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Walking SPA Dogs is a Wonderful Experience!

By Megan Gabel

When Pat visits San Miguel de Allende from Ottawa 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 at 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. Pat’s clear favorite is Tessie, a beautiful medium-sized Golden Retriever mix. Among Mike’s favorites is Apollo, a shy, sweet boy about two and three-quarters years old. Mike is also fond of Miny, a large, friendly, playful dog who is a little leery of strangers. Not only do these dogs and others benefit so much from the volunteers who spend time with them, but volunteers leave the SPA with satisfied smiles, feeling good about their contributions and the exercise they got that day.

Volunteer hours are Monday through Saturday from 11am–2pm at Los Pinos 7. Spend as much time as you want during that time—we and our kittens, cats, puppies, and dogs will appreciate it. You can reach us by phone 152 6124. Volunteer information sheets are on the website in Spanish and English at

While you’re on our website, please donate to the SPA’s Pet Food Money Bank. Details are at

Reach into your hearts and pockets and contribute. Our goal is to raise 250,000 pesos (about US$14,500), 100 percent of which will apply to the cost of food for our resident cats and dogs (about 100). Thank you for your help!


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