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Sunday, March 22, 2009

And the Race is On

I sometimes forget that my week always starts with a bang until it actually happens. Saturday started off as usual, a little shorthanded. I was given the task of sanitizing East and West side kennels same as last week but today I think there was about twice as many dogs occupying the space. I hate being off for a few days and then come back to work with so many owner relinquishment. It really seems that this is the month for those. An owner relinquishment is when an owner feels that they can no longer take care of the animal and at least have enough sense to take it to a shelter to find it a better home. The first time I heard of one of these I was so angry but after I opened my eyes I realized that sometimes it is the necessary thing to do. I can't look down on these people for giving up their pets because in most cases I don't know the full story.

Back to the cleaning, sorry for the tangent. With my sanitizing duties today I have to say it really does make the time go by fast. I throw on the headphones and think of it as a good three hour workout. The only problem is I don't look at the time until it is too late. The reason I say this is as I was rinsing out the final kennel I noticed some guests walking around, I thought "who the hell let them in early?" when I realized it was already 11. Time to get cracking, I still had to squeegee out the remaining eight kennels and get those animals fed and brought back up from their break. As soon as I went to get food and some special feedings for a puppy and another special needs dog one of the senior staff members asked me to do an interaction with a possible adopter and their dog.

From this point on I was no longer "in the zone" and always felt like I was playing catch up. I quickly got the dogs fed and luckily had the help of some volunteers to help bring up the remaining dogs. I quickly headed out to the front office to do the interaction with a little poodle and a basset hound. After some loud hound barks and some sniffing we decided to go to the yard. The dogs were a little tense at first with all of the smells that are always associated with the runs but eventually warmed up and started playing. That is when I knew the other staff member had it handled. I headed back to the office where it was time for "the jack of all trades" to do his thing. I am always surprised at how flexible you have to be at this job. Saying that It was time for me to do a volunteer orientation for cat and rabbit helpers.

I'm not going to lie, I like doing this. Having all eyes on me and coming to me for information makes me feel important rather than just a pooper scooper. I know that sounds pretty vain, which it is, but I have to be honest. The orientation was simple, I went over the rules of the cattery and rabbitat and explained why our shelter is different from the others. Little things like we won't adopt individual kittens, they have to go home in pairs and also we won't adopt them out to homes that want indoor/outdoor cats. We also went over each individual room in the catter from iso, to the regular kennels, and the indoor outdoor room. They all seemed pretty impressed with the operation and were eager to help. I truly do appreciate all of the volunteers that come to the shelter on their own time to really give that loving that these animals need. On days like today it really helps.

After my ego boost it was time for some more cleaning. I had to now disinfect the iso yards that had been occupied this past week. Once again not to tough of a job except for the fact I don't think this has been done for quite some time. At least now I can see a difference from the before and after the cleaning.

And then of course there is the never ending laundry. Thank goodness we have the new girl becuase she rocks in getting the every day duties done from crates, to dishes, to laundry. I hate to say it but when I see a load I can do now I jump at the oppurtunity because I know she will be in there shortly to get it done.

Asside from the cleaning I really do wish that I could do adoptions. It seems like they are piling up in the office due to the fact there is only two individuals qualified to do them today. I don't think there has been a day like today when everyone seems to be running around like a chicken with thier head cut off. Organized chaos is always fun to watch as an observer, just not to much when you are part of it. I have to give credit to the adopters though they sure know how to juggle and plow through the adoptions. It seemed like the dogs were finding homes left and right with some animals being listed because there were so many people vieing for them (usually the case with cute little puppies).

It seems like everything was caught up and we all had a short lunch when the next wave of adopters came in. It might have been hectic but these are the day I love. People coming in to the shelter looking for their right pet and willing to wait an hour in order to find a new best friend. That was when I was tasked with explaing to some possible adopters that the dog they were looking at just wasn't a right fit for them. The reason this is the situation is becuase the dog that they were looking at wouldn't have a yard to play in. This isn't necissarily a bad thing but unfortunately the animal isn't good on leash or around other animals. I know this for a fact becuase he is the guy I tried to foster but just didn't get along with my pets. Hopefully after some hard work we can get him a bit more socialized but moving into a home where his excersice will be primarily at a dog park might not be the best pet for this couple. They were understanding and wanted the right dog that would fit them, and trust me, if I thought it would have worked I would have sent the guy home the second, but the one thing we don't want is the animal to get returned and put back in this stressful situation. The couple went back outside to look around and of course they wanted the website to keep updated on any new animals that were coming in. They really seemed like a loving pair and I hope we can find them the right animal that will make everyone happy.

Giving the dogs their last break made me realize how fast the day went. With several adoptions and some new dogs arriving it is always a roller coaster ride of ups and downs of emotions. It is nice to see people so happy with their new pet and vice versa. I am aso happy to say that a dog that once got returned becuase he couldn't get along with other animals found a new friend in one of the relinquishments. It was awesome to see them playing for about 45 minutes straight. After we had brought them all back there was yet another relinquishment. At first I was furiated with the man for giving up his animals until I heard the story. It broke my heart to hear the situation that forced him to give up his best friends. I need to always remember that there is undoubtaly two sides to every story and never jump to conclusions or assume anything.

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