Doggie Rescue – Saving lives one dog at a time
In early July 2009 I decided to enquire about and later register for volunteer work at Monika’s Doggie Rescue (doggierescue.com) located at Ingleside, on the Northern Beaches of Sydney (right near Mona Vale).
What I didn’t know then, almost a year ago now, was that I would totally become addicted to the place!
You see Doggie Rescue came about many many years ago when a lady named Monika Biernacki wanted to make a difference and with a love of dogs started to rescue dogs on death row one by one from shelters in and around the Sydney area.
Today Doggie Rescue (also known as Monika’s Doggie Rescue) is responsible for saving over 9200 dogs left to die on death row in Sydney shelters. Some of these dogs come from abusive pasts and some where just dumped as they no longer fit into the ‘family’s way of life’.
From the very first Saturday that I made the 3 hour public transport journey out to DR (doggie rescue) I discovered a place that I had heard of but never really gotten to know. This place, a registered non government-funded Charity was saving lives, and lots of them.
The Shelter at Ingleside is like no other. It isn’t a sad place at all. All the dogs that are living there awaiting their new forever home are happy, well fed, walked by volunteers and given the best of care possible by all the outstanding kennel hands and volunteers, that daily go above and beyond to make sure that these doggies have a good life.
Monika interviews each family herself, with the goal of finding the right home for each dog and the right dog for each home. There is no impulse buying encouraged here. (see the link below about the process involved with adopting a dog from a rescue shelter).
Often some of the rescued dogs do get over looked, some waiting for years for their new family to pick them and to take them home. There is no good reason or explanation for this people often over look because they are too big, too small, the markings are not perfect, tail not long enough or short enough, wrong color or just simple that not all dogs perform well at interviews, some often become depressed and a bit withdrawn as its been so long without a home of their own.
This is a true charity in every sense of the word. Nothing goes to waste every donation no matter how big or little helps, even just donating postage stamps (so funds don’t get spent on those) helps. The toilet paper for the staff and volunteers is donated, the pegs to hang the washing up is donated, the blankets and towels that the doggies get each night are all from donations made by the public.
I mentioned that I was addicted to the place, and although it may be a slight exaggeration in a way its true.
I look forward to every weekend walking down the driveway at DR in the mornings as the dogs are being fed, hearing the morning barks for attention, watching little friends chasing each other around, jumping, rolling and playing.
Some of the long terms who recognise my familiar face coming running up to the fence wagging their tails and inviting me over for pats and cuddles. After a year I’ve gotten to know the majority of the dogs, mainly those that have been there way too long. I not only know them by yard, face and looks but can even tell who’s bark I’m hearing.
Besides the dogs the other reason I keep going back is the network of people who work and volunteer out there. The Kennel hands that I’ve gotten to know and admire as friends teach me something new every time I’m there. The group of volunteers that are there regularly have also become fast friends.
Now the best bit besides the friendships, good karma, hugs, cuddles, tail wags, exercise and entertainment , that doggie rescue offers me…. is the feeling of when one of your ‘favourites’ finds their forever home. Sometimes I’m lucky enough to be there on the day and sometimes I get notified with an email from Monika with the day’s adoptions. It’s always a mixed feeling of complete happiness and a little bit of sadness (often even though I try not to I’ll have a bit of a cry) that this may be the last time you cross paths with such a wonderful creature that you’ve made a connection with. Sometimes your lucky and the new owners stay in touch or update the facebook page with photos and stories. And sometimes they come back to adopted another to add to their family.
Personally my family and I have Doggie Rescue to thank for my little Eddy (you can see him in the section on this blog called ‘Meet the Pack’), I met him on my first day and feel in love. He didn’t come without his quirks and baggage but I guess no one does after such a not so great start to life do they?