Austin Pets Alive! has a great program called “Big Brothers, Big Sisters”, where a dog in the program is assigned to a volunteer and you get to spoil them with attention, treats, presents, field trips, or even take them on a sleepover. This is a great program for both the dog and the person – the dog gets extra special 1 on 1 attention and a champion who looks out for their best interests and the person gets to make that special connection with an animal that they may not be able to own due to personal/financial reasons.
I currently have a little brother named Lion, who is a very handsome golden retriever mix of about 6 years. Lion came into the program with severe hair loss and was extremely depressed. He didn’t eat, wouldn’t play, and showed no interest in people. But with an amazing program like Big Brother, Big Sister, Lion had someone looking out for him and now we know that he has a food allergy which was the cause of his discomfort, as well as heartworms (PLEASE give your dogs their monthly heartworm pill – it is absolutely ridiculous that dogs are still suffering from this preventable parasite). Lion now enjoys Royal Canin venison and sweet potato food and is loving life. Here is his video from this past week: