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From the Desk of Lori

BCFS would like to welcome a new writer to the BCFS team! Lori has joined us and comes with a plethora of writing experiences.

She’s helping us keep up with the telling of the wonderful stories and tales of the BCFS animals.

We met Lori when she adopted a sweet senior shih tzu Bailey from BCFS. We’re thrilled that Bailey got a loving forever home and BCFS got another great writer!

DSCN1907croppedresizedBailey people-watching at the window on Lori’s Mom’s lap

Welcome Lori and don’t be shy to tell us what you think of your experiences with BCFS!

Lori:  Thank you, Amy!  Gladly!

Sometimes when you least expect it, things happen to change your life and the focus of your work, and to connect you with inspiring people.

A year ago, I’d never heard of Beaver Creek Farm Sanctuary, and now I’m privileged to volunteer with them. Bailey got the ball rolling when he waddled into our house in January for a meet-and-greet and home visit from Amy and her own three shih tzus. Bailey was a roly-poly shih tzu being fostered at BCFS waiting for his forever home.

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Since adopting Bailey on January 21st, he’s stolen my heart and helped lead me on a new path in my vocation of volunteer animal advocacy. My volunteer work writing for BCFS is all his fault.

Clearly he’s racked with guilt…

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My brother and I grew up with our cocker spaniels Inky and Ollie, guinea pigs and our bunny, and our parents instilled a keen love of all animals in me. Ollie was the guest of honor at my wedding. My own cocker spaniel, Mandy, graced my life in my mid-20’s and was with me til her last breath 13 years later. Life is unimaginable without animals in it.

BCFScollageDONEfinalusethisoneRESIZEDAnimals make the world go ’round…

In the past five years I’ve been involved in local, national and international campaigns for wild and captive elephants, rhinos, marine mammals, dogs, and other species. I work with like-minded, compassionate advocates all over the world, advocate for the solitary elephant Lucy at the Edmonton Valley Zoo, and am a core organizer for the Global March for Elephants and Rhinos, with 136 cities across the globe marching against their extinction.

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Marching in Toronto during the first Global March for Elephants and Rhinos with a close friend, October 4th, 2014

I’ve learned to use social media to advocate for animals: adminning Facebook pages, groups and a Twitter account for elephants, joining online campaigns, creating graphics for social media and designing posters for demos, writing and publishing articles in The Dodo, and posting videos on YouTube.

Bailey has even pitched in to help advocate for rhinos and was a hit on social media:

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Bailey paying it forward:  sticking up for rhinos

When Amy asked if I’d be interested in doing some volunteer writing for BCFS, I was thrilled and immediately said YES!

So I’m happily spreading my wings again, learning WordPress and how to write posts for BCFS’ website, how to list adoptable animals on Petfinder, and how to create adoption packages for newly-adopted animals.

Writing is in my blood, animals are in my heart, and writing about animals is sheer bliss. I get to write about a range of rescued animals, from the happy posts telling the stories of adoptable bunnies like Luna and Star, to updates on abused rescue dogs in foster care like Pippa. Those are the tougher ones to write, because my heart goes out to these poor animals who clearly suffered some undeserved physical or psychological horrors in their lives.

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Fearful Pippa, now learning how to be a dog in the care of foster mom Raye

In BCFS’ care, they receive the veterinary care they need, and fosters and their own companion animals provide healing, comfort and socialization.

Getting an email and photos from Amy that an animal has been adopted and asking me to write an “adopted” post, makes my day to know another precious life like Maggie has found a forever home!

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Another Happy Tail: 16-year-old Maggie and new mom Lynne

Amy, Silvana their Adoption Coordinator, the foster parents, other volunteers and I all communicate by email and occasional phone calls. We coordinate upcoming posts to write, share info and photos for the adoptable animals, and fosters send updates for us to include. The marvels of the internet and modern technology enable this team effort since we’re spread out through southern Ontario.

I’m still a little unsure about myself, wishing I could write more in Amy’s charming storytelling style instead of my news/advocacy style, but I think I’m growing as a writer. Mainly, I’m hoping I don’t try Amy’s patience peppering her with questions asking how to do stuff. But she’s always kind, patient with me as I handle this learning curve, and just really cool to work with. The other volunteers are equally kind, patient and nice. I feel welcome and appreciated.

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Writing for BCFS is not only rewarding but interesting, fun, a challenge, and keeps the neurons in my middle-aged brain firing by learning new things.

The nifty thing about writing for animals is that you can do it from anywhere in the world.

I live almost an hour away from BCFS. Just like I can advocate for Africa’s elephants and rhinos from my home, I can help this wonderful sanctuary rescue and rehome unwanted animals while sitting on my comfy loveseat with Bailey warming my feet.

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When I first learned of BCFS and read dozens of Amy’s past website posts, with my love of good writing I thought, “What an undiscovered gem of a writer she is!” and admired her heartfelt, poignant and often quirky, amusing writing style. Then as I kept reading I marveled at the animals they rescued, the healing and care given to them, the love that clearly goes into everything they do.

amyandsplash-1024x889Amy with blind pony Splash after her surgery in 2013

Amy and everyone at BCFS knock themselves out to rescue needy animals and provide them with veterinary care to bring them back to health and adopt them out, to provide end of life care, or to care for lifelong resident animals with special needs at their sanctuary.

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I’m happy to volunteer for BCFS out of gratitude for the warm little shih tzu bottom often sitting on my feet keeping me company as I write, for the shiny dark eyes that gaze at me, Bailey’s sweet voice (he’s a charming talker!), all the smiles Bailey has put on my face this year, the times I’ve laughed at his funny antics. For saving this little boy so dear to my heart and letting our family adopt him.

DSCN0901croppedBCFSRESIZEDBailey having fun at a classic car show with my folks and me in June at Hamilton’s Pier 4 Park

That’s the “me” reason. But more importantly is the “them” reason. For all the lives Amy and Brent have saved through their determination to keep rescuing unwanted, needy animals. Like all these dogs:

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And these:

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It’s wonderful to be a small part of a group of caring volunteers who all contribute in different ways, whether writing, listing adoptable pets on Petfinder, doing home visits and checking references, fostering dogs, or the hard physical work of helping to care for animal residents at BCFS, pitch in on maintenance and repairs and a myriad of other tasks it takes to operate a rescue and sanctuary.

I can’t do the heavy-duty physical work that others do, but I do what I can, with what I have, where I am.

BCFS is entirely volunteer, relying solely on donations, and I’m more than happy – honored, actually – to contribute my time and efforts towards their invaluable work saving lives. It’s exciting to anticipate the grand opening of BCFS’ new location next spring, and to think of how many more animals will be rescued!

BCFS really IS their wonderful motto: “Saving the world one animal at a time…”

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Thank you Lori! This lady has been a kindhearted and kindred spirit. We greatly appreciate her contributions, style and time. We’re so glad you adopted Bailey and BCFS as one of your own.

The BCFS Team

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