Volunteer Spotlight: Julie & Susan

Susan and Julie are two of the incredible volunteers who donate their time to Mission Animal Hospital, helping pets in need receive accessible veterinary care. Volunteers like them are essential to Mission, and we couldn't be more grateful. Learn more about Julie and Susan!


Why do you volunteer with Mission Animal Hospital?


Julie: Susan and I were looking for a place where we could volunteer together. We both love dogs and cats (all animals really) so when Susan proposed this, I thought it would be a great way to be around animals, support a cause we both believe in, and have fun together.


Susan: I volunteer because I want to contribute to the well being of others. I volunteer at the hospital because I believe animals need advocates and protectors. AND, because I love cats and dogs! I'm happy to help care for them. Volunteering with Julie makes cleaning surgical instruments more fun, and, I think, safer—we check on each other as we work.


What do you do when you're not volunteering here?


Julie: I love traveling, reading, baking, gardening and babysitting for my great nieces and nephews. I'm currently re-learning chess, which I haven't played since college. I also really enjoy hiking and look for good hikes everywhere I travel.


Susan: I garden a LOT—mostly flowers, but shrubs and trees as well. I also belong to two nonfiction book clubs, both of which tend to select very long books. So, I read a lot. And I cook. Because I enjoy cooking and learning about other countries and cultures, I especially like to host Global Minnesota dinners for visitors from all around the world. For at least 10 years, I've not played my violin, but I still listen to music most of my waking hours. I walk our 70-pound dog (a "Humane Society Special") every day and have consequently made many friends in the neighborhood.


Do you have any pets?


Julie: My husband and I are pet-free right now, but we have had a succession of wonderful dogs and one very sweet cat. Volunteering at Mission is one way for me to be around animals, and I love that.


Susan: Our dog Frosty—all white, two colors of eyes, and a very curly tail—is our furry exercise machine, taking us on three walks a day, even though he is nearly 12 years old. Owen the cat is 15 and is a Frequent Cuddler, sitting in our laps and cuddling with us in bed.


Tell me about a pet that had a big impact on your life.


Julie: My cat, Cassie, was a great garden companion and helped me slow down and appreciate my garden in a different way. She liked to hang out there with me when I was weeding and made that chore considerably more fun. She noticed bugs, chipmunks, mice and birds and lost no sleep over the Creeping Charlie or early blight on the tomatoes. She thoroughly enjoyed the garden even when it was a mess.


Susan: I can't identify a single pet that has had more impact on me than another. I grew up on an acreage with cats, dogs, two horses, 4-H angus steers, a milk cow, and chickens. I felt at home with them. The cats and dogs, in particular, were and are my amusement and my comfort. They remind me to care

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