Gateway Pet Guardians Blog

Follow Along as we Save Lives

First Comes Shelter Love, Then Comes Marriage

Every Monday evening, you’ll find Tim Buchek and Lara Gates volunteering at the Gateway Pet Guardians Emergency Shelter. For the past 4 ½ years, they’ve spent one day a week completely devoted to the shelter pets – walking dogs, cleaning out kennels, giving belly rubs, playing fetch outside, and enriching the lives of shelter residents. That’s over 200 shelter shifts, hundreds of dogs, countless messes cleaned and thousands of miles walked. They share a love for the dogs, but they also share a love for one another… all thanks to their work with the shelter pups.

Tim and Lara’s story actually began 4 ½ years ago. Tim started volunteering with GPG March 2012 as a shelter volunteer, but also did outreach and ride alongs. He was so involved, in fact, that he earned GPG’s Volunteer of the Year in 2013.

In September 2012, Lara submitted her application to volunteer, and was paired with Tim for orientation. He trained her on the routine of a Monday night shift. Lara came back her second and third week, and every week since. She was hooked.

Their time together sparked more than just a friendship. Lara recalls, “About a month after I started, Tim asked if I wanted to hang out ‘without dogs’. I said I would think about it. Then he asked me about 3 more times before I said yes. We started dating after that and we are now engaged to be married in September 2017, 5 years after we met at the shelter.”

We are incredibly thankful to have such dedicated volunteers as part of the Gateway Pet Guardians family, and we are excited to watch Tim and Lara continue their journey together. And we know they will always hold the shelter pups close to their hearts! Congratulations, Tim and Lara!

Photos courtesy of Branwyn Reis.

There are 4 comments .

Charleen —

I love both of these people with all my heart! They are wonderful humans and the dogs are lucky to have them just as they are lucky to have each other! What a wonderful love story!!

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Lisa —

Well my husband and i have been married 37 years this year. One of the things that brought us together was his shepard , Shadrack. He was companion at work on construction for my husband. After we were married Shadrack left the job site and traveled many miles back home to me. Where he stayed the rest of his life protecting my while Robert worked. Since then we have shared many wonderful pets in our life together, along with four beautiful daughtersand there pets. Our daughters called their pets there children and robert and i were Grandma and Grandpa. Our grandparents have helped make our family and awesome family. I wish this grace and blessing on you Tim and Red . I pray for you long life good health and the love that never ends. God bless you both and bless your pets that you share together through this life of marriage.

Reply »
Lisa —

The word grandparents in my first posting is supposed to be grand pets sometimes I really don’t like my phone period LOL

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