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I’ve done two things lately that make me feel good about myself because I am doing something good for someone else. First, I have begun volunteering at the German Shepherd Rescue in Burbank and, second, I registered to be a bone marrow donor with the National Marrow Donor Program.

On Saturday (September 19th), I had my orientation at the German Shepherd rescue. Although I don’t have experience with German Shepherds specifically (other than living with a blind woman and her seeing eye dog my first semester at UConn all those ages ago), I love dogs and really miss having one in my life. Since I can’t have a dog where I currently live, I figured that volunteering at a rescue would be a good way to get to be around them while also doing something good. I will have to volunteer steadily for three months before I can start taking the dogs out on walks but right away I got to go into the runs and brush Stella and Nema. Stella was a sweetheart and very mellow but it was Nema who stole my heart!

When I went into her run, she got so excited! She grabbed my wrist in her mouth– she was very gentle about it but did twist it until she got me sitting down. Then she jumped into my lap, gave me kisses and buried her head in my armpit. I have no doubt that someone will adopt her soon and what a great dog they will have!

There’s another dog, Vernon, who is very fierce when you first meet him. He barks! He growls! He throws himself up against the fencing of the run! It’s because he’s very protective of those he trusts so he’s a bit aggressive with strangers. But once he gets to know you, from what I hear, he’s an absolute sweetheart. You’re going to love me someday, Vernon! You can count on it!

So I will be at the rescue most every Saturday from 1p-4/5pish, helping out and brushing the dogs. Yay!

As I mentioned, the other good thing I did recently was register to be a bone marrow donor. A friend’s brother was recently diagnosed with cancer. Luckily, my friend is a perfect match for him and will be donating some bone marrow to him in a few weeks. But it got me thinking about all the people who don’t have a perfect match amongst their family and friends. Bone marrow donation is pretty easy as far as life-saving measures go and registering to be a donor is even easier. You just go to Be the Match and sign up! They’ll send you a kit to swab the inside of your cheeks and then you mail it back to them. They run the tests and put you in the database. The chances of being a match are fairly slim (1 out of 540 people registered are contacted to make a donation) but every person who registers is another chance of a life being saved.

Pretty neat, huh?