Featured Volunteer: Kathy Sime

Kathy Sime – Edmonton, Alberta

If you are a BTRC volunteer and would like to be featured here on our blog, or would like to nominate another volunteer, please don’t hesitate to contact us to submit your story!

BTRC: How long have you volunteered with Boston Terrier Rescue Canada?
Kathy: I have been involved with BTRC as a volunteer for almost four years now. We adopted “Chubby” through BTRC and that is when I became interested in becoming involved.

BTRC: What made you want to become a BTRC volunteer?
Kathy: I have always admired people who have a passion for something and I knew that after I retired I needed to find something that gave me a purpose, added structure to my days, and kept me connected to people. It has given me a sense of achievement and I have met so many interesting people and made lasting friends along the way. Being a part of BTRC and Empties For Paws was the best decision! And of course…..the dogs!

BTRC: Why Boston Terriers?
Kathy: We owned an amazing yellow lab, Molly, for almost 13 years as our family was growing up and after she passed our home seemed so empty. I did a ridiculous amount of research, typical of how I make a decision, and I was drawn to the breed. We wanted something completely different from a lab and a Boston Terrier seemed to fit the bill. We got our first Boston “Georgia” in 2004, adopted “Chubby” from BTRC in 2014, and then fostered Raffi and eventually made him officially ours on Canada Day 2015. I have found them to be irresistibly endearing, big hearted companions, and THAT FACE!

BTRC: How many pets do you own?
Kathy:  We own (or are owned by) our one and only big Boston boy, seven year old, Raffi. He came to us as a foster in April 2015 and officially became ours on Canada Day of that year. He “nailed” obedience classes and continues to gain confidence. He has a few funny quirks, like all Bostons, and is perfect for us.

BTRC: When you’re not volunteering, how do you like to spend your time?
Kathy:  I am an avid walker and Raffi and I have logged hundreds of miles together. I enjoy reading, knitting, gardening, camping, and time spent with my family and friends is a priority for me.

BTRC: Favourite vacation spot?
Kathy: I love camping and a few of my favourite spots are Jasper National Park and Waterton National Park, both here in Alberta and nestled among the Rocky Mountains. Raffi is a fantastic traveller, once the motorhome pulls away he finds his “spot” and it is lights out for him. He loves the open road as much as we do.

BTRC: What did you want to be when you “grew up”?
Kathy: I always wanted to be a nurse and that is what I did. I retired 2 years ago after 36 years of caring for newborns, new moms, and their families.

BTRC: Socks and sandals?
Kathy: I live in a northern city so socks and slippers are a must but I live in my Birkenstock sandals when the weather is warm (but never with socks!).

BTRC: Summer or winter?
Kathy: Call me crazy but I really do like winter. I love the crisp air, the quiet carpet of sparkling snow, the sound of snow pack under my boots. I find winter really peaceful and refreshing and of course there is Christmas! I love the fall colors and the smell of the autumn air too. My favourite month of the year is June. I love the long sunlight hours and the fragrance of the flowering trees.

BTRC: What is the craziest thing your Boston has done?
Kathy: Raffi is not really a wild and crazy guy. He is actually very cautious and thrives on routine. Walking has been a great therapy for him and exposes him to new situations daily. Our walks are always a new adventure and I’ve discovered that even as a Boston, he has a great nose! He has sniffed out a wallet that had been stolen and was missing for months, returned a set of keys to frantic owner, unearthed a crushed Tiffany key fob which we sold to a silver collector and donated to BTRC, found a $20 bill (also donated to BTRC), and of course he always comes home with a bagful of empties on every walk. It is always an adventure with Raffi on the beat!

BTRC: Is your Boston Terrier knick-knack collection: mild, moderate, or requiring an intervention?
Kathy: I have to admit that it is moderate and growing. I am always on the look out for more and my family and friends keep an eye out as well.

Fundraising Ideas

I started out collecting empty coffee bags for Terracycle a few years ago and after that specific collection was discontinued I was left looking for another fundraising idea. That is how I became involved with Empties for Paws and I have been involved for just over a year now. It was the best decision and I love being a part of it and the results add up quickly.

It allows me to invest as little or as much time as I am able on any given week and I fit it into my busy life. In addition to friends, family, and neighbours collecting refundable beverage containers for me I have reached out to numerous establishments close to my home and some of them have been donating their refundables for the whole time I’ve been involved. Alberta is a great place to recycle and the return rate is generous and all refundables can be returned to one location which makes it easy. Empties are a big commodity here and the amount raised adds up so quickly. It never ceases to amaze me just how generous and welcoming people are and how much they want to be involved. I have met so many amazing people along this journey and I can honestly say that I am recognized at many drinking establishments as soon as I walk in the door!

If anyone is looking for an easy way to become involved in fundraising without a structured time commitment I would highly recommend looking into becoming a part of Empties For Paws . In addition to generating funds for BTRC, it has provided a social connection and I look forward to my weekly bottle pickups.

I guarantee that you will never be able to walk away from an empty can or bottle again! It changes the way you look at refundables forever and you will always have a poop bag and a can bag in your pocket when you are out for a walk!

In the year that I have been collecting I have been able to donate over $4500 to BTRC and I am looking forward to another great year. Check out the website if you are looking for an easy way to be involved.