We want to shine a spotlight on a very special volunteer, Chester Lily, who has been dedicating himself to Brother Wolf for four years! Chester began volunteering after adopting his own beloved dog from us. He now specializes in working with the most challenging dogs: those who have faced terrible traumas and are fearful or aggressive with others as a result. Chester brings a gentle approach that comforts even the most resistant dogs. “I spend weeks, months, whatever it takes. I let the dogs go at their own pace.”
Chester’s faith in every dog’s ability to connect has helped him bond with many dogs who are hard to reach. “I can get the dogs to trust me, and a lot of that is because they know that I trust them.”
One of these dogs is Misty, who came to us a few months ago, terrified of people and very shut down. Chester’s approach has encouraged Misty to become more open to human connection. At first, he simply sat outside of Misty’s pen and occasionally tossed in treats so that she could become more comfortable with his presence. She would bark at him and back into the corner, but as time passed she began to come closer and take treats right out of his hand. Chester always lets Misty decide when to let the relationship progress. “Anybody can talk to a dog, but not everybody listens to a dog. I try to listen to them, which is one of the biggest things I’ve learned here at Brother Wolf.”
These days, Chester and Misty often go for car rides so she can enjoy a change in scenery and special drive through treats on the way! Chester is a model volunteer whose patient dedication has been transformative for so many dogs like Misty. He is a true testament to the power of trust: when we believe in every animal’s capacity to love, we invite powerful bonds to grow.