Today started just like last Saturday, aside from the fact I had a clue of what I was going to be doing. That and the fact that there were a lot more people scheduled and willing to get their hands dirty with me.
On to the weekly sanitizing of the south side kennels. Usually it is the entire shelter but we will be doing the rest tomorrow. Me still being the new guy got to scrub the worst of it. I really don't mind though as long as I have the ipod in and some good tunes to work out to. That's pretty much what it is, a good solid work out. It did still take myself and one other person over two hours to sanitize about ten kennels if that can give you an idea of how much scrubbing is actually going on. I just hope I am not part of the same crew tomorrow.
Just as the doors opened for the shelter I was told that some of the staff would be attending a training course in animal aggression. The course would be taught by the staff trainer who seems to know what she is talking about. Caesar Milan, you need to listen to this women, maybe you could learn a thing or two. The class was intense and long, I did catch myself day dreaming a little, after all it was Saturday and beautiful out. After I got back into it I really did learn quite a bit. There were so many details about dog behavior that can really come in handy in helping those animals in this shelter. Being able to read the signs of aggression and catching them early you have a better chance of helping those animals become better pets. I do have to say I feel like a pretty bad pet owner after the class once I realized how much I spoil my dogs. Oh well, they are family.
After the extensive training course I was told to take a lunch, aside from some scrubbing I really feel lazy here today. Thank goodness my fiancee brought me in a sandwich when she was volunteering otherwise I wouldn't be eating, I am that kind of forgetful. After lunch it was business as usual, kind of. Did a little laundry and took some dogs down to their runs. I did have some great news and some not so great news once I came back. I noticed TWO dogs had been adopted which is always nice to see, but I also saw one brought back due to some aggressive behavior that just broke my heart. Hopefully we can evaluate her and see what went wrong.
Towards the end of the day I had some more good and bad news scenarios. I had learned that one of the dogs was supposed to be put down due to overwhelming aggression. The dog did have some kennel issues but when you got her on her own she did really well and was trained. With all of this and a foster parents help she got a reprieve and the staff is going to continue working with her. On a sadder note, one of the dogs in the shelter was euthanized while I was on my "weekend". The animal was very skittish and you could tell he was not a fan of humans. I really do feel bad for these animals, it is not their fault. That fact that they are pretty much socially created tells me that whoever handled this dog originally is to blame.
After all of the sadness you have to think about the guys that got adopted and found their forever home. That is what this is all about. Helping those animals find the perfect families that will take care of them for years to come. Yeah, there are some tough times, but without those times the good ones just wouldn't seem as good.
On another note, the staff member that started a week prior to me has gotten another job being an animal attendant at a very well known zoo. So congrats and I wish you luck. And wish me luck because now I am the only newbie that is sure to get lots of fun jobs in the weeks to come.
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