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Come and Walk SPA Dogs—It’s a Wonderful Experience!

From the SPA

By Megan Gabel

When Paul visits San Miguel from Toronto and Mike comes down from Tucson, they spend a good portion of their vacation volunteering for the SPA and walking dogs. Seems like a strange way to spend time when you’re on vacation, doesn’t it? But they obviously not only love the dogs and want to help, but they enjoy volunteering for the SPA. And they are not the only ones.

It seems that once they start, our dog walkers discover that spending time with our animals is joyful and rewarding. Most of the SPA dogs are excited to see a volunteer approach—pleased to have the opportunity to spend some time being cuddled by a familiar face and taken on a walk in the big outside world. Others are a little afraid. Rather than being deterred by this reluctant behavior, our volunteers rise to the occasion and work at helping those dogs come out of their shells.

We have quite a variety of dogs for volunteers to walk. Bianca loves to cuddle, eagerly ventures outside, and enjoys playing with people and other dogs. She’s small/medium, about three years old, and is a wonderful, all-around girl. Pretty Nellie, a little over 4-1/2, needs a little coaxing and reassurance. A walk with her requires checking for cars first to make sure there is a clear path to the sidewalk. If you find a stoop to sit on, she will lean in for comfort, pressing against your leg as she absorbs the attention. She’s non-demanding and smart. Medium-large Miny, a very sweet girl, is also is a little afraid of leaving the safety of the SPA and is cautious when she sees a stranger. About 1-3/4, she is very affectionate and attentive when she knows you, leaning in to absorb the love she receives. We anticipate they will each be loyal, devoted pets. Not only do these dogs and others benefit so much from the volunteers who spend time with them, but also volunteers leave the SPA with satisfied smiles, feeling good about their contributions and the exercise they got that day.

Volunteer hours are Monday-Saturday, 11am-2pm at Los Pinos 7, 152 6124. Spend as much time as you want during that time kittens, cats, puppies, dogs, and we will appreciate it. Volunteer information sheets are on the website in Spanish and English here: We look forward to meeting you at the SPA!


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