Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Humble Heroes of Foster Care

By: Rebecca Hornick - GDB Foster Care Coordinator
As the Foster Care Coordinator at GDB's San Rafael campus, I witness acts of enormous generosity every day. It’s truly inspirational to watch a group of people regularly come to meet the need of a variety of foster dogs each year. There are countless tales of the sacrifices the foster care volunteers make to help us, but some are true standouts. One example is a group of East Bay foster care providers who rallied together to support one of our graduates who had been injured in an automobile accident. Because the graduate needed to recover for several months, he could not work his guide dog for the duration of that time. Without hesitation, a team of five East Bay volunteers rallied together to come to his aid. They coordinated their schedules and came at least once a day (on a daily basis) to check in on the graduate and walk his guide dog in a manner that wouldn’t interfere with his guide work training. After several months of their support, the graduate recovered and was able to work his guide dog safely again. I know this wonderful guide dog team shares my praise and appreciation for this group of dedicated volunteers. Without their help, this guide dog team would have had a much more difficult time getting up and running to resume guide work again. I know it helped the graduates healing time to have his guide dog by his side everyday instead of boarding in a kennel. 

volunteers, Rick Linden, Julie Burnet, Sally Dew, Heidi Sanders, and Marjorie Little

Huge thanks to volunteers, Rick Linden, Julie Burnet, Sally Dew, Heidi Sanders, & Marjorie Little.

Other examples of heroic volunteer efforts occur every day in the homes of people like foster care providers, Carol Mack and Leo Morozoff.  Luckily for us, both live close to our San Rafael campus and they’ve been willing and able to care for some of our neediest orthopedic recovery dogs.  Sometimes we ask that they take in foster dogs before and after orthopedic surgeries which entails a lot: both volunteers received additional training to do physical therapy massage/manipulations and they also take dog through strength building exercises several times a day. 

Orthopedic therapy for black lab doing obstacle and balance course
Often they take their foster dogs to a local vet clinic twice a week so they can do additional hydrotherapy exercise in a tank made specifically for that purpose. The speedy recovery these dogs experience in an otherwise very lengthy process is because of a great team effort: veterinarians, vet techs, other clinic staff and volunteers, as well as many, many hours in the homes of volunteer foster care providers like Carol and Leo.

Black lab doing hydrotherapy in special pool

A special thank you to all of our amazing foster care provider volunteers - tail wags to all of you!


  1. Rebecca, I love this article!!!! As the puppy raiser for this wonderful male black lab I send a very special thank you to Team East Bay for helping walk our boy for his handler after his accident. They are definitely an amazing team and I am so grateful for all that everyone did for them!!!!!!!!

  2. Rebecca Hornick is an amazing individual who exudes happiness and compassion every day. I feel blessed and fortunate to have her as my friend and co-worker! Guides Dogs is a better place because Rebecca works there!