Alejandra, a story about a Special Volunteer
By Lynn Weisberg
We are pleased to tell you about one of our very special volunteers, Alejandra Deanda. This lovely young lady is a 17-year-old student at Preparatoria Pípila, who hopes to study Administration at the university level. She began volunteering at the SPA this past February because, she says, of her love for dogs and her sadness at seeing street dogs going hungry or being mistreated. Alejandra lives nearby with her family and two dogs, and she spends much of her free time walking and playing with the SPA dogs.
Alejandra is a very quiet, charming, mature young woman who has a magic touch with dogs, one of the few who can get our shyest, most timid dogs, to go on a walk. She never gets impatient and they seem to sense her devotion immediately. After a brief orientation, Alejandra was able to handle any dog using a calm voice and positive reinforcement. She is one of our most capable volunteers and when she cannot come to the SPA, we miss her.
A few weeks ago, someone brought in a tiny, 2-week-old puppy that had just opened its eyes. Puppies separated from their mothers this young need constant care, including being hand-fed every two hours. In desperation we asked Alejandra if she could foster this puppy, and her eyes lit up. With her mother’s permission, she took him home with puppy milk, a syringe for feeding him, a crate, and blankets. What a job! Alejandra began feeding him at 4:00 a.m. every day and continued 24/7 care except when in school. She brought him for weekly check-ups, and in the first two weeks he doubled in size. When we asked her for an additional week, she immediately agreed. After three weeks, this puppy (Alejandro, of course!) was big enough to stay at the SPA. Now, he is an active, delightful fellow, eager to socialize with human and canine friends. Almost 8 weeks old, he’s ready for adoption, healthy and happy. Alejandra did an amazing job taking care of him; not many people are able or willing to provide the care needed to abandoned, newborn puppies. Without her, his survival was doubtful.
We are so grateful to have Alejandra on our team. We hope she continues to volunteer with us (maybe forever) as she pursues her studies. Thank you, Alejandra, for all that you do to make our dogs’ lives better!