My name is Jenn Lyon and I am the owner of OutLiving, a social program for individuals living with developmental and intellectual disabilities. Discovering Happy Dog Ranch has helped my group grow and develop in many ways.
For nearly 2 years I have taken my group of 4-11 disabled adults to Happy Dog Ranch every Thursday to do volunteer work. When we pull up to the Ranch, my clients immediately jump out of the car, put their work boots on and head to their tasks which need to be completed. Their jobs include letting the alpacas out, feeding the goats, cow, pig, chickens and ducks, mucking stalls, and moving different animals to various pens.
As a result of going to Happy Dog Ranch weekly, no matter the weather, for nearly 2 years and volunteering over 300 hours, my clients have grown significantly and developed more life skills. They have learned how to be ranchers, gained a better understanding of responsibility and holding to their commitments. They have gained more confidence in their skills and abilities, built a greater level of independence and have created wonderful friendships through their time at Happy Dog Ranch.
My clients love that when they go to the ranch, they have a job to do and are surrounded by people that hold them to their tasks, animals that rely on them and where they can be themselves, making this world the beautiful place that it is. Happy Dog Ranch has given my group more than just a vocational site to visit and work, it has literally given them a safe place to grow and develop…a home away from home.