Congratulations to Rita Pikor, GRRA’s October Volunteer of the Month! If you attend GRRA’s Adoption Days at Petco, you will probably recognize Rita’s smiling face. She is at the front of the store at the volunteer check-in, sales and information table. What you don’t see before everyone arrives, is Rita carrying into the store the table, GRRA calendars and t-shirts, etc. to set-up. She even stores all of that at her house! In addition to helping at Adoption Day and other events, Rita has fostered, done Retriever Taxi, intakes, and assisted with the GRRA holiday party. That is one long list of jobs!
Rita became involved in GRRA in 2013 immediately after losing her last two goldens. Many of us can relate to the difficult time she had after her beloved dogs passed away. She missed having goldens in her life and decided to get involved with GRRA. Rita volunteered to foster and to date she has fostered 18 dogs. As mentioned, she has moved on to assisting with a variety of tasks in GRRA. She explained, “Volunteering was one of the best decisions I have ever made.”
If you are a regular reader of the Volunteer of the Month articles, you may have noticed that the VOM’s often describe many rewarding moments that they have experienced while volunteering with GRRA. Rita shared that same sentiment, saying, “I have had many rewarding moments! Every time you place a dog with their new family, it is so special. It is a bittersweet day, but seeing the happiness and smiles on the faces of the adopters makes it so worth it.” Rita told a story about recently seeing one of her first foster dogs at his family’s house. She had not seen him in about a year. When he came out the front door and they let him go, he ran over to her car, jumped up and gave her a hug and kisses. Understandably, she was very touched! After a sweet story like that, it may seem obvious why Rita continues to volunteer for GRRA. She explained, “I can never get too much of golden retrievers. I love all dogs but there is just something so special to me about this breed. I just look at their face, and it makes me instantly smile and warms my heart. I have even crossed the street on walks and stopped my car to pet a golden! I have made new friends and met so many caring people within this organization. It is such a “feel-good” community to be a part of. GRRA came into my life at a difficult time and helped me to turn that into a fun and rewarding time. My only regret is that I didn't discover my passion for goldens when I was in my 20's so that I could have had many more to love!”
Rita, thank you for your dedication to helping deserving goldens find loving homes. We truly appreciate you!