Hey guys!  Thanksgiving break is getting closer and closer but that also means that it’s time for the final round of midterms and project deadlines. In order to relieve some stress and also give back to the community, Society of Women Engineers held a community event last weekend at the Westside German Shepherd Rescue. It was definitely one of my favorite events this semester!Westside German Shepherd Rescue is a nonprofit organization which takes in German shepherd or German shepherd mixes from surrounding Los Angeles shelters. It is located on the corner of Hill Street and 31st – right off campus! Being a gigantic dog lover, how could I resist the opportunity to play with dogs for a morning?!

On Saturday we took our sixteen SWE volunteers and walked over to the shelter. Greeted by a very friendly volunteer, we were then handed maps, doggy bags and given handling instructions. When you think of a German shepherd, typically what comes to mind is a large, fierce cop dog. But once I walked into the shelter and was handed a leash attached to the collar of a shelter dog named Ruby, I soon realized (and so did all of the SWE volunteers) how sweet all of these dogs were. As volunteers, our job was to walk the dog along the predetermined route, which looped around a nearby hospital with a lot of grass and then back to the shelter. It was roughly a 30-minute walk so I got some great exercise in, but also the dogs loved it! All the great smells, sites and fun of the outdoors! Luckily there was no cleaning of the kennels or other dirty work. The organization really just wants volunteers to take out the dogs and play with them. That Saturday morning, with the help of all of the SWE volunteers, we walked every single dog in that shelter! There was a least sixty dogs! I had the pleasure of walking Ruby, Heidi and Dusty. They were all such sweethearts and really made me miss my dogs back at home. The shelter was incredibly thankful for our help but I think I can say on behalf of the SWE volunteers that the dogs definitely helped us just as much.

I have now found my new favorite stress relieving activity! The woman who worked there said that volunteers were welcome any time to walk as few or as many dogs as they would like. If I am looking for more exercise, I can also run with some of the dogs! I see this as just an all around great opportunity to give back to the community, get some exercise, relieve some stress and make the dog’s day (as well as my own). Check out the Westside German Shepherd Rescue if you are interested in volunteering!

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