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Monday, March 16, 2009

Felt Like a Juggling Act

When you go into a day thinking it's going to be easy, you are usually wrong. At least that's how today panned out. I assumed since I had disinfected half the kennels yesterday that there would be no way that I would be involved with that part today. Well, when you're short handed and the only male working you usually end up doing the majority of the grunt work. Luckily there wasn't enough time to do all of the disinfecting but I still had a lot of area to cover. After everything had been cleaned it was time for some juggling.

All dogs that enter the shelter are kept on quarantine to make sure that any illnesses that are brought in can be contained to one area of the shelter. Today was the day that all of those animals were to be taken off of quarantine and moved into the "general population". The tough part is there are still some animals that are sick so they have to go into a certain area of the shelter but in some cases there are already dogs there. So for about an hour we moved and moved again and crossed our fingers there would be a lot of adoptions to free up some kennel space. The reason we don't just leave it the way it is is due to the fact that another group of animals will be heading into the shelter tomorrow afternoon.

Never assume anything, you think you have so many kennels and you get a curve ball thrown to you. A great dog got adopted yesterday to a very loving woman. It seemed like a perfect fit. The problem was the adopter apparently couldn't have a pet in her home. I don't quite understand this because we as a shelter require a rental agreement. Anyways, the little guy came back and we need to find him a home that sill work.

Of course we found some space, one reason was not a good one. One of the returned dogs who seems to be a door dasher tends to grab your pant leg when you are leaving the kennel. He really is a sweet dog that just wants some company but unfortunately he got a little more than a pant leg and broke the skin. In these cases the dog is sent to isolation to be evaluated in tested to see if they are adoptable. It is a sad situation but I can see why the policy is in place.

As a volunteer I never realized how many animals got returned. It is a sad situation but in reality I can think that it is only narrowing down what will be the perfect home for these animals. Even though some animals got returned there were several previous returns that found their forever homes today. One was a sweet little girl who is now going to have a brother and a sister to play with and keep her busy. The other went to a young female who was almost in tears she was so happy she found the right pet. Even though there are some tough times and I get a little pessimistic at the way some people treat their animals, there are always those moments that make you smile.

Business as usual as the day progressed, lots of cleaning and loving on some animals. I sat in on a few adoptions and got a sweet little dog ready to go home with his forever family. Oh yeah, the bees I mentioned yesterday that were at the dog park decided to leave right as I was walking outside. Luckily I had no idea what I was walking into other wise I know I would have freaked out. I literally walked right into the entire swarm while they were moving Northward. I guess I wasn't a threat and snuck back into the shelter.

I'm pretty sure the highlight of today was the information I got about an ASP dog that had been relinquished to the shelter. The young cattle dog mix went through a lot and was almost euthanized on several occasions. It has been the staff's mission to focus on her training and keeping her from digressing to fast. The problem isn't that no one will adopt her it's making sure that she goes to the right home. Well, I think they found it. She went from maybe adopted to this loving couple to 100% adopted. I am glad for more reasons than one that this happened, but aside from the obious, now we can focus on some of the other animals that need help.

Ups and downs are the game of life. Seeing it in this microcosm of an enviornment is pretty amazing. The immiediacy of good times related to bad is really like a roller coaster. I over heard today that there are four stages that a kennel worker goes through, kind of like when you have a death in the family. You deal with the lives and deaths of these animals and it does get hard. I just hope that the adoptions and smiles out weigh those harder times I don't like to mention.

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