Although Melinda and I have only met like two ships passing in the night or rather two dog walkers passing on the road, it seems like we had the same thing in common. Our deep love and respect for animals brought us to The Gardenia Janssen Animal Shelter. Melinda and I briefly spoke on the phone before I wrote this post and we both had the same fear. She would donate to the shelter but was afraid to go in and spend time at the Animal Shelter. We both had a fear of wanting to take them all home and adopt or foster each dog or cat brought in.
The Gardenia Janssen Animal Shelter is an amazing place with loving and dedicated employees and volunteers that care for the animals so much that you do not leave there feeling sad. You leave after a day of volunteering with a sense of hope and excitement.
Luckily we both took that giant step as I hope more of our Fayette County community will do to volunteer and give love and attention to our furry friends until they find their forever homes. We hope you will take that step. Here is her story:
My name is Melinda Dunk and I am married to Ralph. We have two sons and one daughter-in-law. My boys nursery theme was Basset Hounds because this is my favorite breed of dog. I am a retired elementary school teacher. Currently, I am a substitute teacher for the La Grange ISD. I enjoy helping kids learn and in my spare time I love to walk my two dogs and volunteer at the Gardenia Janssen Animal Shelter.
Our family loves animals.
We have a Basset Hound named Dudley D. Dunk, a Lab mix named Mollie, and a cat named CC. We also raise Ring-neck doves.
I have been donating to the animal shelter for years and have been a volunteer for almost a year. Before I became a regular volunteer, I would go to the shelter to drop off my donation and walk through the kennels and look at the dogs. I wanted to become a volunteer but knew that I could not because of my hurt for them.
After about a year of thinking really hard about how bad these animals needed a companion, but mostly "love", I completed my application and have not looked back. For the first two weeks, I cried when I left the shelter and woke up at night thinking about all the animals waiting to be adopted. Again, I caught myself feeling sorry for them and praying for all of them to find a home.
I love going to the shelter to sit in a kennel with a dog, walk them, or spend time with a dog in the yard. I love introducing dogs and cats to potential adopters. There is a great feeling when a dog or cat is adopted and find their forever homes!
I have not only made friends with the animals, but have a new family of friends - from employees to volunteers!