A sense of community is what brings Lorraine Ambler to WSHS every week. Lorraine is the shift coordinator on Friday afternoons in the kennel.
The Friday afternoon shift includes Lorraine (12 years), Allison Hanscom (8 years), Lyss Resendiz (3 years), Jill Underdown (2 years), and Bill Natale (1 month). These volunteers have different backgrounds, personalities and strengths, all of which come together for a cohesive team. Allison agrees that “everyone has something unique to bring to the shift!”
Lorraine spreads her energy throughout WSHS. In addition to volunteering in the kennel, she is an adoption desk volunteer, provides a home for our foster dogs, and serves on various committees, including the current Long-Term Lovables Committee. Jill spends extra time in the kennel as a buddy to Chevy, one of our kennel pups, providing her with socialization and enrichment. Lyss is passionate about dog behavior and will take WSHS dogs, like Rocky Road, to training classes. Lyss also volunteers in the kennel on Saturday mornings, and she, Allison and Lorraine spend each week with our STAR (special training and reinforcement) dogs, ensuring that they practice their training skills. Allison has learned a great deal about breed characteristics and the art of communicating with dogs through body language while volunteering in the kennel.
These volunteers may be different, but there is a creative thread running through the Friday afternoon shift. Bill retired from a career in broadcasting and is a published author. His fourth book, a compendium of short stories that features his dog Sydney on the cover, is coming out this month. Allison teaches piano to children and adults. She enjoys connecting to her students and discovering what makes them learn best. Art is Lorraine’s main hobby; she often provides art classes to the WSHS camp kids.
It’s no surprise that the Friday afternoon volunteers have animals of their own, most of them rescues. Lorraine’s family adopted their three rescues from WSHS. Lorraine fosters other dogs for WSHS so her pups, Paisley, Rosie and Little Guy, are paying it forward. Allison’s Golden Retriever Lucas is a registered therapy dog. Lucas visits hospitals, schools, and universities and responds to crisis calls in the community. Bill’s Sydney also spreads goodwill. Sydney visits the Community Adult Day Center and she was in this year’s Barkapalooza kissing booth. Lyss has a WSHS alum pup Lyca and a rescue cat Selene, and Jill has a rescue boxer-beagle named Charlie. Jill says, “When I come home from the shelter, Charlie is always waiting by the door to smell all the pups I've been with that day.” Charlie loves the volunteer experience at WSHS too!
Everyone has fun in the kennel on Friday afternoons. They feel good after their shift, knowing that they have made a difference. Allison couldn’t ask for a more upbeat team. Jill agrees, saying, “Volunteering at WSHS and spending time with such awesome people and wonderful dogs is for sure the highlight of my week!”