Once a week (after CrossFit, so I’m nice and smelly) I volunteer at the kennels at TNR Trust Nairobi. It has been so much fun and I’ve gotten so much out of it. Yes, I’m helping dogs and doing a good thing. But wow, have I found it rewarding!
First, I’ve learned a lot. I’m an experienced dog owner, but there is always something to learn. I’m working with rescues, some of whom had very rough experiences and need to learn how to trust humans. I’m learning how to earn that trust and how to train them to get over their fears (people, loud noises, cars, etc.). Many of the dogs are fine and don’t have any issues. But I’ve learned a lot, and am still learning, on how to rehabilitate dogs.
Second, I get my puppy fix. Puppies are so cute. But, they are so naughty and crazy! I work with the puppies to train them on some basic manners, walking on a leash, getting a bath, and more. I get to snuggle and play with them so they’re used to people. And then I give them back and don’t have to go through the perils of being a puppy mom. (I don’t think I could ever have a super young puppy again.)
Finally, I get to see these dogs really change. They go from being scared and shy to being confident and playing again. For some, it may be the first time they got to really relax and play. The way they grow, start to show personality, and overcome their hard start at life is nothing short of amazing.
For example, Malaika needed time to trust again, but she made great strides in just a few weeks. It’s wonderful to see her have fun and just be a dog. Here’s some video from that first day out.
Volunteering at TNR has become an important part of my life. I’m really glad I started volunteering.
This can be a great way to have time with dogs if you’re not able to have one. You’ll get your puppy (and grown dog) fix while helping animals. If you’re interested in volunteering, fostering a dog, or adopting, please contact TNR Trust.
Here are some links for more details:
P.S. It’s not just for dogs. There are also cats up for adoption!