[caption id="attachment_15161" align="alignright" width="322" caption="Dolly enjoys a nap after her day at the spa."][/caption]
By now you've heard about the Austin Pets Alive! Big Brother/Sister Program. It's a fairly new program where volunteers are paired up with dogs who are waiting to be adopted. These volunteers love and care for the dogs until their forever homes come along.
"Bigs" do lots of great things for and with their "littles". If you're considering volunteering for the program, but aren't quite sure how to participate, here are 10 of our favorite activities to enjoy:
10. Go on a field trip. Have you seen the video of Mindy swimming? Her big sister took her for a fun-filled trip to Lady Bird Lake recently. Her "Adopt Me!" vest brought lots of attention her way too.
9. Enjoy a slumber party. When the A/C went out at APA! recently, bigs stepped up and took their littles home for some overnight relief from the heat. Dogs like Lola enjoyed a bath and slept on comfy, cool beds.
8. Share a cool treat. Did you know that dogs like snow cones? They sure do! Show up with a cool and sweet treat, and your little will be happy to see you coming.
7. Get a makeover. Everyone enjoys a little time at the spa, and some dogs do, too. It's nice for them to get out of the shelter, get a nice bath and brushing, and be pampered for an hour or so. As Dolly can attest, the nap afterwards is a bonus!
6. Go shopping. Depending on the dog, of course, a nice trip to a local pet-supply store could be a great treat. It's also good for socialization for the dogs!
5. Share a special toy. Instead of taking a new toy to your little and leaving it with him, why not bring it each time you visit? He'll know that when you're walking toward him, he's getting time with a special toy and a special person.
4. Enjoy a long walk. Want to take a walk to unwind after a long day? Dogs like Annie love nothing more than to be by your side. It's great exercise for dogs and humans alike.
3. Hit the agility yard.Artemis is the rock star of the agility yard! The yard is great for training, exercise and burning off a little excess energy.
2. Schedule a photo shoot. You never know when a new photo is going to catch a potential adopter's eye. If it's been a while since your little has had new photos taken, get with one of our photograph volunteers and they can get new photos (and video) online for your little.
1. Cuddle in the cool grass. It's such a simple thing to do, but a bellyrub in the cool grass under the shade tree can be one of the most rewarding things you can do for your little. The one-on-one time is priceless.
Of course, not every activity is ideal for every dog, and there are many more possibilities than the ones listed here. If you'd like to participate in the Big Brothers/Sisters Program, email us and we'll get you started! We can also help you decide what activities would be best for your little. We know you'll have fun!