Vegan in the Region

Bob Kasarda and a friend at Lakeshore PAWS.

Provided

Elections are always a busy and challenging time for reporters.

There is the late night to deal with and then the impact of following several different races at once and writing like mad on deadline.

And it's not like this is done in a bubble. We are still responsible for our usual duties in addition to any breaking news.

As tired as I have been this week, I was able to leave it all behind and recharge during my visits to help out at the Lakeshore PAWS dog rescue in Valparaiso.

I mentioned to someone recently that PAWS is the one place I visit where time seems to stand still. I literally have to drag myself away from there.

What a joy it is to spend time with homeless dogs, who are so starved for attention, exercise and companionship. It is also nice being around others who feel the same way.

It is so uplifting to help visitors find the dog that is right for them and then watch as the bonding begins to take shape. This experience can be very emotional for everyone involved and I feel very fortunate to be part of it all.

Lakeshore PAWS relies on volunteers to walk and visit dogs, take part in adoption events, drive dogs to and from veterinarian visits, work the front desk, help with fundraising and just about all other areas of the operation.

You can join the fun by filling out an application online and then taking part in an orientation session. What you do and how much time you contribute is up to you.

I have always done some sort of volunteer work and it has been among the most fulfilling experiences of my life.

The opinions expressed here are solely that of the author.

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Bob is a 22-year veteran of The Times. He covers county government and courts in Porter County, federal courts, police news and regional issues. He also created the Vegan in the Region blog, is an Indiana University grad and lifelong region resident.