Updated: Aug 28, 2020
Come sunshine or rain (and occasionally, snow) our hardy volunteers turn up every day to help Laura with the many different tasks that make volunteering at Holbrook such fun. Whether it’s bathing a dog, erecting new fencing, or driving an injured bird to a wildlife centre, a shift at Holbrook is never dull.
It’s also not for the faint hearted. The innocuous looking side gate has a ‘Caution, Dogs Loose Behind Gate’ sign, and we aren’t kidding. Whilst the volunteers wait beside the gate to enter, thirty dogs sound their excitement by barking at full volume. A wholly intimidating cacophony of noise; if you were nervous of dogs, we’d never get you further than this point!
It’s probably just as well; on entry the same dogs display their thrill at seeing some of their favourite people by piling over one another in a joyful mesh of writhing excitement. Treats are dished out, strokes are given freely, and tails wag vigorously. It doesn’t take the new dogs long to realise that this is a really special time of day and they tend to be just as keen to get into the mix and receive their fair share of treats and love.
It’s mighty hard to pull yourself away from such a display of
complete adoration (and, let’s face it, just a bit of cupboard love) but pull you must, as there are jobs to be done. There may be time for one-to-one work (i.e. cuddles) later but first, there’s poop to be scooped and bedding to be changed.
It’s not glamorous but, as we work, the sound of chatting and laughter fills the air and the dogs brush happily against our legs just in case we have some treats left in a pocket somewhere.