Volunteers Who Rock

CPR, specifically Dreamweaver farm operations, is staffed by paid employees who take care of the dogs at the farm.

But there is much more to rescue than cleaning and feeding. It takes many, many dedicated volunteers doing many different tasks, volunteers who give selflessly of their time and their talents to take dogs from hurting to whole, from damaged to healed whether that be in mind, in body or in spirit.

Volunteers like Susan Schwarz. Susan and I have known each other for almost 20 years, brought together by a love of poodles. When we’re together, we don’t talk about what I imagine “normal” friends talk about . We don’t discuss movies or debate politics or even talk food or designer clothes or vacation spots. When Susan and I talk, it’s about dogs. It’s all about dogs. Training, competition, evaluation, confirmation, dog shows, food, supplements – all things dog. We like it that way.

Susan’s special talent is in working with the very emotionally damaged standard poodles who come into our care. Often labelled bad or aggressive or dangerous, Susan approaches each of them with a pocket full of deli chicken and the attitude that every dog is a good dog. Maybe people have misunderstood them or mistreated them but Susan slowly, one bite of chicken at a time, peels off the layers of distrust and fear and reveals invariably a true nature that is good, kind and solid. She takes them for walks, for rides and sometimes for overnight trips to her home. She does whatever it takes to figure out what makes that dog tick.

Then she goes a step further and reviews application after application, until she finds the one that rings “true” to her for that dog. She has a knack for knowing just exactly what is the right environment for each of the dog’s she picks as her special project dog. She’ll spend as much time as it takes, no matter what it takes, talking to potential adopters until she finds that perfect fit.

Then it’s on to the next one that needs her. These dogs, these very special and often damaged when they arrive dogs, would never find a place without her special touch.

I’m glad she’s part of us.