The heart that gives, gathers – Tao Te Ching

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A few weeks ago I was attending a course for work on Health and Safety in the workplace, the trainer was talking about what the loss of a life was to a workplace, it was sterile and a shock to hear human life perpetrated in this way. He then explained that are lives are worth so much more than any figure people/a workplace care to put on it, but even more so was the impact on the people around you. He asked who else would be impacted? People that you don’t even think of. An example he gave was volunteering. If you volunteer for something that benefits the community you extend that net even further.

Our lives are so valuable and how valuable yours is, is up to you. Would you be happy with your legacy? Are you living your life to its full potential? Giving back is one of the quickest and easiest ways to bring more happiness into our lives. However small the contribution you make, all of those little pieces in a puzzle make up the whole picture.

Years ago I looked into volunteering with my dog into a therapy dog program. I have seen the benefits that animals can bring to people and I experience this in my life on a day to day basis. It turns out that the dog I owned at the time was going to be too timid to enjoy the experience so it’s so  mething I put on the shelf until I was in a position to look into it again. Never lose sight of your goals, if it’s something you want the universe has a way of providing what you ask for.

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Fast forward years, I had been admiring greyhounds for years and decided one day that when the time was right I was going to adopt a retired racing dog or two. In 2012 I welcomed a pair of greyhounds into my life. They had the perfect temperament and I excitedly thought about the prospect of finally having a suitable dog to take on therapy dog visits.
It turns out I had two! I initially started visiting the Whiddon Group’s Easton Park facility with Pip but the more training Tiger went to, the easier it became to channel his excitement for life. They both commenced visits together at the end of 2013. The residents at the aged care facility love when the dogs come to visit. I have heard so many wonderful stories from people about their dogs and their lives. It is so wonderful to see people smile when the dogs skip through the door or walk over for a pat. I visit a high care (palliative) ward and although this can be challenging at times, it is so rewarding. The dogs and I love it.

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Volunteering can be such a rewarding experience and I highly recommend if you are in any sort of rut in your life or looking for a rewarding way to add to it, try giving back in some way. There are so many avenues that you could look into volunteering in, even a small amount of your time can help.

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