By Jan Rahn
It’s well beyond the dog days of summer, but the canines at the Perkins County Animal Shelter are treated to special dog days of their own by getting to strut around out in the open on a regular basis.
Jim Glenn of Ogallala sees to it that the dogs housed at the shelter in Grant get to view a little more of the world around them.
For the past year, Glenn has driven to Grant to take the shelter dogs for a stroll. Bringing along his own dog, Bullitt, Glenn usually comes on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings and stays for however long it takes to walk each of the shelter dogs.
Bullitt was adopted by Glenn from the Perkins County shelter last October.
“When I brought him home I thought both of us were going to be looking for a place to live!” said Glenn. But now his wife loves Bullitt as much as he does, he said.
Glenn began walking the dogs in the shelter after retiring as a business teacher in Paxton and Ogallala. Prior to that he was a banker for 21 years—and used that experience to return to teaching. Fresh out of college, he had taught business at Gering High School for seven years before pursuing the banking job.
He said upon retirement he began wondering what to do with himself. He called the Perkins County Animal Shelter to see if they would let him volunteer to walk the dogs that were up for adoption. They agreed to give it a try.
“They have a no-kill policy and take very good care of their dogs,” said Glenn.
There are currently several dogs ready for adoption from the shelter. The average is usually between 11-15 dogs.
Shannon Jensen, DVM is delighted that the dogs have an opportunity to get out of the shelter, get some exercise and be able to interact with each other. Dr. Jensen said the dogs really benefit from the walks.
“They get way more out of it than I think Jim realizes,” she said.
However, the dogs aren’t the only ones to benefit.
“Walking these dogs has been the best thing ever for me,” said Glenn. “They always say when you retire you need something to do, have a reason to get up and get going, and these dogs have done that for me. They give me a purpose, a lot of enjoyment, and plenty of exercise.”
He said he has lost a lot of weight and is in the best shape he has been in for the last 40 years.
He walks the dogs year-round, weather permitting. On some of last winter’s real cold days he stayed inside with them and worked on commands or just petted them and talked to them.
“I love working with the dogs, each one has a different personality, and it makes me feel good when I see a dog go to a good home,” said Glenn.
Entertaining his dog Bullitt is what Glenn considers his number one hobby. He also likes old cars and has a 1968 Mustang convertible, which Bullitt loves to ride in.
He and Bullitt do lots of walking—first thing in the morning and again at night. This summer they walked at Lake Ogallala campground at least four nights a week.
“Bullitt is a high energy dog, so I do a lot of walking and playing with him,” said Glenn.
He and wife Dorothy, who is also a retired teacher, have two sons. Jason Glenn teaches math at Ogallala High School and Jeremy Glenn works for Bank of America in Charlotte, N.C.