Tag Archives: Volunteer Stories

Olivia: A Love Story

More than two years ago, Olivia, a German Shepard/Rotweiller mix, now 10 years old, was found abandoned one morning in front of the MaxFund Animal Shelter. It was clear she’d suffered a difficult life. It took several days of visiting her in her room before she’d let anyone near her. She needed some medical attention, and she responded well. Over time, she grew attached to the people she came to love and trust

When Olivia lets you into her world, it is a very special place to be! She is a beautiful soul. Olivia is incredibly smart, loyal, appreciative, and cuddly with the humans that make her feel safe, secure, and loved. She loves tummy rubs, playing with her toys, rolling in the grass and the snow, stuffed animals, treats, and nice walks. She is quite the kisser too. Many of the volunteers are head over heels in love with her.

As a potential foster or adopter, one will need to slowly engage Olivia’s trust. That would mean a couple of visits to the MaxFund Animal Shelter as you and she begin to know one another. Her loyal volunteers have committed to help ease the transition by facilitating a positive relationship between you and her at the shelter as well as in your home.

Olivia would do best in a home without young children. At the MaxFund, Olivia has been able to walk along side some of her shelter mates. She can make friends with other dogs, and some sheOlivia1 simply ignores. Olivia may like to be with another quiet, non-threatening dog. Clearly, this would need to be evaluated during a meet and greet. A home with minimal steps would work best for her.

Fostering Olivia is certainly an option. Were you to foster her, the MaxFund Animal Shelter remains responsibly for Olivia’s health care and assumes all medical costs.

Olivia has now been at the MaxFund Shelter for more than two years. She has consisting been overlooked, and no one at the shelter wants to see her spend the rest of her days and nights in a kennel, never knowing what a loving home feels like.

Olivia will be a devoted, adoring companion as she enters the twilight of her life. Once you engage her trust, her riches await.

To meet Olivia, please stop by the Maxfund Dog Shelter:
1005 Galapago St., Denver, CO 80204
Phone: 303-595-4917
Closed on Tuesdays
Mon, Wed, Thur & Fri – 10:00 – 4:00
Saturday – 11:00 – 5:00
Sunday – 12:00 – 5:00

Make sure to ask if a dog walker who is familiar with Olivia, such as Cathy, Donna, or Ilene or Cindy is available for a meet and greet.

This video of Olivia was produced in 2012. Since that time, we have learned that she may do fine around other dogs as referenced earlier.



And They Call it Puppy Love – My Journey to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary

by Barry Glass

Snuggles from Trudy.
Snuggles from Trudy.

They all start off as puppies, and we all start out as babies.

New into the world, they explore with their mouths and we explore with our hands. They can arrive here among a litter of six or seven, and we seem to arrive here alone more often than not.

Most of us are probably born in a hospital and hopefully begin our lives in a nurturing environment. Some of them are born in barns, in city dumps, in overstuffed puppy mill cages, abandoned in dumpsters, thrown into rivers to drown, or left on the side of the road.

Yet, against all odds, here they are, six puppies—a testament to survival— entering the room. A female named Trudy is presented to me and I cradle her to my chest.

It is 8:45AM and time for Puppy Preschool. There are six volunteers in this room and each is assigned a puppy. Our first 30 minutes of instruction focuses on teaching the SIT command through the use of food as positive reinforcement. After we leash the dogs, we are told how to present the food to the lips of the puppies, slowly moving forward and vigorously rewarding the pups if they actually put their rumps on the floor. Trudy sits after two attempts and is awarded her gold star. Her continuous actions generate rounds of ooohs and ahs from the two instructors, and Trudy works her magic over and over again, all for those tiny nuggets of kibble.

I am under no illusion that her success has anything to do with me.

We then move on to Puppy Socialization. Leashes are off and the pups are consumed by their passion of being alive. They dart in between legs, fall over themselves, chase each other, shake squeaky toys and then drop them as they spy an untouched kernel of food.

The Puppy Preschool Building at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary
The Puppy Preschool Building at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary

The instructor explains the importance of exposing the puppies to a variety of stimuli at an early age so they can grow accustomed to the sights and sounds of a home environment. Slowly, external stimulation is introduced: a skateboard whizzes across the floor and a television is turned on, the volume slowly increasing. And then, the dreaded vacuum cleaner— first it’s turned on and off quickly, then left on for longer intervals, and then—have mercy—it starts to move.

These puppies are the lucky ones. In the best of all possible worlds, they will find loving homes that will become their forever homes. They will never be thrown out of a moving car, left inside a vacant house without food or water, or become a bait dog for a sadistic owner. In the best of all possible worlds, they will make many people very happy and in death, they will be there to greet those same people on that rainbow bridge. But I know this will not be the life for many others. The others who will never get the chance, the others who will wind up in scary and strange places where they will be the first to go. To me, the No Kill Equation is a no brainer.

“One ounce of truth benefits like ripples on a pond.” –Nikki Giovanni