Volunteer Feature 7: Kathy O. (KO)

Posted: April 14, 2011 at 4:02 pm

Its National Volunteer Appreciation Week (April 10-16) and in recognition of our amazing volunteers I have been doing volunteer features throughout the week. Our volunteers come here with wide open hearts to embrace the sick, the old and the dying animals who live here. They are just ordinary people, like anyone else except for one simple thing … our volunteers use that wealth of kindness, compassionate and respect for other living creatures inside them and turn those wonderful feelings into action by making the world better for senior and special needs homeless animals.
Every weekend KO brings the simple yet wonderful gifts of kindness, caring and compassion here. She brings her laughter, her positive energy, her patience and sometimes even her tears to this place every weekend and she shares them. She shares them with the animals and she shares them with the volunteers. KO makes SAINTS better for just being here. It was the loss and grief of losing her own senior pet that led her to SAINTS …
 
Late in 2007, I had just recently lost my 14 year old dog, Jazz and Laura  B. had done some volunteering at SAINTS.  She was very demanding that I give this place a chance as I was overwhelmed with losing our dog. She had explained to me what it was all about and I basically told her that I did not want to be where there are old and sick animals, that I could not handle it.  Finally she convinced me to do a tour with her, and I will never forget my first day at Saints–I was sitting in the back cat room visiting with all that lived there at the time, and Carol handed me this little white dog, her name was Sweet Pea with her little sweater on, and asked if I could hold her for a few minutes as she was getting ready to take her down for euthanization and it was her time to go. The tears started but I really didn’t know this little dog and as Carol left with her I realized that ALL the animals there were for me to help out. I have been hooked ever since. I enjoy working outside with all the barn animals and people as well. I had horses, rabbits, cats, and dogs growing up so they have always had a special place in my heart. I did previously have any experience with feathered ones (chickens,ducks and now a turkey) but somehow they have aslo wiggled there way into my heart to. I like to work outside so being at the barn every Saturday and Sunday is really rewarding for me. I have become attatched to all that are there now and will always remember the ones that have passed.
 

KO caring for her beloved feather friends

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So far the most memorable moment with the barn guys is this winter with Miss Ellie Mae. She was having the time of her life playing in the snow and getting into the most trouble I have ever seen!!
 

KO and Ellie (she is about to cause trouble with the buckets!)

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In 2008 we adopted two very special little dogs, Lady and Lippy, from Saints. They are the best dogs ever. I call them my little Zen dogs as they are just so relaxing to be around and needless to say they are both very spoiled little ones. From the moment I saw them I knew they were for us except they were here from Turtle Gardens and were already adopted.  Carol witnessed my tears when I first saw them. Then a couple of weeks after the fact that they had left, I showed up on the weekend and Carol said I should probalby go into the house to see someone in the back room. And lo and behold there they were sitting on a couch and the rest is history!
 
When I’m at work, a lot of times the conversation with my customers is about Saints (oops, it should be about selling bank stuff!!) A lot of them know that Laura and I volunteer at Saints and they like to hear the stories. I’ve even convinced my family to help out at Saints. My husband, known as the “apple man” picksup and delivers apples to Saints on the weekend, my neice and nephew, Marrissa and Nicholas acome and help me at the barn on Saturdays, and my mom helps in the spring with the gardens.
 
The best part of Saints is that at the end of the day, when were all done cleaning and have taken the dogs including my new best friend Jelly, to the Memorial Garden and they have had their treats, and looking into the fields and seeing that all of the animals are resting and at peace. It is the best feeling knowing that they are well taken care of with a group of the best staff and  volunteers I know. And especially from the love and dedication that Carol has shown to both humans and most of all the animals.
 

KO and Jelly

 

KO you have a one of the most pure and loving hearts of anyone I have every known. You are one of the only people I know to litertally love a duck 🙂 But for loving all of the saints animals regardless of speicies we thank you Mama Duck.

 In case you missed them check out the preceding Volunteer Features:

Volunteer Feature 1: Erin

Volunteer Feature 2: Brenda

Volunteer Feature 3: Maureen (Mo)   

Volunteer Feature 4: Anne

Volunteer Feature 5: Laura B.

Volunteer Feature 7: Nicole M.

For information about volunteering please see http://www.saintsrescue.ca/helping/volunteer.htm

9 Comments on "Volunteer Feature 7: Kathy O. (KO)"

  • Carol Ann says

    the loss of my beloved Rupert led me to Saints also. It is a place of healing for animals and humans. 🙂

  • Carol says

    sweet pea! what a truly great little dog…she made the best noises!
    KO coming to saints was one of the best things that ever happened here. the chickens and the ducks have been bugging me for years…we took care of them, but nobody really knew and really loved them and that bothered me alot. the cats had their special people, so did the dogs and the rabbits and the other farm guys..but the chickens and ducks were just sort of here…a group of animals that required care but weren’t incredibly special to any one in particular.

    and this was a BIG wrong that KO righted for them..she became their advocate and their friend and all of those guys run to her when she enters their pen.
    KO has taken the time to learn about them, to get to know their likes and dislikes. she is the one who is forever finding some new way to make their lives valued and good.

    i am so grateful to you KO for filling a void for them. the chickens and ducks are as important as anyone else is around here….YOU made that happen here!

    (plus you have your very own crew of saints crippled happy dogs who like to hang out and help you collect the eggs…i heard your newest chicken coop follower is old man blue!)
    thank you so much for setting aside your own grief and pain to bring a ton of happiness here.

  • erin says

    yay ko! your awesome! i didnt know jellybelly was one of your faves…huh, learn somethin new everyday!

  • lynne says

    erin, you do not see jelly sulking in the yard when ko is not around. i told her last time she was not allowed to be away. it is much too hard on jelly.lol. seriously you are awesome ko and it is always a pleasure to see you.

  • Bunny says

    OMG that photo of KO and Ellie is the best. Too bad there wasn’t a video of the day Ellie went all goofy on KO. On Sunday’s it’s too cool to watch Floyd get all excited when KO brings him his fresh salad fixin’s and the best of all is watching Jelly lovingly watch KO. Jelly is right under her feet and Jelly just stares at her with those crazy Jelly eyes.
    Oh and thank you for all the tips on how to keep my wheel barrow of poop in an upright position. My first shift I don’t know how many times I had to re-scoop my poop thanks to Percy, Chewy, Ziggy and even Ellie.

  • Zoe says

    Hey weekenders- I’ll be away this weekend so I can’t come in Sat or Sun 🙁 I’m sorry it’s late notice I just found out! Have a great weekend and I’ll see everyone next week…

  • Louise says

    I had to smile at the part that said “A lot of my conversations at work are about Saints, oops I should be selling bank stuff” I have worked at Scotiabank in Comox over 20 years and most of the staff are animal lovers here too..we are always doing fundraisers for rescue groups and have many regular puppy “customers” who stop by for their daily treats. We make more of a fuss over the dogs than the customers some times 🙂 I am enjoying reading the stories about all the volunteers, I wish I lived closer so I could help too! You all are busy with day to day life and jobs, yet find the time to volunteer too, so commendable!

  • roff says

    Nice series Jenn. Thank you.

  • Mo says

    KO is one of those very special people in this world, her heart is kind to the core.. and her work ethic is incredible.. she makes sure the feathered guys have perfectly cooked corn & sweet lettuce every weekend and treats for the pooches after all chores are done. It must run in their family cuz Vern ( the apple man ) also often sends yummy stuff for me to feast on too thanks vern and her niece & nephew are super kids & a great help to SAINTS

    Goodness runs in this family through & through

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