What began as a timid visit to see if I could even bear to do volunteer work back in the 1990s morphed into regular volunteering doing dog walking and some behavioral training…for the dogs and, in truth, for me…
One afternoon when I was at the shelter walking dogs, the shelter director came out of his office and announced he had just gotten a call from New England Cable News (NECN) the major regional news station for our New England States.
They had a cancellation for their Adopt-a-Pet segment for the following morning and wanted to know if Buddy Dog had someone who could fill in. No one else stepped up, so I said “Sure. I’ll do it!”
What I didn’t realize at the time was that it meant getting up at 4 am, driving a half hour to Buddy Dog, trying not to set off the alarm, which I did one time…picking up my guest dog or cat and driving another half hour to the TV station in Newton.
Over the next 12 years, I was privileged to be on live (and later taped) TV with a dog or cat who needed a home. That 2-3 minute segment was instrumental in giving homeless dogs and cats who needed a little extra visibility a better chance to find a good, loving home. Some of our dogs don’t present well in the shelter. They can be depressed (a topic for another blog), or just too stressed by being in the shelter with all the noise and activity to show their true personalities.
I mostly showcased dogs who were older or who had special needs; occasionally I would have one of our rescue dogs from our Save a Sato program from Puerto Rico. Sato is a slang term meaning “street dog”. (again, a topic for another blog).
Eventually times and management changed, and sadly, the segment was discontinued. It was a shame to have a regional TV station decide they could no longer donate 2 minutes of air time a week to help a homeless animal find a home. During those many years, I was privileged to work with many wonderful on-air people and producers.
If you’d like to take a peek at one of the later segments, here is the link: