I rescue dogs for a living and love every minute of it!
A lot of people I know talk to me about my jobs with animals and are amazed at what I do. The fact that I spend everyday going out looking for dogs to rescue and then providing them with adequate animal care really humbles a lot of people about my work. Well to me it's more than just a job; it's a passion that I have spent a long time doing what it takes to get there. It involved countless hours of volunteer pet care service and dedication until I finally reached the part I am up to today. But how did I get involved? Why did I want to do it? And is the pet job fairly easy? Well let me answer those questions for you and tell you a little bit about how I got to where I am now.
It all started back when I was 8 years old. My father had come home from work with a dog he found on a building site he was working on. The dog had obviously been living there for some time and it had a few minor injuries and obviously hadn't eaten a good meal in some time.
We fed him, bathed him and took care of him for some time and it was then that I thought we would have to give him up and take him to the pound. But to my surprise, my parents let me keep him as a pet and that was the first ever dog I ever had. As the most desired pet for kids, he played and helped me about in the house. I called him Lucky as I thought he was lucky to survive and he lived with us until he died about 4 years ago.
But as soon as we got Lucky I really did think about rescuing dogs as a career for the first time as I thought about how much effort we had put in to saving Lucky and how great it felt when I knew he was going to be ok. So when I was around 10 or so, I went to my local animal shelter and asked them what you have to do for working with dogs and become a dog rescuer. This doubled up as a project for school as we had to find out what we wanted to do as a career and talk to some people in that profession about the animal job.
Well I got speaking to a man names Frank who informed me exactly what I needed to do and also said to me it was always a good idea to do some volunteer work at some local animal shelters so that you could get lots of work experience in helping out animals and working with dogs at the shelter.
He also said that as soon as I turned 13 I could volunteer to work with animals. I could be a pet sitter. I would have to clean the pets. It I had a pet job as a dog sitter, I had to do dog sitting tasks, and even them them out for dog walking sessions.
Well this information made me a very happy girl, and the day after my 13th birthday I went back to the shelter and offered my services and that then began my volunteer career (and you could even say my career in general) in dog rescuing! I didn't start out straight away rescuing dogs, as that is obviously left to the older and more experienced carers. Some jobs I had to start doing were cleaning out the cages; feeding the dogs, taking them for dog walking and helping them take their medicine daily. It became pretty easy to do all these tasks after a while and I absolutely loved working with dogs.
Every chance I got after school I would go to the animal shelter and work with the pets, and as the animal shelter was only a short bike ride from my house is made it all the more easier to get there every chance I could! I made sure then I studied hard in my school in Australia as well and then I went on to study animal science on a TAFE course to give me a better understanding in to all different types of animals and gain a good qualification at the same time! Then when I was 20 years old, I finally was offered a paying job with animals at the same shelter and I haven't looked back since! I was intelligent enough to complete my internship program at the shelter and gain avid work experience.
Once thing though that I will mention is the fact that being a dog rescuer really isn't that easy all the time. You do find yourself getting quite emotional a lot of the time as you will rescue dogs that really have no hope of surviving or you will have dogs at the shelter that never get adopted and eventually have to be put to sleep. It can be really heartbreaking sometimes when that happens and it can also make you extremely angry as well when you see what humans are capable of doing to such innocent and defenceless animals like dogs. I often find myself getting very angry at people and liking dogs more, as being in this job has shown me what atrocities human beings are capable of.
But for every sad and angry moment I have on this job, I also have numerous amounts of happy and joyful ones as well! You see rescuing dogs that otherwise would've died without your help brings a massive smile to my face, and the amount of times I have seen dogs go from nearly dying to going off with a great family has been so many that I have lost count. I love seeing how happy a dog can be pet for kids and make a family and I love seeing how happy a family can make a dog. It's a great cycle and it really is a rewarding experience.
And I would definitely recommend it to anyone out there reading it, whether you are like me and aim for a paying job or even if you have a few hours a week to volunteer at your local shelter, it's something that you can always look back on and smile. Shelter's like the one I work at are always in need of assistants and volunteers so definitely remain in contact with them so you can find out what is available and what possible help you can bring.
You can check out Wwoof Australia that offers immense opportunities for volunteers to work with animals. Even when you travel to Australia or plan for moving to Australia, you can think of being a pet sitter or pet care activist at shelters to work and travel in the country. You will get to work with the cutest things on the planet and become a better person in the meantime!