Sunny weather, Temperature in the 30s, friendly people and beautiful and well behaved dogs. Are we talking about a dream vacation? No, that was our experience at the Edmonton Kennel Club Dog Show in August at beautiful Whitemud Equine Learning Centre in the Edmonton River Valley. Our volunteer squad had a ringside seat at our “Tails of Help” information tent where we chatted with exhibitors, their families, friends and spectators about our charity that helps in need Albertans with financial assistance for essential veterinary treatment for their pets.
Attending our second large event this year, our Edmonton volunteers had a blast. Who knew this could be so much fun! Our popup tent actually did pop up, and there was a moment of panic when it wouldn’t fold down at the end of the second day. Practice makes perfect. We found out that our banners are more suited to indoor events as they wanted to sail away in the breeze but this was remedied with the discreet addition of bungee cords to attach them to the tent. Finally never leave home without “duct tape”; it was a valuable addition to the tote box. During breaks we watched amazing dog athletes in conformation, obedience, rally and even carting events.
We were very fortunate to have the support of the Edmonton Kennel Club who donated the tent space and a member who lent us the tent and tables. These breeders and exhibitors are true animal lovers and showed us with their support.
Our enthusiastic group of volunteers chatted with people, handed out pamphlets, offered dog biscuits to very appreciative dogs and water bottles and granola bars to hot and thirsty exhibitors and spectators. One Great Dane helped himself to the dog biscuits right out of the jar. Several beautifully groomed and trained dogs posed for pictures and petting from our volunteers.
We heard from breeders, exhibitors, animal health technicians, dog groomers and other spectators their heart-wrenching stories of people who have had to make very difficult decisions regarding the medical treatment of their dog due to challenging financial situations. Sometimes animals had to wait for needed treatment or were surrendered to shelters. Many of our visitors took pamphlets to give to people or put in their stores. Others generously donated money and/or signed up as volunteers. All of them were very supportive of the Tails of Help mission – to help provide financial aid to low income Albertans including seniors and people on AISH when their pet needs essential veterinary care.
We are looking forward to many more events including a dog jog in the future and golf tournament next year. If you are interested in joining our dynamic crew of event volunteers or if you are interested in hosting an informational session about our organization in your hometown, please contact us at our web page: tailsofhelp.ca/volunteer