Poop-Bags and Other Doggie Duties
“Poop-bags. Get’cha poop-bags right here. They’re free. They’re new and they’re blue.”
That was me yelling like a carnival barker at the Denver Dumb Friends League (www.ddfl.org) Furry Scurry on May 1, 2010. This was the second task I was assigned to perform by Volunteer Services Manager, Jasmin Rice. As part of the tear-down committee, I was asked to arrive by 11 a.m. to help clean up and clear out. The annual event occurred at Washington Park, a favorite walk-spot for Denver’s canine and owner population.
Job One: help remove the finish line banner which was tied high above the ground. As I climbed the 30-foot scaffolding to the platform above, my fast-beating heart pumped surging adrenaline through my body. (Note: I am afraid to take both feet off the ground except to jump rope.) No one forced me to make the climb. I actually ignored the other volunteer who said she’d be glad to take on the job. As a random volunteer, my experiences have taught me to accept unexpected challenges when confronted. So, I put on a confident face and practiced what I preach. I concentrated on being in the moment by putting hand over hand and foot over foot and thusly I reached the platform. I untied the knots with shaking hands while taking deep breathes and trying not to think about the trip down. As I released the banner to the volunteer hands waiting below, I again very consciously climbed down. This was a lesson in being present and controlling my fear. My body trembled as I first put one foot and then the next on firm ground and I think I succeeded in acting nonchalant about the task. But inside, I was more than glad it was over.
Job Two: Poop-bag distributor. Maybe I was giddy from my recent feat but I exuberantly took on the job. In this case, the job carried me into a funfest of drawing attention to the vital service I offered: both to the bag-less and the overstocked. Everyone wanted bags o r maybe they wanted to catch whatever I had. I didn’t know and I didn’t care. The bags gave me the excuse to meet people and pet the dogs.
2010 is the 100thanniversary of the Denver Dumb Friends League. This year’s Furry Scurry required the help of 511 event volunteers to serve the over 10,000 participants and more than 5,000 dogs registered. Not only are dog-owners walking their pets but trained volunteers are walking adoptable dogs. These dogs are recognizable by their distinctive “Adopt Me” t-shirts. There is also a Dog Meet-up area typically located near the registration area where prospective owners can interact with dogs in need.
To see video of the day, click here.
To see photos from the 2010 walk, click here.
To make a donation towards the $1 million goal, click here. This link will be active until May 31, 2010. DDFL is very close to reaching the goal. The money helps the shelter care for over 26,000 pets that come in annually.
To become a volunteer, click here.
FACING FEAR AND HAVING FUN
I am still afraid of being off the ground but I have more confidence in my ability to momentarily push the fear back and perform the job at hand.
Ah, and what a morning and what jobs. What can I say? All my volunteer experiences have led me to this point where I am assigned the real glamour jobs. You know, the kind which are kept on the down-low and only spoken of in whispers.
Hammering and nailing (I suppose) at a nonprofit hostel in Grand Lake, Colorado helping prepare for the busy summer season.
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