Volunteer Spotlight: Stephanie Swenson
This month we would like to introduce you to volunteer and Board Member: Stephanie Swenson
1. When did you fall in love with a boxer for the first time?
My very first boxer that I fell in love with is Luci Lou Bebe Bristol, I purchased her off of an ad in the Little Nickel newspaper over 10 years ago. Her story is quite odd, I was eating breakfast at a friend's restaurant looking through the Nickel paper, I always look at the pets for sale out of habit. I saw an ad for Boxer puppies that was only a few blocks away from where I was. I made the call and set up an appointment to go and view the puppies. I had no intention of buying one - I really just wanted to play with them. As soon as I pulled up a whole herd of Boxer puppies came running towards me and that's when I first fell in love. There was this little girl sitting on the porch who wasn't playing with all of her brothers and sisters - she was just sitting there watching all of them play with me. So I walked over to the porch and sat down. She slowly came to me and allowed me to pet her. Luci was this puppy. I told the man and his wife that I really wanted her and I was told she was not for sale - they were going to keep her. So I played with her and give her lots of hugs and kisses and gave them my phone number and walked away. I went back to my friends restaurant and visited with her for a while and about an hour later I got a phone call. The man called me back to tell me that his wife was willing to let me have the puppy that I wanted. I went to the store before going back to their home and bought her a cute little pearl collar necklace and the leash. And our love story started that day, I took this puppy home to meet her sister, a two pound 5 year old Yorkshire Terrier named Phoebe. Those two were best friends for 5 years until the passing of Phoebe. Luci and I were both lost without her.
2. When and how did you first become involved in NWBR?
About 6 months later after our hearts had healed some, we found Northwest Boxer Rescue on Facebook. It was a page that we had followed for quite some time before a plea went out for help with a dog in my area. The dog's name was Halle. It was undetermined at that time if she had Parvo and needed a place to crash. As I had a dog, I could not take her but a friend of mine was a no-dog home and the former Boxer owner, so we reached out and that's how I became involved with Northwest Boxer Rescue. I start my fifth year with NWBR in January of 2017. I can't even tell you an honest count of how many fosters I've had in my home, sometimes I only have one foster at a time and sometimes I have multiple fosters along with the current 5 residential dogs. After fostering for two years, the second boxer love of my life came in as an owner surrender and was my foster. His name is Earl he was just over two years old when coming in to rescue, he was the light of mine and Luci's life, he needed to join our family. So on January one 2014 Earl became ours forever.
3. What volunteer work are you doing currently for NWBR?
My journey with Northwest Boxer started as a foster home, giving each dog a loving environment while it transitions to its forever home. After being with the rescue for about a year I became an Area Coordinator in the Tri-Cities/Eastern Washington area, overseeing fosters in my area, making sure they have their vet care needs, and a secure and stable foster home. My third year being with Northwest Boxer I was nominated to join the Board of Directors, and gladly accepted that offer. I have done many things while in rescue. My heart is always with fosters. If I couldn't open my home to a Boxer in need, I feel like I have failed that sweet soul that needed me. Fostering is truly the heart of any rescue, many days are wonderful some days are not so good and some just downright suck. But without fosters we wouldn't be able to save the lives of all the dogs that have come to us in their time of need.
Thank you so much Stephanie for all that you do!!!!
Reminder: NWBR is always in need of volunteers, even if your time is limited. Please do consider volunteering. There are opportunities listed on the NWBR web page, and there are many more options not listed for those who have more limited availability. Simply fill out an application and we will find you the perfect fit in the organization!