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Monday, March 9, 2009

A Different Kind of Day

Rather than starting my morning cleaning out the dog kennels I was assigned to the cattery. One reason for this is I wanted to get to know all of the animals that are in the shelter. Since I have been becoming a little more fond of cats I thought this would be a good way to learn their names and personalities. I learned fast that not all cats are friendly. The first cage I started cleaning I was swatted at by a long haired that really got some blood flowing on my hands. Like an idiot I went back in because it had to be cleaned and of clawed at again. Not all the cats at the shelter are like this though. I was cleaning out another cage and a tiger striped short hair cat literally jumped on my back as I was bending over and started purring. It was a little frightening at first buy really funny once I found out I wasn't being attacked.

Another reason that I was cleaning the cattery and not the dogs was so that I could stay as clean as possible. I titled this blog a different kind of day because that is exactly what it was. There is a yearly event put on by some specific shelters, including ours, that is a contest for the ugliest dog. I got to be the lucky kennel staff that was assigned to work it because I am not yet qualified to do showings and adoptions. I was very fortunate to be the least qualified in the group because this was a fun event.

It started off with five dogs and myself being dropped off at the event. All the animals had adopt me vests and were ready for some publicity. The plan was to have some volunteers walk the dogs around and just get as many people as possible aware of the shelter and the great animals that are there. Little did I know that all of the animals and volunteers would be called up on stage one by one and need a little spiel about each one of them. Of course I was there so I got to take center stage and introduce all of the great dogs the shelter brought. Did I mention we dressed them up too? It ended up being great. I love being in front of a group of people with all of the attention on me, a little ego centric I know. I just wish I had had some time to prepare rather than just wing it. I do have to say I did get a few laughs.

After the introductions it was on to the contests. Everything from best St. Patrick's day costume, best mutt, most beautiful, ugliest, and a whole lot more. There was a category for everything and the shelter dogs participated as well. We didn't win anything but we did get a little more face time with the public. After all of this the dogs were getting pretty pooped and the volunteers decided to take the animals back to the shelter. Hopefully there would be some great adopters waiting for them.

Once the show was over I was the grunt when it came to taking down the shelter booth. Lugging dog toys, clothes, and leashes across the parking lot and putting them in the truck. I'm not complaining, it was a great workout but is was very tiring.

A great thing that I learned is a good portion of the money raised at the event would go to the shelter. Not only that, the booth that we had set up raised over 1000 dollars selling items that would directly go to the shelter. Overall everyone at the event was amazing, from the organizers, to the participants, and even the vendors. I look forward to next year and preparing a little better both for an impromptu speech and finding ways to promote the animals better.

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