Lesley O’Donoghue, a manager at the Manchester, UK’s Dogs Trust, recently went to Cyprus to attend a friend’s destination wedding. Instead of enjoying her vacation by soaking up the sun and the culture, she spent her free time volunteering at two dog shelters.
“I love my holidays as much as the next person”, she told the Lancashire Evening Post. “But I was having a chat to the hotel receptionist and we were discussing how much we loved dogs. Then she told me about a couple of local dog rescue shelters.
“I work at Dogs Trust and I knew that just like all rescue charities in the UK, they probably rely on volunteers, so I asked if they needed any help, and a couple of days later headed off to help out.”
“Abandoned dogs come to the shelters in Cyprus every day and they rely entirely on donations – doing an incredible job – often in sweltering heat – obviously very different to the weather we have to contend with most of the year in Lancashire.
“It was heartbreaking to see so many dogs needing to find homes, but it was also heart-warming to meet people that do everything they can to give the dogs better lives and a great future.”
This kind of vacation behavior isn’t a one-off for Lesley; later in the year she will be taking another holiday, this time in Spain to help out at PAWS Patas.
“At the wedding venue there was a quote on the wall that said ‘Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life’ and that just about sums up how I feel about my work,” said Lesley.
“It was fantastic having time to relax with family and friends and it was a wonderful wedding, but being able to share my time looking after the dogs, making sure they had a bit more attention and a few more cuddles than usual, made the trip all the more memorable. Far better than if I’d just spent my time getting a tan.”