"We recently had an older couple come to a Meet & Greet event who had filled out an adoption application, but had not met any dogs yet. They had never had a dog before, and had a lot of questions about what they should be looking for, what dogs eat, how much exercise they need, etc.
"We talked for a while, and the whole time I was holding a dog named BeBe on the leash. She was a very sweet, well-mannered dog who kind of flew under the radar compared to the puppies or the high energy 'look at me!' dogs. She was simply lovely, and I just had a feeling it was going to be her lucky day. Well, I finally introduced the couple to the dog I was holding the entire time we were talking, and they fell in love.
"Before the Meet & Greet was over, they had her suited up in a new harness, bought her toys, and were very excited about the day they could take her home."
For volunteer Liz Weinstein, this story is what energizes her about working with GDRNE. As Meet & Greet Coordinator, Liz sets up events where adoptable Great Dogs come and hang out at pet stores, pet bakeries, and doggie daycare facilities. These events offer GDRNE dogs greater exposure to people who are already pet lovers and might be looking for a new addition to their home.
Meet & Greets are always hectic--Liz coordinates with the venue, as well as volunteer "taxis" who drive dogs from their foster homes to the event. Once the pups begin to arrive, they often begin to outnumber the humans.
"The challenges are always trying to get the dogs to the Meet & Greets, and feeling like I've failed them if I can't find a way to get them there," says Liz. "But, we've found that the Meet & Greets really do facilitate adoptions, so it's an important part of the process."
Liz has adopted two of her own dogs: Tippi, a terrier mix who came to GDRNE with her six puppies, and Zelda, a stray found wandering around Tennessee. She gives them lots of love and attention while she works from home as a freelance television writer and producer.
"I'm usually on the couch, with my computer in my lap, and a dog on either side. Not a bad way to make a living!"
When she's not working, Liz participates in a cooking club with several of her friends--and, of course, she volunteers for GDRNE. And while she has no plans to add to her own dog family anytime soon, the work she does for Great Dog fulfills her need to help as many homeless pets as she can.
"It's just a great feeling when you get to make a 'match,' and see that moment when the person or family knows they found 'the one.'"