Page 14 - Lincoln 55 Plus - Winter2020
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Shari Bitney:
                                                                                                  Passionate for Dogs and NNKCR

                                                                                                                                       After ten years of vol-
                                                                                        At almost age 40,                              unteer work with
                                                                                        Shari Bitney met her                           NNKCR, Shari has
                                                                                        “heart dog,” that spe-                         discovered the impor-
                                                                                        cial dog with whom                             tance of “communi-
                                                                                        she developed a                                cating clearly with
                                                                                        once-in-a-lifetime                             foster pet parents
                                                                                        bond. This dog                                 and other volunteers,
                                                                                        helped her “under-                             because everyone
                                                                                        stand how important                            has different levels of
                                                                                        animals are to                                 experience working
                                                                                        humans and how                                 with dogs. We want
                                                                                        they can make us                               our fosters to feel
                                                                                        better people if we                            good about the expe-
                                                                                        let them into our lives.” Shari    rience, so it’s important they feel
                                                                                        began to meet other dog people,    supported. All volunteers should
                                                                                        and one day a friend asked if her   feel that they’re an important part
                                                                                        wanted to attend a meeting with    of our mission.”
                                                                                        people who were interested in      In May of 2018, after retiring from
                                                                                        starting a dog rescue group. That  teaching, Shari joined the
                                                                                        meeting, ten years ago, was the    NNKCR board and then accepted
                                                                                        birth of Nebraska No Kill Canine   the position of board president,
                                                                                        Rescue, with which Shari has       the duties of which regularly
                                                                                        been involved off and in various   required 10-15 hours of her time
                                                                                        capacities throughout the years.   each week. As board president,
                                                                                        Initially, Shari conducted home    Shari tries to keep board meet-
                                                                                        visits for prospective adopters or   ings organized and on-topic, she
                                                                                        worked in the NNKCR booth at       but acknowledges that this tough
                                                                                        events. She has also transported   to do with a group of impas-
                                                                                        dogs, which was a learning expe-   sioned dog-lovers. “There are so
                                                                                        rience for her. “There was the     many dogs in Nebraska that
                                                                                        time I drove a dog to its new      need help of some kind; it’s hard
                                                                                        home in Columbus,” Shari           to set priorities,” she explained.
                                                                                        shared. “It was a pretty big dog,   “Most of the work in our rescue is
             Covid-19 and Real Estate             leave the room and closet doors       and I assumed it would ride in     done by a few people, so we

                                                  open, with all the lights on so that
                The real estate market in         visitors do not have to touch door-   the back seat, which is set up for   have to be careful not to over-
                                                                                        dogs. Shortly into the trip, the big
                                                                                                                           extend ourselves.”
             Lincoln Nebraska is extremely        knobs and switches. Sanitizing is     guy let me know he would ride      There’s a lot of work leading up
             strong, even amid the Covid-19       recommended following every visit     shotgun and lick my face the       to an adoption, and NNKCR can
             pandemic. The underlying eco-        as well. It is common that            whole way. That was when I         use volunteers who have an hour
             nomics of population growth cou-     Realtors  now ask the basic           learned to tether dogs for trips in   or two to give each week to help
             pled with a remarkably low unem-     Covid-19 screening questions          the car!”                          with any stage of the adoption
             ployment level and unprecedently     before meeting with any clients.      Eventually, as part of her volun-  process: finding foster pet par-
             low mortgage rates have fueled          Most title companies have          teer activities, Shari drew on her   ents for dogs, assessing and
             historical growth. Many expected     adopted a policy of no contact                                                 meeting the needs of dogs,
             the onset of the pandemic earlier    closings and they limit meetings to                                            working with foster pet par-
             this year to put a damper on the     only the principals involved in the                                            ents, checking in regularly
             market but that has not shown to     transaction. Realtors and others                                               and delivering food, posting
             be the case.                         may not be permitted to accompa-                                               write-ups of the dogs on
                So, has the potential financial   ny their clients. Some lenders are                                             NNKCR’s website and
             gain pushed some to throw cau-       now offering desk top appraisals                                               social media, answering
             tion to the wind and ignore the      so that the appraiser does not                                                 questions about its dogs,
             risks of covid-19? Is the idea of    have to enter your home. Home                                                  processing applications,
             selling your current home and        inspectors and contractors are                                                 arranging for a meet and
             pocketing a significant amount of    wearing masks and gloves. To                                                   greet with applicants, and
             capital gain or being able to        limit contact, they typically sched-                                           delivering dogs to their new
             upgrade to a newer or larger         ule their visit when homeowners                                                homes.
             home for the same monthly pay-       are not present. Anytime someone                                               “It’s the best feeling in the
             ment is too enticing to worry about  is entering your home it is a good                                             world, Shari says, “every
             a virus?                             idea to follow the same procedure                                              time you match a dog to a
                While ignoring the risks may be  of leaving doors open and lights
             true of a few, my observation has    on and always sanitize afterward.                                              good forever home.
                                                                                                                                 Knowing that at the end of
             been that buyers and sellers have       As a Senior Real Estate            graphic design background to       all this work, the dog now has
             confidence in their real estate pro-  Specialist  with BancWise Realty     work with Firespring to redo the   people who will love and care for
             fessionals to take the necessary     many of my clients are senior citi-   foster-based dog rescue’s web-     it, and so this dog will have a
             steps to minimize the risks of       zens. As such, we consider the        site. She described it as now      happy future is incredibly mov-
             exposure to Covid-19. Not only       risks to be very serious and          being “much easier to use, and a   ing.”
             have Realtors  changed the way       choose to keep everyone               source of information about
             they do business, title companies,   safe.Always follow the recommen-      topics related to dog owner-        by Allison Hunter-Frederick
             lenders, appraisers, inspectors,     dations of your local, state, and     ship.” Shari has also               Pet Blogger and Cat Coach
             and contractors all have made        federal health officials. No amount   revamped the nonprofit’s
             adjustments. The rule of the day     of financial gain is worth risking    Facebook and Instagram
             is to limit contact, wear masks,     your health. If you prefer to wait    accounts.             
             gloves, sanitize and social dis-     out this pandemic it is totally                            
             tance.                               understandable. If on the other
                Most Realtors  have replaced      hand you want or need to buy or
             open houses with virtual events.     sell your home, stay safe. Be sure
             No more opening your home to         to work with a professional
             anyone who wants to walk in.         Realtor  who will ‘carefully’ assist
             Showings are by appointment          you during this unique time.
             only, prequalified clients accompa-
             nied by an agent. Most sellers                  Bill Budler
             require all people entering their     Senior Real Estate Specialist
             home to wear masks and gloves.               BancWise Realty
             As an added precaution they


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