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Tuesday, March 3, 2009

One of those Days

Everyone gets "those days" every once in a while, I just didn't expect it so soon at the shelter. It really had nothing to do with anything except maybe the side of the bed that I had woken up on in the morning. I'll go into some more details a little later.

Business as usual in the morning, down as much coffee as possible and get to taking the dogs down to their runs. Starting with the ones that were able to hold it and working backwards to those that made the biggest messes. With some diet changes, those that couldn't really hold back in the diarrhea department seemed to be getting a better handle on it. Cleaning seemed to move pretty fast and once I got all of the feeding and special diets done it was time to move on to the cattery.

I found several people taking care of the cats, emptying out and replacing the litter, removing and replacing bedding, and feeding and watering. It seemed like everyone had it under control so I moved over to the isolation area where four cats were in some need. Of course these are the ones that might have some "behavioral" issues so I was told to keep my guard up. The cats seemed fine, I have to say I even enjoyed their company. One was trying to get her paw out of the cage to get my attention, not claw me, because she wanted to be petted. The one lesson I did learn here...be careful with the garbage bag full of litter and poo. One wrong snag and I left a trail about 50 feet long. Whoops, that took a while to get into the dustpan.

By this point I had a huge smile on my face...NOT! I went into the back and realized no one had taken out the garbage so I figured the sooner I get to it the sooner I can forget about it. Today it seemed like a slacker day but I still think it was just me waking up on the wrong side of the bed. As soon as I got the garbage out I proceeded to clean out the fake grass yards and spray them down with bleach (got to keep the flies down you know). After all of this I had to lay the guilt on the others that were playing on the computer. I know it wasn't the nicest thing to do but they got the hint.

After cleaning up the dog bowls and bleaching the rest of the yards, oh and of course doing some laundry we moved one of the new dogs to a bigger kennel because he has what is called happy tail. He basically gets so excited and wags his tail so much that he whacks it against the cement sides of his area and cuts the tip of his tail open. Poor guy, you feel horrible for him but he really doesn't seem to mind. I kind of picture this dog with a Gomer Pile voice just because no matter what his surroundings he just seems like a content and happy guy.

Following lunch we wanted to focus on a few dogs that were having a tough time in the shelter and starting to deteriorate a little. I don't want to go into to many details about this but just know that being in a shelter is one of the most stressful times a dog will ever face. The dogs that we were working with had shown some signs of aggression and also some aloofness as well. Our main goal was just to get them comfortable. Feeding them treats and introducing them to other dogs. This really helps in getting them comfortable with others and also taking their minds off of their surroundings.

When I was working with one in particular down in the far yards our lead trainer came back from her day trip picking up dogs from other shelters. Woo Hoo! 11 new arrivals that all seemed scared and yet happy to be out of the less fortunate shelters. Some were matted and others stank horribly and were shaking from fear. One was even running a temperature of 104. You feel horrible for these guys but then you realize that our shelter offers so much more than where they came from and a better oppurtunity to find them the perfect homes. Then of course you realize that of the 11 new dogs that we are able to help there are 11000 more that still need it. I know that it is a drop of water in the bucket, but we have to realize that the more people that help and get educated about the pet population the more water goes into the bucket.

I know I started to day on the wrong foot, but after a little sweat, some down time with the dogs, and a little self realization I went home with a smile on my face and an incling to hurry back in the morning. I might wake up on the wrong side of the bed sometimes but as long as I remember to go to bed on the right one it will be o. k..

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