She grew up afraid of dogs. Terrified is more like it. But then came May of 1999 and the Home Show at Del Mar. The rest is history.
Kati Morneau saw a handful of greys collapsed in the grass, locked eyes with one of them and quickly realized that she needed to work on her fear of canines. “They give you so much love. I needed to learn that.”
By the end of 1999, Kati and her husband, Richard, were the proud adopters of GAC’s Captain Crunch, who was quickly renamed Baxter. Kati says Baxter was the perfect dog for first-time dog owners.
They’re now on their fourth dog from GAC, 13-year-old Riley (GAC’s Passion). And Kati is approaching the end of her second decade of volunteering with the organization.
Over the years, she has walked dogs at Lindo Lake and has written sponsor letters, believing that “every dog has its day” and “if we don’t give up, it (getting adopted) will happen.”
These days, she’s giving of her time at the monthly open house. “It’s fun to tell visitors that you might be meeting your future dog here today,” says Kati. “I like to share in their excitement” of the prospect of some day bringing a greyhound into their family.
At the April open house, Kati recalls talking with a woman who was not as keen on getting a large dog as her husband was. Kati shared her own story of growing up afraid of dogs, and she was able to put the woman at ease. Kisses from some of the dogs probably helped, too.
Kati says if she hadn’t overcome her fear of dogs, she wouldn’t have the job she now has. She’s a payroll auditor for a worker’s comp insurance carrier. In that role, she frequently has to visit people at their businesses or in their homes. Many of those people have dogs at home. “If I hadn’t overcome my fear,” relates Kati, “I simply couldn’t do this job.”
On Sundays when there is not an open house, Kati is at the kennel to help out with the Shy Dog Classes. “I sit around with chicken in my hand, encouraging the really shy dogs to approach humans.” It’s kind of her old phobia in reverse. She’s using a high-value reward treat to encourage these dogs to trust people; ultimately, she knows this will enhance their chances of a quick adoption into a forever home. Smiles Kati, “I’ve been training for this all my life.”
Kati says she’ll work another two years and then join Richard in retirement. But there is no target date for ending her association with the Greyhound Adoption Center. We’re very happy to hear that. So are the dogs that are yet to be adopted.
Find out how you can volunteer with the Greyhound Adoption Center by clicking here!