Volunteer Interview: Kim Pascale

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April 2, 2023
Adopter Interview: Kara Burdis (DSR Travis)
July 5, 2023
Kim Pascale

Kim Pascale, interviewed by Sarah O’Leary on 6/13/23

Today’s interview is with Kim Pascale, who has been an active volunteer with Dog Star and adores taking kennel dogs on field trips. Thanks again to Kim for agreeing to be interviewed! This interview has been edited for clarity and length.

Sarah:  Kim, thank you for taking the time to speak with me today! Can you introduce yourself? How long have you been a volunteer at Dog Star for and what teams or aspects are you involved in?

Kim: I joined at the end of September, early October in 2022 and I started with the kennel team. Once I got comfortable with the kennel and I learned that there were other opportunities like transport, I started to pursue those. My involvement with kennel and transport allowed me to meet many people and hear about additional opportunities, like Leonard taking Poppy out on field trips. I was like “hey, can I take Poppy out too?”’. Soon after, I started asking to take a different dog out each week. Leadership was very open to this and I think other volunteers got inspired to take dogs out as well. By joining the kennel team and talking with others, I got involved with transport and that opened up additional doors. It’s always been a lot of fun!

Sarah:  That is all great! You do so much for the rescue and it definitely does not go unnoticed or unappreciated. Transitioning onto the next question, what is your motivation, in addition to Poppy, behind you continuously helping Dog Star? I feel like since you’ve become a volunteer you have just taken off.

Kim: I think what helped was that I was looking for something to do outside of work. I am a director of a methadone program and we do a lot of work with behavioral health and drug addiction and it can be very depressing, although it is rewarding. So, I was just looking for another outlet and getting exercise is always good. I am not someone who is disciplined in going to the gym for an hour but if you tell me to walk dogs for two hours, I will be there and do it. So, that is kind of the history behind it. Additionally, I really like dogs. I grew up with dogs and I miss having them. Unfortunately, we live in a condo that is not suitable for most dogs and my husband doesn’t see a dog in his future. So, Dog Star was a good way to almost have a dog. Lastly, our daughter graduated from college so I have more free time and enjoy doing something positive with that time.

Sarah:  That’s a great reason as to why you’re involved with Dog Star. That makes a lot of sense. What would you say is your favorite Dog Star moment or activity to do?

Kim: I really like taking the dogs on field trips because you get to see a different personality. I think working with Poppy and coordinating with Leonard, who did more of the behavior and manners with Poppy, while I worked on getting her comfortable in a home environment was great. It took months for me to get Poppy to sit in my house and to even go on furniture. That kind of stuff was so rewarding and taking care of Poppy when she was sick was truly eye-opening. I think another motivating factor is that you just don’t know the impact that you have on those dogs. They truly do remember you.

Sarah: 100% and I think that is a motivating factor for both of us. What would you say you have learned from Dog Star or what has been your biggest takeaway?

Kim:  One thing that I think I am still learning is how important consistency is. Like taking them out of the kennel and how important it is to remain calm and let the dogs have time to decompress.  What I really like about Dog Star is the positive reinforcement. There are so many opportunities to learn about dogs and their personalities and there are a lot of parallels between Dog Star and my job.

Sarah: All good things! Lastly, do you have any advice for current, old, or new volunteers that you would like to share?

Kim:  I would just say to try everything out and don’t be afraid to ask for help. I know at the beginning, like when you are learning, it can be overwhelming and everyone’s  approach may not be the same. I found that if you welcome the feedback and try different things, you are going to learn new things. Also, It is really nice to communicate with leadership and offer them my opinion on various issues. Again, going outside of your comfort zone and trying new things.

Sarah:  Yeah, I definitely second your advice of trying all the various aspects of Dog Star and finding what suits you the best. It keeps it interesting and you are still benefiting the greater good of the rescue.

Kim:  Taking the dogs out on a field trip, it is truly amazing to see what different dogs they really are when they calm down. I am excited to see what Poppy will be like once she finds her forever home. It really is a great learning experience!

Sarah: Is there anything else you would like to mention?

Kim: I don’t think so. Not especially, I am just very grateful for the opportunity and for the friendships that I have made and the people I have met. Dog Star is something that is very positive and something to look forward to. I think it is really important and that more people should try it.

Sarah:  Well, that wraps up the interview! Kim, thank you so much for taking the time to speak with me today. I really appreciate and keep up the amazing work that you do.