Bernie & Keith Novosel

How many years or months have you been volunteering with hart? 
We have been volunteering for over 4 years now.

What is your volunteer role within hart? 
Started as foster parents, I think we've fostered 12 or so now. I've also recently taken on the foster training coordinator role. Been on a couple rescues and basically just try to help out with whatever we can.

Why do you volunteer with hart? 
A number of years ago I had my dog Tazia out for a walk and a hot air balloon came by and scared her into running away. She was lost for a whole weekend and I was sick with worry for her being out there somewhere on her own. Monday morning I got a call that she had been found and went to pick her up. The lady that took her in asked that I give the reward I was offering to her to the EHS instead and to maybe do something to help another dog in the future. I made a promise to myself that day that I would do whatever I could from then on to help other dogs when they needed it like someone did for my Tazia when she needed help. When I found out about HART I knew I had found a perfect way to do this.

What do you do when you are not volunteering? 
I am now retired so get to spend my days with my dogs, it's the best! Keith is a supervisor with
Lafarge. Our world revolves around our dogs, we are members of a UKC dog club, Rose County Canine Association and Keith competes with our dogs in UKC and CKC obedience and rally-o.

If you were a rescue dog, what kind would you be?

Tell us about an experience you had while volunteering with hart that made you realize you were making a difference. 
That would be fostering my second foster, Cracker. The poor guy had been living at the dump with a face full of quills making it virtually impossible to eat.  He was in pretty rough shape when we got him. Quills kept surfacing for weeks that we would pull out but he never got upset with us. He may have had a rough and tough looking exterior but he had a heart of gold. It was so rewarding watching him heal and learn to live in a house and play for the first time in his life. He went on to a great forever home where he is loved and happy.

What advice would you give someone who is considering volunteering? 
Do it! There are many different ways you can volunteer. HART is so supportive and makes you feel welcome, I have met so many wonderful people who love dogs the way I do. You really do get so much more then you give.