Dog Days

Dog Days at Mid-Atlantic Border Collie Rescue

16 March 2011

ASB UCF 2011 WrapUp

I thought about calling this post "It Takes a Village" but need to acknowledge that the post is really about ASB, not just MABCR. The title would have been apropos since it certainly does take a village to keep MABCR rolling, and that of course includes ASB.

(For those of you unfamiliar with ASB read this and this and that will help...)

This year's goal was to replace the play yard fencing with 2x4 no-climb mesh fencing. Our previous fencing, installed in 2000 had seen better days and there were places where dogs had no trouble escaping if they chose to. This new fence will go a long way to preventing escape once it is fully completed (we still have some work to do to complete it and will be asking for volunteers assistance). With donations from you, we were able to purchase the fencing needed to get the job done (more to come on that).

We also planned to install posts for fence along the north end of the big play field on the west side of the farm. This fence was originally installed with horses and sheep in mind and over the 13 years of it's life was pretty well abused and needed replacement. Because we had the post hole auger for post holes in the play yard, it made sense to install the posts for the new upper line as well. Included in this plan is a play area for potential adopters to play with their dogs, as well as a space that will be a community garden for part of the year, a play area for dogs during the cold months.

We accomplished this, as well as some other tasks that help us keep our dogs well while they are waiting for their new homes. ASB may be about volunteering, but I see it more as team building. Our crew comes to us often without knowing anyone else they are traveling with, and many end the week as fast friends. The work is hard, but the humor abounds (this year's group was most definitely the 'laughiest') and humor and team work really go a long way to helping hard work seem easier.

Our team this year was amazing. Two of our crew members were alum from 2010 and returned to lead the crew in the adventure. Our crew was challenged to work hard and achieve much and they certainly proved their muster. They all did things they never thought they would do and succeeded at tasks they thought impossible. One crew member who wrote to me after she returned home said "As you may have noticed…I was definitely not the most experienced in any of the work we were helping you with and that was not an excuse for you. You had me doing the same work as everybody else and because of you holding those expectations, I had nothing left to do except meet them. For just meeting me, you believed in me an incredible amount which ultimately made me believe in myself. " If this is all we (as volunteers) achieved during this week, it is a great success in my mind.

As in previous years, this year's trip included visits to the Sultana, The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, a dinner outing to the Fish Whistle, and dinner at volunteers Barbara and Peter's house.

A very special thank you goes out to my cohort Laura Cook who was with us for the entire week. Her support and partnership made the week a joy.

Thank you to Nikki and Anil for having such faith in our program that they returned for a second year.

Thanks to Kris Guttag who organised (and cooked most) all of our meals, Denise Sayer for her grocery donations, and Suzy Goulden for cooking and handing meals on Thursday and Friday. Thanks to Laird Cummings and Ann Byrne who both cooked as well.

Thanks to Barbara Ellis and Peter Evans for hosting dinner and for Barbara for her work efforts during the week.

Thanks to Dr David Hinman (one of our facility vets) for being here most of the week, and to Dr Steve Prier One of our facility vets) for pitching in on Wednesday.

Thanks to Rachelle Daigneault, Dee Merwin, and Laird Cummings for their participation and assistance with the work as well.

I have gathered all of the photos and will be putting together a slide show as I do each year. In the meantime, MABCR Adopter and Volunteer Chris Rodgers visited during ASB and filmed our crew during our toughest day this Spring Break. The crews pushed hard and exceeded expectations. I hope Chris' program gives you a taste of what ASB is about...for us and for the crew.

Alternative Spring Break at MACBR from J. Christopher Rodgers on Vimeo.

Didn't I say it takes a village??

Thank you to everyone for your support. Without everyone's help and support this program would not be what it is. MABCR would not be the successful organisation that is it and we could not do the work we do with you all and each part you play, no matter the size.

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