December 2021 Volunteer of the Month: Chris Riesgaard
Meet Chris! RASKC is extremely happy to honor Chris Riesgaard as Volunteer of the Month for December 2021. Of the regularly scheduled Dog Walkers at the Pet Adoption Center now, he is the longest serving – he’s been doing it since 2012! Rated top level “red,” Chris mentored quite a number of new volunteers in pre-pandemic days. Super skilled, dedicated, and great to work with, RASKC feels very fortunate to count Chris among our top volunteers.
Q: How did you hear about RASKC?
A: I have lived and worked in the Kent area since 2000. Driving by the shelter every day made me very aware of RASKC.
Q: What have you gained so far from your experience as a RASKC volunteer?
A: I’ve always enjoyed working with animals of all types growing up. Becoming involved with RASKC has really honed my skills with so many different breeds of dogs. I feel comfortable around scared and anxious dogs that I didn’t before, understanding them a bit more with the help of some of the great trainers and RASKC staff that I’ve had a pleasure working with.
Q: Tell us about yourself and your family, including your pets.
A: I’m 46 years old and happily married to my wife Gina since 1999. We both grew up in Iowa, and we moved here after graduating from Iowa State University. I grew up on an acreage. My father has always been very good with animals, so we had sheep, goats, ducks, peacocks, and always chickens.
I am a jeweler/designer for a wholesale jewelry company in the Kent area. Gina and I enjoy traveling the Great Northwest and the world when we can. We also enjoy kayaking, hiking, a bit of fishing, and, of course, spending time with our two dogs Maia and Escher.
We’ve had a few pets throughout the years, loved all, of course, in their own way. Our current dogs, Maia (pictured) is a Malinois mix, and Escher is a Dane/Lab mix. They are our current love affairs. Their personalities are like royalty – queen and king. Our local dog park – Grandview – is one of my favorites to take the dogs. Hiking with Maia is always a blast. It was so fun watching her when she met a horse on a Cascade trail a few years ago.
Q: What would you like to say about volunteering for RASKC? A: I especially enjoy working with the dogs that really need help socializing and seeing them change over the time they are at the shelter. A few years ago, when dog trainer Pat Wynn was at RASKC, she really helped me understand the little things dogs do to communicate