Community Service Goes to the Dogs!
A funny thing happened on the way to get dirty. Last week travel writer/author Shelley Seale visited the Care for Dogs shelter with me. I had warned Shelley in no uncertain terms to prepare to get dirty, be exhausted and generally have a wonderful day. One of those things came true. It was a wonderful day.
You see as we arrived so did a large truck packed full or students from Chiang Mai University (CMU). They piled out of the truck, with brushes, poop-scoops, soap, even their own media team (yes, I was also pushed out of work) in hand. It was an amazing site. They immediately began, walking pups, scrubbing down the dogs saa-laas (gazebos), they also beat us to the poop patrol (darn). Two intrepid students even cleaned the veterinary refrigerator – boldly going where no volunteers have gone before. Desperate to get out of their way, Shelley and I were condemned to taking photographs, socializing dogs and playing with puppies. It was ‘ruff’ work.
The 25 brush-wielding, miracle workers from CMU were medical students. As it was explained to me by one of these young volunteers (In hindsight, I think we were interviewing each other, without the other realizing it) each of the 125 students in this freshman (?) class is required to put in 50 hours of community service every semester. How many adults do you know who volunteer 50 hours every few months? And, I bet don’t even attend medical school on the side.
By the end of the afternoon, the shelter was so clean you could see it glowing from space via Google Earth. The med students had taken a bite out of their community service hours and Shelley and I were none the dirtier for having been at the shelter. You don’t get many days like that at Care for Dogs, but for three consecutive Saturdays, the CMU community service gang is making a difference in the lives of the dogs, one scrub brush at a time. Best of all, yet another group of local youths now know about the shelter and its work. That in itself is worth letting them come clean for us anytime!
Category: News and Infos
Tagged as: CMU, Community service, students, volunteer, volunteers
Nola Lee " Nola Lee Kelsey returned to Care for Dogs after 4 years in the USA. She is now a one day per week volunteer at the shelter and will be helping with various writing projects as well. Nola is the author of many books on subjects from voluntourism and dogs, to humor and politics. She is also the host of The Voluntary Traveler Podcast. Join her at
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