Need some inspiration? Words from some of our volunteers..

  • I was at Mornac for the first time yesterday. Before going I felt excited and apprehensive..leaving home in cold, mist, rain I felt I was mad!,i don’t even have a dog of my own I would have had to walk …I have four cats. The noise of the dogs barking made me feel a bit uneasy…I was in no way afraid, but more overwhelmed . The newbies were taken to be shown how things work, why it is important that two people collect and return the dogs, how to check which dogs are due out, how to take them out and return them safely etc…the weight of responsibility! I won’t even mention the smell…My first effort was “unsuccessful ” in as much as the poor little girl was too scared to leave the compound so I took her back and stayed with her for a cuddle session instead. With the help of an “old hand” I was then able to walk three other dogs….what a pleasure to see them enjoying themselves and how pleasant to meet someone new. I rounded the day off with a wonderful session in the cattery…what a lovely, calm, caring place. How did it compare to my expectations? Not sure what I expected before going really, other than being apprehensive at the thought of being saddened by seeing dogs in enclosures. That still saddens me, but having seen how much effort everyone puts in to making their lives as good as possible and for most dogs that means a lot better than they had before, then I can say that it was well worth going and whenever work allows I will continue to go as often as I can to try and lend a hand to the wonderful people who work at the refuge and bring a little bit more tenderness to the animals there. Words to sum up how I felt at the end…just as the person who suggested I go there said I would..tired, dirty, smelly but I will add MOTIVATED! Sorry if this was a bit long, but I am still on a bit of a high from that wonderful experience !
  •  That’s exactly how I felt the first time I went to Marsac SPA last year.
  • A friend and I have just volunteered to Bergerac so I will have to let you know. I was a bit worried as it is a bit far from home but then asked a friend if she would share driving. I won’t be able to go lots due to distance and commitments but decided to think about what I can do rather than what I can’t.
  • My friend and I went to Mornac yesterday as first time woofer walkers. I have a little ‘ScoodleJack’ so walking these big stong boys and girls took a bit of getting used to. Yes, I felt tired and mucky afterwards but nothing a soak in the bath and large glass of wine didn’t cure. I’ll be back once my aching arms have recovered!
  • It was my first time at Mornac yesterday…….and what an inspiration! I must admit I was expecting to be quite upset at seeing all the dogs in cages, and there were some sad cases. But seeing how many wonderful people were there trying to improve the dogs situations as much as possible was inspiring….and I can imagine that some of the dogs are in a better space now, than in their previous lives. Yes…tired and dirty at the end but had to drag myself away. I shall be back and bringing my husband with me next time.
  • This is not about the “first time”, but each time I go is, in its way, a “first time” because we never know what will greet us, I square up my shoulders and remind myself that what I am feeling is irrelevant, its about the dogs, not me – and once I get into the SPA, there just isn’t time to worry about my feelings – the dogs need us to be strong and positive and just get on with it.
    Make a difference
  • I always say that when you first come to a refuge and look into the eyes of a new lost soul, it is heart wrenching to see the despair and sadness BUT see them after a couple of weeks of love and good food, they greet you with “Waggy tails and Smiley faces” it makes it all worthwhile.
  • First time I visited Galia I cried & came away saying I couldn’t help. Then I met Sue & realised how much doggies needed our help & thought don’t be stupid get in there girl & help. Love it now. Seeing those doggies being cared for…so worthwhile. Yes & they do have waggy tails
  • Stinking, noisy and bewildered and that was just me, not the dogs!!
  • I went to Mornac for Verity’s birthday in 2013 which got me (and many others) involved with SPA’s for the first time. I was already involved with Phoenix and have kept rescue dogs for many years. It was, however, the first time I’d been to a rescue centre and I was apprehensive. I admit to being upset initially – but mostly because the dogs were so pleased at being taken out of their cages. It made me realise how important it is for people to walk them. Many people say they’d love to walk dogs but would find it upsetting seeing them caged up, or they wouldn’t go because they’d feel guilty not bringing dogs home. I urge them to overcome these feelings – it means so much to the poor animals that are sometimes confined day after day. It’s the dogs that matter, not the feelings of the person.
  • Adopting our lovely Ratty (aka Bella) from Bergerac SPA two years ago has been an incredibly rewarding experience – she is a wonderful little character and we would never be without her. It is easy to imagine what would happen to all these dogs without the SPAs and any amount of help, no matter how small, to give all these dogs chance to find a forever home is so worthwhile.
  • From Verity: Who could have guessed that that first Woofer Walk would make such a lasting impact.
    I organised it for 2 reasons. Firstly because I wanted people to just try it once. To just go and see out an afternoon there, look past the tears , smell, noise and see those beautiful faces just waiting for their turn to go out. Secondly because I knew I and so many more British volunteers had so much to offer.
    When Diana and I started going, there was an english dog groomer and 1 other english volunteer. After that woofer walk that % went huuuuge and Mornac also gained Nicky Kirkman and Jocelyn Bridge to tidy the beauties up and of course Emma Lee for their photos amongst other regular volunteers.
    Who could have guessed!
    And now in the Mornac yearly magazine, the British got a double page spread!
  • Before I went to V’s birthday Woofer Walk, I wasn’t a 100% doggy person – I have to say I hated the noise, smell and the feeling that I didn’t know what I was doing. Now I love it, I adore dogs. I don’t notice the noise or smell or mud. I do have quite a few favourites who I love to see. Now I am just as pleased to see them as they are to see me. It’s wonderful to see the nervous nellies make such great progress.
  • It took me many many years to decide to go…..could not sleep the night before. I was all shaky in the car driving to Mornac and when I opened the gate my second little voice said…..”NOW its ALL happening…. Can not go backwards…..” A few minutes later Christianne helped me opening the door of a BOX …so they call the kennels in french, and all the fears had gone.
  • I started at SPA of Limoges nearly 3 years ago. I was also tense before going… unfortunately the staff there were very less welcoming and I had the feeling I would need to beg to be able to do work for free there… that was strange. Actually starting to work was good but it took me a while to become used to all those tricks (how do I get out of the kennel at the end – without dogs following???)…. The first feeling was stress because of the noise… But the feeling of slight shock went away immediately – what I now see all the times are maybe 80% of happy dogs – happy to get AT LAST visitors, cuddles, love, compliments…. 10% dogs who are scared to admit the same…. 5% who don’t care anymore … those are the ones we try to rescue… and 5% too stressed to feel anything else but stress…. Now I see many many dogs who are already having a better life than before. Happy for all dog who can leave but trying not to burden the staying dogs more by giving them the feeling to be pitied … I just compliment about them being a gift and a beauty and a miracle..
  • Slightly serious thought – I think it surprised me that the dogs trusted me, despite all that had happened to them in their turbulent lives, they trusted me. Felt honoured.
  • I liked the experience of getting to know LOTS of dogs. I’ve always known my friends’ dogs for instance, but it’s great to meet lots of different ones. I have fallen in love with beagles and fox terriers – two dogs I never would have even considered before. I like being able to walk lots of different dogs. I love my own, but it’s great to be able to share in the lives of others, even if just for a little bit. I love the experience of seeing dogs arrive and seeing them leave. Nothing beats that.
  • Every time I arrive my stomach is in my throat with the anticipation of what I will see this time!! I have learnt to put my feelings aside, caused by the noise and the smell.
    I continue to be amazed at the trust these poor creatures still have in us humans! Yesterday I wanted to walk Mike, but initially he was too scared to come out of his sleeping box. I was determined this beautiful boy would come out to play and have some fun
    I sat quietly talking to him and playing with his ears, when he came near me, eventually he allowed me to slip a lead over his head and then very cautiously followed me out. My heart was bursting when this lovely chappie started to run and dig and sniff every tree and trotted along so nicely. This is why I will continue to do this. The joy they get from being out in the fresh air doing what doggies do compensates for the anguish I feel for having to leave them behind
  • My first time was when I was 14yrs I lied about my age they only took Saturday girls at 16yrs. My first senses were the noise then the smell and the faces of the dogs …. 40yrs on my life took a whole circle in regards to caring for animals and its the best job ever and the most rewarding…. One thing I have taken from my experience is never feel sorry for that dog behind bars that is too much pressure for him, but help him move forward, this is when your rewards come with that feel good factor when he is rehomed and no longer behind bars….
    Make a difference March