Meet Bryonie. She has been volunteering for nearly 6 years with HOD. This is a photo of Bryonie with her first kitty (as an adult), Skooter. She was the 6th kittten Bryonie fostered, and she couldn't let her go!
HOD: Bryonie, why did you choose to volunteer with House of Dreams?
Bryonie: I had a bit of free time and knew I needed to be around more kitties! After having experienced volunteering at both no-kill shelters and the 'other' kind, I knew I couldn't handle being anywhere but a no-kill shelter. So I started looking around, and I found HOD. I also felt really good about the fact that it was a free roam shelter too. So, 5 1/2 years later...and I'm incredibly grateful I found this place!
HOD: What Projects or responsibilities do you have at HOD?
Bryonie: I've been a cleaner until now, but I am phasing out of that. I have been on the adoption committee for a little over a year now. I will continue to do that as well as use my freed up time (not cleaning) to spend more time doing what I really love to do...socializing the shy and fearful kitties. I would really love to offer a free 'workshop' actually to any volunteers interested, to teach tips for working with fearful/aggressive and shy kitties. I studied TTouch for a couple years and feel some of the skills I learned doing that could be really helpful! (It's something I've discussed with Kristin but plan to hash out more details with her in the near future.)
I'm also on the facebook team. I've been writing the kitty-of-the-week posts (I apologize for the many skipped weeks recently!!).
HOD: What do you do when you aren’t working at House of Dreams?
Bryonie: I'm self employed as a sculptor. I make creature/faery art dolls. (although I really don't like using the term 'doll'!) my website is www.whisperweald.com if you have any interest :)
I am also working on a book... (can't say more than that about it! Must be very mysterious...)
I dance, play house, do crafty things, and spend lots of time loving my hubby, doggie--Baxter, and 3 kitties--Skooter, Strider, and Nicodemus (who I adopted from HOD last year...known then as Nicholas).
HOD: What is your favorite part about volunteering with HOD?
Bryonie: Ohhhhh goodness. That's like asking me my favorite food. ...Wait, you did that too!! :)
Hmmmmm....I'd have to say bringing the shy ones out of their shells.
There's also sitting on the floor and being covered with furry bundles of love and joy---pure bliss.
HOD: Do you have any stories to share or a favorite memory from House of Dreams?
Bryonie: Shy kitty story! Most of you know Pepe [photo below] and his history (yes?). Just in case you don't, he and his three siblings (Beryl, Thor, and Valentino---different Valentino, adopted long ago now) were feral kittens born to a momma that lived outside of the old HOD shelter. Beryl and Valentino were rescued first--and got a bit of a head start on the socializing. Pepe and Thor came in two weeks later and were always more skittish. Well, Beryl had been coming out of her shell more and more, but Pepe and Thor still wouldn't let anyone near them. They had been at the shelter for many months (I can't remember how long now), and I noticed Pepe had started seeming a bit more interested in me. He's watch me clean. He'd follow me into different rooms. He'd sit and stare at me when I was petting other kitties. I kept talking to him playing with a wand toy around him. He started to actually sniff the toy--not run away! Eventually, I graduated to petting him with the wand toy--he found this to be quite curious and decided it was 'ok' after a few attempts. Over the weeks, I moved the toy closer and closer to me, until one day, he sniffed my shoes and started to play with my shoelaces! This felt like a huge victory! I'll never forget the day he actually let me pet him. (I got to be the first one to pet him...and I'll admit, I like boasting about that!) He looked at me with so many questions, and I guess I answered them well, because he let me scratch his cheek and head for quite awhile. Now he follows me from room to room still, and seeks out a comfortable, safe place for me to give him some love. I have a very special spot in my heart for him.
Still working on Thor.... :)
HOD: Do you have a favorite food you’d like to mention or a quote or motto that you live by?
Bryonie: Coffee. Love me my coffee. Quote to live by: "Though eating Honey is a very good thing to do, there is a moment Just before you eat it which is even better." --AA Milne, Winnie the Pooh.