Patricia Funke

It all began with an Airedale named Luna.

She was a kennel mate of our current ‘dale, Britta, one of 27 dogs rescued by a humane society in 2013. Sadly, Luna’s first placement was far from ideal, and when I met her in November 2014, she was in great physical distress, and needed urgent medical attention. SOAR stepped up to the plate and in doing so, allowed me to be a part of her “re-birth” — from foster and rehab to eventual, successful re-placement.

Volunteering isn’t new to me. I’ve always been a volunteer. While our children were growing up, it was Girl Scouts and PTA, church and community. Our children are grown now and I’m still volunteering. Why? Because I can and because I want to!

With SOAR, I’ve seen firsthand how they work and how they help a dog in need. Everything they do matches everything I feel about how rescue dogs should be treated. It’s a very comfortable relationship. Besides fostering Luna, I’ve conducted home visits, done transports and I’m now one of the Co-Coordinators in Indiana.

I’ve been married for 30 years, and while my husband, Chris, works full time, we also own a mini-storage business that I manage. Working from home makes it easy to balance my work life and my volunteer life. As for family companions? Besides Britta, we have Connor, a 5-year-old soft coated Wheaten – which itself is typical, since we’ve always had dogs. In fact, our children were raised with Airedales (five over the years), allowing us oodles of Airedale antics to smile about. Sometimes I look back and shake my head. How did it all work? I have no idea, but I’m sure glad it did.

For every would-be volunteer reading this, my message is this: being a volunteer doesn’t have to be all consuming to make a difference. If everyone does a small part, BIG changes can be made, and the rewards are priceless! For me, nothing is more fulfilling than assisting a helpless dog blossom into all he or she was meant to be.