, maybe more?

I plan to volunteer at a variety of places and document my adventures here. I’m hoping this will help me really get a feel for what I might like to do with my life since my current career is unfulfilling (and not ‘hippie’). Next Saturday is my first event. I’m heading to BARK (Bandit’s Adoption and Rescue of K-9’s) Farm to volunteer. I can’t wait to see what happens!

This morning I started off 2012 with a 5k. It was awesome! At points I felt strong, weak, woozy, exhausted, excited, and proud. I’m thinking my new journey is going to be similar. I love me some change but changing careers after all that schooling? Yikes. All I know is I want to help someone or something. I want to do something that matters. I want to be proud of my contributions.

I hope you can join me in my adventures towards a more fulfilling life!