Champions Train Dogs

Rachel Brostrum practices K9 Agility

Categories: Building Resilience, Champion Moment, Community Engagement, Physically Active

Champion Moment: Rachel Brostrum, Dog Trainer, Monadnock Humane Society

The Monadnock Humane Society is a relative newcomer as a Healthy Monadnock Organizational Champion (Champion since March 2015). But the idea of embedding healthy living into the staff’s daily work life has been on Rachel Brostrom’s mind for more than a year.

Brostrom, a dog trainer with the Humane Society, says that the Champion program fits in seamlessly with the Society’s mission of fostering a compassionate community.

“Before we can help others, we need to help ourselves,” says Brostrom. “When we are healthy we have more to give the people and animals we help … and we can’t do that if we’re living on coffee and donuts.”

The first step was changing the type of snacks at staff meetings. “We’re not perfect, but now that we are Champions, we are more conscious of the food that is being put out at meetings,” says Brostrom, who has also become a Healthy Monadnock Individual Champion.

Other staff members have also joined Brostrom in becoming Individual Champions. “One staff member stopped drinking soda; another has lost weight … we are all supportive of everyone’s attempt at becoming healthier,” says Brostrom.

While healthy food choices are important, the major push at the Humane Society has been exercise. Not surprisingly, the exercise of choice for staff and volunteers is dog walking.

Recently, the Society has paired dog walking exercise with fundraising by becoming part of an innovative smartphone app called “WoofTrax.” Once installed, the app tracks every mile walked with a dog and donates money from sponsors to the animal shelter or rescue of your choice. Learn more and download the app at www.wooftrax.com.

“This is such a great way to donate money to the shelter for an activity you are already doing with your dog,” notes Brostrom.  Volunteers at the Society have downloaded the app and have already raised money for the organization.

“We have a number of volunteers who come in to walk the dogs, and to help socialize our animals,” says Brostrom. “Volunteering, in general, makes life meaningful. Often, people come in to help the animals and in doing so get exercise and help themselves in so many different ways.”

Learn more about the Monadnock Humane Society at www.MonadnockHumaneSociety.org.