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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

I think I woke up on the wrong side of the bed

Everybody has them, some call them Monday’s and some call it waking up on the wrong side of the bed, well I am just calling it my day. I haven’t felt this in quite a while but whether it is from the lack of sleep last night or just being rubbed the wrong way today I really did not want to be here.

The day started as usual with splitting up the cleaning and teaming up so we could knock it out before we opened. After scooping up lots of pooped we sprayed down the kennels and got all of the dogs fed. After bringing all of the guys up from their morning break it was time to move to the cattery. I was assigned all of the “free range” cats that are spread all over the property. We have a total of five cats that pretty much have their own spaces due to their stress that they feel in our smaller kennels. Not sure if it is the other cats or the space that they are in but because of their behavior they were moved to outlying rooms and offices. It has seemed to work very well because all of the animals are doing much better.

After feeding and changing the litter it was time to head back to the main cattery and help out with the remainder of the duties. The big task today was rearranging the cats in order to make room for a whole bunch of new cats that will be brought in tomorrow. The big grand opening of the cattery is this weekend and the staff is trying to make sure everything is perfect and we have a full house. Not to mention it is kitten season and there are still a lot of animals on foster that are waiting for room to join the shelter and begin looking for a new home.

After mopping I was walking back into the office when a woman came jogging up. She seemed a bit frantic and notified me that she had found a stray. I told her we appreciated her concern and put the animal on leash and brought her into the office. She was a sweet hound mixed that was chipped when I scanned it. One of the staff called the number and was able to get a cell phone answering machine and told the owner that there animal was at the shelter. Later the woman called frantically saying that we had her dog and wanted to know where we were at. A few minutes later a couple showed up, without a leash, wondering where her animal was. She asked what we did with her collar and when I said she didn’t have one the woman suspected that we had taken it. There was no thanks for taking care of her dog and no sign of appreciation. In fact I had a good sense of animosity coming from the woman. I told her thanks for chipping her animal and once again got no response. They had another dog in their car and said maybe they should get him chipped. I said it was a 25 dollar fee and they responded he wasn’t worth it. I was in a crappy mood to begin with but this just added to it. People out there have no clue and it was really amazing how some people have no clue what we are doing and actually seemed like they were looking down on me. Get a clue people, you need to learn the facts and get out of your bubble and realize that we are out there to help, and when we do help, you need to acknowledge it.

As I dragged myself to finish up the poo buckets and all of the rest of the weekly closing duties I was called to do a showing with a little puppy. The adopter was a single Peace Officer and really fell in love with the little girl. He seemed very knowledgeable about training and after about half an hour of interaction he wanted to take her home. The fees are 150 dollars with a 50 dollar cash deposit that will be returned upon completion of any type of training. The officer said that there was no way that he would take her to training but agreed upon the terms the shelter has. The reason for the elevated costs is because puppies require more vaccines and the training is to make sure our little girl is properly socialized so in the long wrong will be an excellent pet.

As I looked at the clock I noticed it was finally getting close to closing time. This day really seemed like it took forever. After taking all of the dogs our for their last break and making sure their kennels were cleaned and full of water I was ready to head out. Today was a tough day where I really didn’t care about being here. I know that there is always something good to take out of here but today I had a tough time realizing it. The whole situation with the stray really threw me off as well. I guess my positive twist on this is to know that there are people out there like them and need to take advantage of that. Whether you have 30 seconds or an hour, you need to try to educate people as much as possible on either chipping their dogs or the importance of training your animals. I hope I can get out of the funk and get back to business because today was not a good day.

Monday, April 27, 2009

A few more long termers

It's a comforting feeling when you go into work and you know that there are enough staff members to cover the shift. You always assume that is how it is going to be but when you realize and experience being shorthanded you really appreciate the extra help.

Beginning with cleaning the dog kennels as usual it was a little different after that. Usually I have been taking care of the rabbits trying to get over my allergic reactions but today it was on to the cattery. I try to steer away from the cats just for the simple fact that the smell is just one that I am not used to. I guess the more I do it the easier it will become. It is nice to interact with those animals since I have been focusing on dogs about 90% of the time. I do have to say that there are some really nice felines in our care, along with a few not so nice ones, well, really just one. There is one new guy that is still very uncomfortable in his new surroundings. Luckily he was in a good mood today and just swatted a few times rather than biting. After mopping up and taking out the trash it was 11 o'clock and time for business.

The flow of people today was certainly less than yesterday but still a lot of showings which is always good to see. No matter it there is an adoption or not is it nice to have people coming in to see our animals looking for the right fit. My first showing was with a wonderful lab that was part of a group that was brought in about two weeks ago. The couple had been in prior to today looking at a few other dogs but just didn't find the right animal for them. Today was a little different. They initially wanted to look at a puppy but because of their profile information it wouldn't be a good fit because they were planning on leaving the animal outside when they weren't home and it is our policy to not send puppies into that situation because they need constant supervision and training. So on to the other dog they were interested in, a sweet guy that seems to love everyone. After a good hour long interaction and lots of information exchanged it was a go. I am glad that they waited for the perfect fit and can go home today knowing that was a good adoption.

While all of this was going on there was another showing with two little guys that have unfortunately been in the shelter for quite some time. There are a few reasons the dogs have been here so long, one is originally the dogs were part of our ASP program and were under foster until the owner had to relinquish them. Another reason they were here so long is because we were sending them home as a bonded pair. There is no doubt that if we had split them up they would have been adopted earlier but because they were a little older and had grown up together we have put all of our efforts into getting them adopted together. Thank goodness today we found a loving couple that fell for the cute duo. High fives were going around the shelter like they were going out of style. Finding these guys a new home is what this job is all about. It also shows how patience can really pay off.

Later in the day I had another showing, or really a denial, with one of our older guys. Don't get me wrong, I would have love to send this animal home and the adopter was a good person but because he wanted to keep the dog outside it disqualified him for this particular animal. Our guys have very special needs and if everything doesn't fit accordingly we do not adopt. Hopefully the family will check back soon because I know that eventually we will find an animal that fits his needs.

With some adoptions in the books it was time for afternoon feedings and making those special diets for the overweight dogs. After all of the feedings the dogs were taken out for their breaks. While bringing all of the dogs down there were a couple more showings that need attending too. With a nice ending not one of our second chance dogs was able to find a home. She can't go home quite yet but as soon as she as spayed she can head out.

Another day in the books I can go home today with a sense of accomplishment. Sending home animals to the right homes is such a good feeling you tend to forget about all of the guys that are still out there. There are so many animals that aren't lucky enough to make it into a shelter it is pretty disheartening, but the more you can save the better. Once you realize that you can only do so much you focus on the animals at hand and hope that by educating others on the need to spay, neuter, and adopt you can hope that eventually as time goes on this overwhelming problem of over population can fix itself.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

On your mark, get's 5 already?

Saturdays are always busy not matter how many staff members you have working. Today was a bit of a different day from any other one that I have experienced here at the shelter. It began as usual minus one kennel attendant who is on office duty after spraining their ankle. We knew it was going to be tight today but we were all optimistic when beginning the daily cleaning. After we all knocked out the dog kennels and morning feedings I moved on to the rabbitat while the other three workers moved on to the cattery. When I was finally finishing up the iso rabbits and about to move over to the cattery to help finish it out one of the workers came over to me to let me know that one of the staff was pretty sick and would be going home after the cleaning.

It is always best to head home when you are sick because you really don't want it to spread to everyone and then really have a tough situation. Having one less kennel attendant did mean that today would be an incredably busy and hectic expereince. With only three attendants now and our staff trainer we had four people that could do showings and three that would be taking care of all of the daily duties. This is when you just put your head down, try to ignore everyone and make sure the task at hand gets accomplished.

Right when 11 rolled around the front desk made the announcement that we were about to open and there was a line forming at the gate. Not only was it the busiest day of the week for us but all of our second chance dogs became available today for adoption. The showings began pretty steadily and then began pouring in. You know it is a busy day when the front office starts numbering the applications just to make sure no one gets pissy when we skip them becuase they have been waiting for so long.

My first showing of the day was with a grandmother and her daughter. They had several dogs they wanted to see but after going over their profile one seemed to be the best fit. It turns out it was thier first choice as well. She was a little cocker spaniel that had been relinqueshed last week becuase it could not get along with any other dogs. The woman fell in the love with the little girl but did have some concerns, one main one was the cherry eye that the dog had. Not sure exactly the definition of cherry eye but I do know that it does require surgery. That is why I explained to the woman that if she does decide to adopt she would technically be on foster so the shelter can take care of the surgery, otherwise she would be financially responsible for the vet bills. She loved the dog and felt it was the right one for her, the big problem was though was that her husband was not here to interact with the animal. I told her unfortuantelly we cannot hold the animals but the sooner you get back with your husband the better. She said it wouldn't be until tommorow but I knew better. Within half an hour there they all were excited for the dad to meet his new daughter. It was an instant smile and my first adoption for the day. It's amazing how contagious those smiles and laughter can be.

It seemed like it was a constant flow of people wanting to see dogs, so of course as soon as I was done with one it was time to move on to another. It was a showing for two middle age little guys that have to go home together. They are second chance dogs that were brought into another shelter becuase the owner had passed. It's a tough pair because of their age and of course they have to go home together. However the woman that was looking at them from the profile seemed like the ideal canidate. She was a little older and lived by herself and was looking for some companionship, she also wanted both because they could keep eachother company if she was busy. She walked them around the yard and sat with them for quite a while and decided these were the animals for her. There were a couple of problems though, for one the dogs have a dental scheduled for next week and can't go home until Wednesday and the other is the woman was leaving for her grandchild's graduation until next Sunday. She wanted the guys and felt that it would be too stressful to take them home and then board them while she was away she asked if the dogs could stay here. For a nominal fee we would take care of the little guys until Monday. It really is a lot better than getting transfered between our shelter, a new home, and a boarding facility.

With the rest of the staff doing showings I decided it was time to take care of the necessities. Amazingly we were pretty much caught up on laundry and all I had to do was fold a couple of loads. After that it was already time to start bringing the dogs down for their afternoon break. Everyone was doing showings so I was thankful for the volunteers that were so willing to help. Once all of the dogs were down it was time to start bring them up. In the midst of the choas two more little guys got adopted along with an older lab with hip displacia that was a blessing to find him a home. Before I knew it the dogs were up, everything was locked and ready for the next day. I changed my shoes, had a drink of water, and headed home.

The days you work the harderst can not only be the most rewarding they can also be the ones that go by the fastest. Even though we were short handed you tend to forget about how busy you are and really just take it in stride. If you trust the people around you, you know that everything will be fine as long as you take care of your end. Another thing I learned today is I do it for the smiles, man, becuase that pay check is something else :)

Friday, April 24, 2009

A whole lot of...poo

Working on Thursdays is a little unusual for me. However this week we were a little short handed so I volunteered it up. Well, I pretty much volunteer to work any additional hours because I have to be honest, the pay is starting to get to me. I am not complaining by any means but I am willing to work extra hours to make ends meet.

The big difference in today is for one, there isn't non stop showings and there aren't the weekly cleaning duties that are taken care of on Mondays. I have to say there is a lot of time to take care of the animals and do some special things for them but there is a lot of free time on these days. I'm sure that there are those busy Thursdays but today wasn't one of them.

What to do when everything "maintenance wise" is taken care of at the shelter? You start giving baths. We decided to bathe our "soup can" lab mix that we had been talking about for a while. I call her soup can for the simple fact that she is so overweight that her body is comparable either to condensed milk or Campbell soup. The good news is she has lost some weight since being on her diet here at the shelter, the bad news is she still tops the scale at about 100 pounds. I really don't believe that though because when we lifted her into the bath she was quite easy to get up there. The poor girl hadn't had a bath for at least two months and once we were done you could see the smile on her face. Because she was so pretty now we decided it was time to show her off at the front desk. It is where we will cycle out some long term and stressed out animals in order to give them a little quite time and also some added exposure to the public when they enter the shelter.

Aside from the bathing experience today was pretty routine. I got covered in poop right from the get go when two puppies jumped all over me after running in their own mess for about five hours. We got laundry all caught up for the most part. We had another dog relinquished that I was ready to take home today (he looks like a giant schnauzer or some sort of hound. We also had a rabbit brought in that I wanted as a new pet as well (except my dogs would probably eat it). The little bunny looked more like a dog than anything else. He was solid white and had super long hair. If I wasn't so allergic and have sighthounds at home I probably would have had a new pet today.

With a day of tidying up and spending some well desearved time with the animals it was time to call it a day. I kind of enjoyed haveing the flexiblity to do some dog washing and spend some quite time with the animals. It was quite a difference from my normal Saturdays and Sundays when the time flies by and before you know it dogs are gone, your feet are soar, and half the time you don't even know who all got adopted.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A slow one to say the least

Today was pretty uneventful for one major reason, we were closed because the parking area was being re paved. I know I know there are no adoptions but there was still plenty to do. The cleaning was pretty uneventful but seemed to go by pretty fast since pretty much everyone cleaned everything. The one bad thing was I forgot to take my allergy pill and it seemed to slip my mind when I decided to clean the rabbits. After about 100 sneezes, and yes a couple of snot rockets (hey I was in the military, you do what you have to do) I was able to finish up by placing some ice packs into the rabbit cages to help keep them cool on this record breaking hot day.

After the cleaning, and a lot of nose blowing, it was time for our first kennel staff meeting. It was pretty basic going over some specific adoption procedures and some new tasks that were going to be implemented. Me being me I had to speak up on a few subjects concerning tact and adding that if there is ever a need for a Spanish speaker I would be happy to help. The staff was pretty shocked to learn that I spoke another language but they were very happy to have someone able to translate for them. Apparently there has been a need for it in the past and no one to help resolve the situation. I am glad that I can be of some more help rather than just being the heavy lifter and master pooper scooper.

With a short lunch I sped home to let my dogs run around in the yard for a bit. When I got back feedings had already been done and now came the down time. I say down time because there were no hectic showings to attend to but in the shelter there is always something to do in the shelter. The new task at hand was to see about pairing up the dogs and seeing if we can't make some new friends with some of the new guys with our old guys. It's a slow process but when it works it is really something to watch. We paired up everything from our puppy to our boxer mix who seems to annoy everyone. There were a couple of instances that we had to separate a few dogs but over all we were able to make two large play groups that not only is fun to watch but I am sure it is fun for our animals to experience.

When I went back to some of the empty kennels I noticed that a newly relinquished dog seemed to have some blood in her urine. I informed our vet tech and she was already aware. Apparently the dog was in some serious medical trouble and was not mention about 14 years old. It had already been decided that the animal would be put down. It is always a sad thing to find out that this is going to happen but you have to realize that it is the right thing to do sometimes.

Pretty uneventful the rest of the day, even though it seemed like it took forever for five o'clock to come. We made sure all of the animals went out for their afternoon break and attended to all of the water bowls. With some frozen kongs strategically placed it was time to call it a day. Even though there were no adoptions I had the opportunity to spend some time with the new dogs and getting them out of their kennels for some well deserved play time. There was the tough experience of sending a dog over the rainbow bridge but you know that they are no longer suffering. Thanks for reading and I will be adding an additional blog this week because I am helping out this Thursday because we are a little short handed, not to mention a little extra money so I can spoil my dogs even more with some added toys I can buy for them.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A little of this and a little of that

I always start these entries about cleaning and I keep on saying that I am going to change that. Well, today we cleaned and picked up poo. After that it was a little different. Not sure if it was the 90 degrees or that we were really close to being out of supplies but I was asked to go shopping with the kennel supervisor for all of the necessities.

It was a simple trip. Get stocked up on all of the things that we use everyday here at the shelter. The trip included heading to three stores to stock up. We ended up buying a whole lot of bleach, 240 pounds of kitty litter, some gold bond (to keep the ants away), detergent, and a whole lot more. It was kind of nice to get away for a while but I was anxious to get back to the animals. One other thing we bought was a nice little luxury item of ice cold popsicles.

After getting back to the shelter I got a little help unloading the truck and got back to business. Now I am not a huge fan of emptying the poo buckets in all of the yards but doing it in scorching hot weather is not my favorite thing to do. I never mind getting my hands dirty but I was certainly glad that I had two other staff members helping me. I truly did enjoy the popsicle I had after wards.

OK, so I'm done talking about all of the cleaning. Except for one more thing, we had to disinfect one kennel because one of our little guys has kennel cough and needed to be moved to the iso unit. While doing all of this we also had to set up new kennels on our West side for the new second chance dogs that are being picked up from other shelters.

Not sure if it was all of my nagging or what but I was asked to help out in the medical office after lunch. I always want to learn as much as possible and I have been constantly asking to help out with intakes any way I can. My persistence paid off, I was asked to help intake the new dogs that arrived yesterday. I was a little nervous and excited at the same time. When I went into the med office it was no slacking in there. The intake of the dogs is pretty similar to cats with just a few size differences. I began by weighing the dog then thoroughly checking the animal over. Looking at the ears, teeth, coat (checking for any bumps or abnormalities), and the bung hole. It doesn't sound to exciting but assessing the dogs is an important process here at the shelter. After the physical examination it was time to scan for a chip. None of the animals brought in were chipped so it was something to add to the checklist. After the evaluations it was time to chip the animals and draw blood. There would be vaccinations but luckily all of the dogs were up to date. All of the guys seemed pretty healthy minus a little pug that just had his eye removed and a lab that his teeth were completely worn down, not to mention his nose looked completely sunburned which could be a sign of lupus. I'm crossing my fingers that the biopsy will turn out a little too much sun exposure.

After my learning experience it was time to welcome in the new second chance dogs. There was a total of ten new guys that all seem like they will be very hot commodities when they become available for adoption. It was funny because I had a list of the dogs that were coming in and I ran into a gentleman that had been in a few weeks ago looking at our pit puppy. Unfortunately because he was a renter that the dog was not a good fit for him. I told him to keep checking back because it was puppy season and that was what he was looking for. When I saw him in today I let him know that there were a few puppies coming in this afternoon and he should check back tomorrow. Hopefully he'll be back because there is such a cute little boxer puppy that I think it would be the perfect fit.

Even though I didn't get to do any showings or have too much time to spend with the animals it was still a very good day. I was able to learn a little more of the ins and outs of the shelter and at the same time help out my fellow staff members. My one hope is that all of the animals that we have taken in in the last few days all check out physically and behaviorally.

Monday, April 20, 2009

I Think I Need a Sno-Cone

When you sweat whether or not you are indoors or out makes any day a tough one, especially when you are running. I have found that the weekends turn into adoption fests and usually before you realize it the day is over. I have been fortunate enough to also realize that every day I spend here I experience something truly special. It might be tough to realize at the time but when you take a step back and realize what you are doing it really can put a smile on your face.

The day started a little different today, rather than focusing on one area to clean we all teamed up to knock it out faster. I started by disinfecting a small section of the kennels and quickly moved to the rabbitat. After cleaning up the iso rabbit yard (little guy has a cold) I met up with the rest of the staff to finish up the cattery. Unusual for us we were able to get all of the dogs back in their beds and everything cleaned before we opened. Good thing to because it was shaping up to be a hot one today.

As soon as we finished I grabbed my radio and saw the influx of people arriving. With all of the adoptions that took place yesterday it became a little tricky with all of the showings. I know I always say that this job can sometimes be a juggling act but today I witnessed it rather than experienced it. The reason it became so difficult was due to the fact that so many people wanted to see specific dogs and it was some times tough to keep it all organized. You have one showing with a dog and over the radio you have two more calls to see the same animal. It becomes a bit of a pressure cooker trying to gauge the adopters and whether not they are going to adopt so you can keep the people waiting to see that animal up to date. Luckily everyone here is well trained and can handle not only the adopters tactfully but also making sure that no adoptions are rushed and the animals find their right homes.

While all of the chaos was going on I was called to the front because someone was here to see me. I was a little confused to say the least until I went to the front desk. A showing that I had done yesterday with a sweet cat ended with the young couple going home to think it over. It is such a big decision that I always recommend this. That is why the couple was back and asking for me to take home their new pet. It was such a good feeling to know that not only was the little girl going home she was going home to a family that took the time to prepare for their new family member. I always love seeing people's appreciation for our process and coming to the decision on their own. We are adopting animals that we have grown attached too and we are responsible for their well being, it is our job to make sure that they are taken care of for the rest of their lives and want it to be a mutual relationship with their owner.

After a quick glass of water because I know I was getting dehydrated I got a call to do an interaction with an adopter and their two chihoos. The surprising part was they wanted to do it with a larger lab. Apparently the family had a large dog in the past and they have been patiently waiting for the right fit to come along. We tried one and quickly realized it wouldn't work because the yellow lab would paw at one of the little guys. We then introduce the family to a loveable eight year old black lab. They loved him and realized with his age being a little greater than the last it might work a bit better. The lab was a little timid and seemed with a lot of patience and constant supervision it could work. Luckily the family has some patience and decided to wait until later in the summer when there are more family members at home to be able to monitor the situation. It wasn't an adoption but it was good to know that the family has a plan for finding thier new family member.

With so many empty kennels I was not surprised to see our lead trainer bring in some new guys. It is always good when you can give some loveable guys a second chance to find a new home. The six new dogs are all very friendly little guys ranging from labs to a cute little pug with one eye. I have no doubt as soon as they go through medical and behavioral testing they will find their new homes sooner than later. I was also told that our trainer would be heading out to a few other shelters to give some dogs a "second chance".

After getting all of the kennels set up for the new guys I was called to do my first and only showing of the day. It was with a little mutt that is truly a sweetheart. The young couple fell in love with him but there were a few things that needed to be done before he could go home. The couple's son wasn't present and the family was renting so we not only needed the extra interaction but also a rental agreement saying this pet could live at the adopters home. The family said they couldn't get everything until the next day. I informed them that our policy doesn't allow them to hold the dog but he wasn't exactly a hot commodity. They understood and respected it and said they would be in first thing in the morning. Towards the end of the day I got a call because the family was back with their son and a thorough rental agreement saying that the dog could go home. After about half an hour of the son playing with the guy it was a go. The family was so appreciative of being able to bring their family member home that I felt, once again, that warm fuzzy feeling.

Even though today was by far the hottest most physically draining day I have experienced at the shelter I can always go home with a smile on my face. I know that there are those tough days but no matter how difficult those days can be there are always those experiences that make it all worthwhile. The heat today was easily bearable when you know that you have helped animals find their forever homes and families that their lives are truly enriched by having a pet that fits their needs.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

You Win Some and You Lose Some

I am realizing more and more everyday that this "job" isn't really a job and it is more an experience of life. Don't get me wrong, there are certainly those aspects of a job that come in to play but overall I have never experienced such emotions in a workplace. Nor have I ever been given the four steps of working in a shelter either.

I learned early in the morning that the owners of the little spaz spaniel I adopted earlier in the week had called to talk to our behavior specialist. When I heard this my heart sank. I have come to the reality that animals do get returned and the fear that I have for having one of the animals that I have adopted out is very great. Luckily though the woman wanted to ask some questions about the little guy jumping up on the couch. Apparently their other 100 pound dog isn't allowed to but they like it when the new one does. They also said they the little guy was great and they were really enjoying him which was a litte easement to know. After my heart started again it was time to get to cleaning.

As usual there were a couple of painters through the night and when we got them out of their kennels I had some nice abstract poo artwork on my jeans and shirt. Luckily it was hot out and I pretty much just hosed myself off. Thank goodness I am used to the smell, that is all that I have to say. Other than that cleaning was pretty routine. Once we were all done we shuttled the animals back up because it was opening time. The masses of people that show up on Saturdays always surprises me. The thing that encompassed me the most was just getting some of these dogs some forever homes.

When you're buse time certainly flies and when you are working at a dog shelter on any given Saturday time is at warp speed. With showing after showing and of course, I forgot to mention, some of our dogs at our thrift store for the grand opening, it seemed like we were always two steps behind. My first showing was actually helping out with a dog interaction on a newly relinqueshed dog. The adopters dog and the shelter guy got along great and it was the first adoption of the day. It was good not only to find an animal a new home but because the little guy had only been in the shelter for a few days.

Later on I was called to do a showing with a little lab/terrier nine month old. I met the people and their young daughter and went to introduce them to the little pup. I ran around frantically trying to find the dog because she wasn't in her kennel or the yard she was designated to. I was about to call the volunteer coordinator to see if she was being shown off at the thrift store when I saw her being put back in her kennel. Without me knowing she had just been in a showing so now I was in a bit of a pickel. I showed the dog to the new family and they loved her. That was when I had to tell them that another family had just looked at her and had priority on adopting her. By some turn of fate though the original family was now looking at our black female lab that had been in the shelter for a good two months when they decided to adopt her. Talk about a great dog that needs to find a home. It was a time to celebrate and of course keep our fingers crossed that it works out. I was able to tell the family that I was in the showing with that the dog is available but they thought it just wasn't the perfect fit. Good thing I was stressing, made it a lot better when everything worked out for the best.

Speaking of animals that have been here for far too long. A terrier mix that had been here for quite a while and was thought as a tough guy to adopt found his perfect home today as well. It is not only a great feeling when one of these long term guys gets adopted out but two in one day is a shocker. Time to break out the cookies and the brownies to celebrate. Of course you don't want to do too much becuase like I have mentioned before, you really don't want to do anything to jinx it. So everyone out there cross your fingers and hope these guys have found their forever homes.

Three adoptions in the books it was shaping up to be a memorable day. That was when I was called to do a cat showing. I know how much I focus on dogs here at the shelter but there are some great felines that grace us with their company as well. The woman was a little bit older and wanted to see about five cats. I was able to narrow it down by looking at her requirements. The main one being it must get along with dogs. We went into the cattery and it was amazing how fast she was able to get a feeling for the cats. We quickly moved on to a mother/daughter bonded pair. She immediately was drawn to the younger daughter but wasn't so interested in the mother. Since they were bonded they had to go home together. After that meeting she wanted to see a cat that has a whole room to herself becuase of her cat aggression. She was a long haired tortie that the woman just fell in love with. I gave them some time on their own while I went over the latest information about the cat. Turns out she didn't get along with other cats buy seemed interested in other dogs. I came back to the room and the woman asked if this cat was an option. I said absolutely and another adoption was in the books. I also have to mention that this little girl was a long timer as well. She had been in the shelter for several months and was another adoption to celebrate (with our fingers and toes crossed).

The day of adoptions was coming to an end. We had one more relinqueshment and a lot more lookers. This place is certainly a different place than I have ever worked before. Every emotion is magnified because there is an emotional bond to what you are working for. The mission is clear though, get as many off the streets and into homes as possible. It might be a very small difference when you look at the whole but it is a difference. The more I do here the clearer it becomes, animals enrich our lives in more ways than I ever had imagined.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

A Day for the Record Books

You know you have those days where you are just flying on cloud nine, today was one of those days and boy did I need it after yesterday. Coming into work today I had that thing hanging over me from yesterday that just made me feel like crap. All I could do this morning was throw on my headphones and scrub the bad feelings away.

Once I was done it was on to the usual and then a surprising showing right when we opened. The young woman and her two sons wanted to see a little white spaniel mix that had been at the shelter for over two months. The reason the little guy has been here so long is he is basically a spaz. From food and toy guarding issues to not getting along with other dogs we were all beginning to wonder what kind of home this guy could go to. I read over the adopter's profile and saw that they were looking for a mellow dog that could get along with their own pet who was a 100 pound mutt. I explained to them that the shelter dog they were looking at has A LOT of energy and really has only gotten along with one dog while at the humane society. A little turned off they still wanted to see him. And just so everyone knows, I am not trying to steer people away from the troubled guys, I just want them to be completely prepared so they know what they are getting themselves into.

When we went into the show yard the family seemed immediately pleased with the rambunctious little guy. They were playing fetch and comparing him to a former dog the family once had. I went over some "specific problems" that the animal had and went through his medical history as well. Once I saw them playing I decided to leave them alone for a while to play with him on their own. When I came back they were hooked, it was now time to grab another staff member to do an interaction with what could be a big brother for our little shelter dog. Our introduction consisted of walking the dogs on leash past each other and progressed to walking the dogs side by side. Everything seemed OK and we decided to put them in a yard together. After a whole lot of sniffing and little pees the dogs seemed to ignore each other. Then finally, our little spaz spaniel did a play bow and it was on from there. The family thought it was a great fit and decided to adopt. I told them to head to the office and finish all of the paperwork while I bring the dog around. It was a great feeling to know that not only is our little guy going home he is going to have a big brother to keep him company.

Amidst all of this one of the second chance dogs also got adopted to a great family. He does have to stay in the shelter a while longer until he gets neutered but after that he can go home as well. Oh, and did I mention, the dog that almost got adopted yesterday went home today too. Talk about a great feeling. Three of our dogs, two of them long term attendees, got to find their forever homes today. It is such an amazing feeling to find these guys their homes and I am truly experiencing the rewards of working here.

Of course with the good comes the bad. While I was eating my lunch we got a call from a concerned citizen that was chasing after a stray just a block away from the shelter. Like some sort of crime fighting force we all jumped in the shelter truck with paw prints all over it and sped to the rescue. The problem was there are some animals that just don't want to be caught and this little guy was one of them. We tried everything from throwing the remainder of my pb and j at him to cornering him. He was just to frightened and had the speed of a greyhound. It's one of those sad instances that all you can do is hope that he finds his home and doesn't get hurt.

Even with not being able to catch the stray, today was an unbelievable day. After the crap I had yesterday with the depressing euthanasia the adoptions we had today was exactly what I needed. Even though there is an overwhelming feeling of satisfaction and happiness there is also one of fear. It is always on my mind, after witnessing it happen, is what if the dogs come back? All I can do is hope they won't but that really does scare me to think that their new families might not work out and they would have to come back to the shelter. Oh well, can't think about the "what ifs?" in life and just take it for what it unbelievable day that I can take home and feel some accomplishment.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Back in the Game

Wow, after five days of not working I came back today and felt like I was starting new all over again. I had almost forgot how tiring it was to scrub some kennels. On top of the physical stuff I think I lost my immunity to the smell of dog poo. Coming back to work I just jumped right into the cleaning, when I was close to being finished my supervisor came up to me and said "not that I want to make your morning cleaning any worse, but we have to put a dog down today". You might think they were being insensitive but I asked her to tell me so I wouldn't find out second hand later on in the day. Me being me I said that I wanted to be part of it because without those crappy horribly tough times there wouldn't be the good ones.

After the feedings I went over to take care of the rabbits. I know I have said it before but these guys are like cats when it comes to liking me or hating me. Some little guys are great and let you pet them while others just claw at me and would probably bite me if they ever got the chance. Needless to say I got it done as fast as possible since I couldn't stop sneezing the entire time I was in there.

Next chance I got I started soaking the dishes when one of the staff members came and told me it was time for the euthanasia. I can't go into any details for the simple fact that I will start crying my eyes out again. What I will tell you is I saw a video of the animal and realized it was for the better. The little guy showed incredible aggression and was actually pretty scary. I know it doesn't really make it easier but I have to keep telling myself that because this one unlike the last made me truly upset and I left the room with a box of tissues. This event really did throw off the rest of my day. It felt like I was in a rut and couldn't get out. All I could think about was the procedure, that is until I went to visit the other animals.

Even though this has truly been one of the most emotional days I have ever had here it is good to go and visit the dogs that will soon find homes. It gets your mind off all of the crap and on to what is important, saving as many as you can. Speaking of saving, one of the little animal safehouse program dogs got to go home today. He was a cute little fuzzy poodle that had been here for about a month and was soon to be relinquished to us but the owner was able to come and pick him up and take him home. It was nice to see how happy that little dog was to see it's owner.

With two more cats being relinquished I was asked to help with their intake. I really am growing fonder and fonder of cats because the shelter is very specific of which ones they allow in. However there are those instances that a cat is being returned, we take back all of our animals no matter how long ago they were adopted, and they might not be the nicest guys. The cats that we did intake on were pretty much polar opposites. One was a sweet little guy that was a little over weight and unfortunately been declawed. The toughest part of taking him in was trying to find a vein to draw blood from. Now the other one was a spit fire. I wanted nothing to do with him because all he was doing was hissing and swatting. I can't blame the guy though with such a stressful situation going on around him but that doesn't make his intake any easier. Finally the staff was able to take care of most of his vaccinations but after a few the cat got really pissy and it was decided to wait on the rest. After that we got their kennels set up in the cattery and easily got one in and about 15 minutes later got the other one in and quickly closed the door. Hopefully after some quite time they will be a little less stressed and adoptable soon.

With laundry out of the way and my mind racing after today's events the best thing for me to do was keep my mind busy and eats lots of candy. Luckily I was called to do a showing with one of the second chance dogs. I went over the adoption application and everything seemed good. I went to show the gentleman the dog and realized that it was female. The reason this is of concern is that his girlfriend who visits often with her dog has a female as well. The shelter however has the policy that we will not adopt female to female dogs. Luckily the man wasn't too interested in the dog and understood the policy but would keep checking back for that right fit.

Close to closing time we started bringing all of the dogs back up to their kennels. That's when I got another call for a showing with a dog that had been returned once and been here for quite some time. It was a young man that was looking for a pretty mellow and small dog since he lived in an apartment. The big problem was that he was out of the house for more than eight hours on occasion but said the dog would be kept inside. It is definitely an issue but as long as the owner plans ahead it should work out fine. I gave him some time to spend with the dog and when I returned he was hooked. He wanted to adopt but had to prepare everything for his new dog and get his apartment ready. He said he would be here first thing in the morning when we opened up to adopt her.

The days that put you in a funk are few and far between but you have to know that they are always just around the corner. You can't be a pessimist about them but you can't deny that they are coming. With all of the bad however there is always something good that can come out of it. What I am taking from today isn't the sadness of putting down an animal but the happiness of getting one adopted. The other thing that I am going to go home and think about is without those incrediblly tough times there wouldn't be the good ones. Life is full of ups and downs and withouth the lowes there wouldn't be the highs. Thanks for reading and I will be back tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

My Friday

I wanted to try something a little different today. I know there is always the same old thing about cleaning up some poop, doing some laundry, taking out the garbage, and washing some dishes. Today that is all you get for the cleaning. Instead I'm going to focus on the animals and how I feel today. The first thing I want to mention is the puppy showing that we had early on in the day.

Of course since I'm the only one that could touch the puppies again today, every time there was a showing with them I would have to carry the little 20 pound guys about 300 yards down to their play area. I do need to mention that the other two from the litter that we have came back from foster today so now we have all four poop machines at the kennel. Since the first showing had already seen two of them they wanted to see the new ones that came into today. While I was carrying the little guys down another staff member noticed the herniated umbilical chord on one of the puppies. Nothing to serious but it will require surgery when he gets neutered. When we got down to the yard the young couple fell in love with the two new puppies. After a few minutes we brought down one of the original two to get a feel for him too. We left them alone and when we came back they had made up their mind. The little chocolate brown guy with green eyes found a new home.

The reason this adoption was so unique is the couple was very young and these were half pit bull puppies. To begin, a young couple is always a question but he owned his home which was a necessary and his dog got along great with the puppy. After a lot of red tape and a whole lot of patience from the adopter it got approved. The reason we have so many rules when adopting any percentage of a pit bull is about 75% of the places in this county the homeowners association will not allow it. It really is unfortunate that these dogs get such a bad rap for a few bad owners. Anyways, I think the little guy found a great home and hopefully we can keep updated on him.

Moving on in the day. I was asked to pick up a couple of dogs from the vets office. We only have a vet on property about once a week for surgeries so when their is a procedure that needs to get done immediately we send the animals to a local clinic. The funny thing was I didn't have my car today and had to take the vet tech's. Not that I don't like driving other people's cars I just get so paranoid about getting in a wreck I usually come pretty close to having a panic attack the first time I put it into reverse. Luckily everything went fine and I got the two little guys back to the shelter and hopefully one step closer to being adopted.

I know I wouldn't talk about laundry today but it leads into my next story. I was stocking towels in the cattery when I got a call over the walkie asking to take a call in the office. It turns out it was the woman that adopted Ziggy the cat yesterday. She wanted to tell me how well she fit in and how grateful she was to have her. The new owner actually said when she tried to sleep little Ziggy would lick her eyelids because she wanted more time with her. It was another one of those fuzzy moments for me when you can actually see a difference in someone's life rather than the difference between a poo stained kennel and a clean one.

The rest of the day was pretty normal. I did have a few rejections for some adopters wanting to look at the puppies because they were eithier too young or rented their home. I also learned that if you feed our little girl that is still on medical hold by hand she eats a lot more. Hopefully we can get her to gain some weight and get her adopted out soon.

In closing I have to tell everyone thank you all so much for your wonderful comments and continuing to share my experiences. It is a great feeling to know that others care. To answer a comment I got a few days ago yes, the little guy that got adopted was Luigi. I got to spend some time with him today and say my goodbyes since he will be leaving for is forever home on Wednesday. It was sad to say goodbye but it was a great feeling to know he was getting out of here.

I also wanted to let everyone know that I am taking some time off for Easter so don't worry when there is nothing written this weekend. I will be back on the grind Monday morning and hopefully sharing some more incredible experiences with everyone. Thanks again to all of the readers and have a great week.

Monday, April 6, 2009

2nd Chance Day

Walking into work today I had a good attitude about it all after having my first adoption yesterday. Even when I was told it was time to disinfect the south kennels I did it with a smile. So after getting all of the dogs down to their yards it was time to get scrubbing, or at least hosing. I paired up with our kennel supervisor to get it knocked out and knock it out we did. I couldn't believe how fast we got it done, she scrubbed while I hosed and disinfected. Before I knew it the task was done and there was still an hour before we opened.

After the morning cleaning it is always nice to knock out the necessary stuff early. Especially on Mondays when the once a week duties are assigned. Those are the ones that you are glad to get out of the way as early as possible. With my rubber gloves on and about 15 garbage bags, another staff member, and myself headed down to the yards to change out the poo buckets. It's not that this is such a horrible thing, but the monotony of walking into all of these yards and simply changing a garbage bag that reeks of poo gets a little boring after about the fifth one. I'm just glad that we got it out of the way early.

Poo buckets out of the way it was time to get the laundry started and the dishes soaked. An easy task when you have as many staff members working on it as we did this morning. Just like sanitizing the kennels earlier the rest of the cleaning was knocked out without a problem. Before I decided to take a break and eat some chocolate cake I wanted to wash the windows in the cattery just so everything on our checklist would be signed off. Plus it is such an easy job I like to get to it before someone else does. I know, I can be a little lazy at times but putting in my headphones and washing windows is kind of like doing the laundry. A nice little zen time to myself.

Moving on in the day, a cat showing came up and I jumped at the opportunity after the feeling I got yesterday finding a great family a great pet to go home with them. As I read over the bio of the adopters they seemed like a great couple in their mid sixties that shouldn't have a problem getting approved for their new pet. Before I took them to see the cat they initially asked for I took them to see a few others just so they could get a feel for the different behaviors that some of our little guys have. I did this because the cat that they were looking at was a little aloof and usually showed no attention to anyone in the room. Even though this was the case they really fell in love with the little calico girl. I spoke with them for about half and hour and found a loving couple that had just put their corgi down and decided they couldn't have another dog. They felt that this cat (who's future name would be Fido) was the one that chose them and they wanted to take her home. Everything was good but we just needed to get a rental agreement from their landlord since they were renting. Luckily we were able to get that individual on the phone and get the agreement that way. Fido found a new home and we are all happy to say that it seems like a perfect fit. I finally get to feel the pleasure of finding homes for our little animals. It is such an uplifting thing and makes me want to come back for more.

Luckily I know I will have the chance again. Today was the day for our second chance dogs that were rescued from another shelter. This time there were ten new dogs coming in which meant more guys to find homes for. Like the laundry though, even when you think you have made a dent in it there comes an influx of more. I can see why this could get pretty depressing but you have to do what you can. The good thing about it is that this shelter educates the people. The more people know about over population of dogs and cats the better chance we have of saving these animals. It kills me to see all of these poor little animals with sagging stomachs that end up in our shelter. People need to take responsibility and get it done, otherwise the states will make sure it gets done for you. Now that is one law I am down for.

A Day To Remember

Sundays usually start like any other day of the week, today was no different. But how the day unfolded made this day one I will never forget. The day began with letting all of the dogs out for their morning break. I was once again assigned the puppies so I couldn't handle any of the sick dogs. For the first time ever though I didn't sanitize any of the kennels this weekend. I am a little disappointed I'm not getting my upper body workout but I guess it will have to do.

Once I was finished with the morning cleaning, which was rather quickly I went over to the cattery to assist there. With only one cat kennel left it was mine, unfortunately it was the one that had poo smeared all over it. Some times my timing is just perfect I thought to myself. I think the other two staff members were thinking the exact same thing.

Now that the South kennels and the cattery were done I went ahead and took out all of the garbage and started the laundry. Before I knew it was close to opening time and the East and West weren't yet sanitized. Luckily everyone came together and knocked out the remaining cleaning right as we opened.

Like yesterday, today seemed a little more mellow than the last several weekends. Not sure if it has something to do with adequate staffing or just less people, but it is nice and relaxing. Dishes washed and all of the morning cleaning duties out of the way it was time for me to spend a little time with the puppies. It was nice because they are off of bite quarantine and are able to be in the public's eye for the first time in a while. The only problem is when I go and visit and work with them in their kennel everyone that walks by screams PUPPIES!

Later in the day we were informed about another pet relinquishment. This time it was a lovely little cat that the owner couldn't take with her because they were downsizing their home. You always feel bad for the animal because it is having to go through the stressful transition of moving into a shelter but you also have to look at the owners as well. Now I have dealt with the emotionless to the down right nutty but today it was very tough to see this woman give up her companion that she obviously loved dearly. When we were chipping the animal she wanted to come say goodbye one more time. With tears in her eyes she was explaining how the little guy like to be petted and that he seemed comfortable with us. A few hugs and a lot of tears later she thanked us for doing what we do and I walked her out. It is always nice to see people appreciative of how different this shelter is and also comforting them no matter how long it takes.

All I know is at this point if I were to blink hard I'm sure a few tears would stream down my face. Best thing to do is just get back to work. It was time for the afternoon break for all the dogs and luckily the other staff members were on the ball and got most of them out while we were taking care of the cat. Once all of the closing work was done I was in the office and was asked to take a showing. It was a mother and her daughter. The daughter was about 50 and I'm not sure how old the mother was but they wanted to look at a little white spaniel. I read over their profile and noticed on their energy level they were right above couch potato. The funny thing is the little guy they wanted to look at is a spaz of all spazzes and needs a home that will tire him out. I told them about the animal and said it probably wouldn't be a good fit. They understood and took my recommendations on a few other dogs that might be a good fit. We went down to visit one of the dogs (who had been here almost two months) and they fell in love. The reason the dog hasn't been adopted out yet is due to his toy and food guarding issues. He is one of those little guys that doesn't need any children running around and needs to have his owner all to himself. I felt that the adopters were perfect. The woman had lost her dog about eight months ago and said she would never get another one and yet here she is again with the biggest smile on her face. I decided to leave them alone for a bit to spend some time with the dog and it also gave me a chance to look over the little guy's medical record to see what has been done. When I returned they had a few questions but were still showing lots of emotion. The people decided to adopt after I answered their remaining questions but wouldn't be able to take him home for a few days. They wanted to prepare the home first for their new arrival. That wouldn't be a problem and away they went.

My first adoption. I can only tell you that I left work today with the biggest smile I can smile. It is so nice to find an animal the perfect home and the perfect people for a new pet. The smiles and warmth that is brought out in the interaction will make anyone feel good. Animals truly enrich our lives and I am happy to be part of making that happen. A great day to remember.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

A Change of Pace

With all of my weeks beginning on the busiest day of the week I have gotten used to my "Mondays" flying by in the blink of an eye. Today was different however, not sure if it was the weather or what but I honestly felt a little out of place because it was such a laid back Saturday. It began as usual, having that sense of urgency to get the dogs down to their runs and get all of their kennels cleaned. Surprisingly they decided to postpone the disinfecting because we were a little short handed again. I think I am the only person who has disinfected in the last six weeks but if you have read my previous blogs you know that I enjoy doing it. Back to the story, without disinfecting we were able to knock out the kennels and feedings in under an hour and a half and were able to do all of the morning duties before we opened the doors.

Once all of the cleaning, laundry, dishes and garbage were taken care of one of the staff went to a dog training class for about two hours and I decided to go and socialize the puppies. Let me tell you, it's such a tough job to play and work with the puppies. For one you can't deal with any of the sick dogs because you don't want to expose the little guys to any sort of illness. What does that mean for me, I have to spend a lot of time with two little puppies and their puppy breath. After the little guys had fallen asleep in my lap I got a call over the radio for my help in the office. I responded quickly and realized that the rest of the staff was taking a break and eating some homemade hummus that someone had brought in. It's nice when you get called to go and take a break and eat some great healthy food rather than the normal donuts.

After the relaxing few minutes I decided to knock out some more laundry. I really do know how a postal worker feels when the mail never stops coming because it always seems that as soon as you get the laundry caught up you start your week and the piles are back. I'm not complaining though, it is my relaxing time when I turn on the radio, listen to the news, and fold fold away. Once I was finished I noticed that bags and bags of donated towels were coming in. I thought to myself I just hope they were clean. Luckily they were but the real problem popped into my head...where are we going to put all of these, we're low on room as it is. Luckily someone suggested that we donate a good chunk of our towels to another shelter that isn't as fortunate as ours, a win win kind of situation. I just need to remember to thank the girl scout group that organized the towel donation for us. Once again the community getting involved and helping more than just our shelter.

With chores caught up it was time to learn how to do cat showings. I have kind of steered away from them just because I really don't know that much about the animals. I guess that is why I asked to go along this time, it's about learning not being complacent. Once we did it though I realized how much easier they were than dog showings. You basically want to check out the adopters profile and figure out if they want an indoor or outdoor cat, also whether or not they plan on declawing. Depending on the way that you answer this question and the cat that you are looking at could disqualify you from the adoption process. So on to the showing, it was a couple that was just here to "look". The woman had lost her cat about four weeks ago and was still not quite over the grief. She did have a couple of cats she wanted to meet but once she met that special lil girl she knew that if she was to adopt this would be the one. The couple spent some time loving on the eight month old little girl but decided they wanted to think about it over night. That is usually the best idea becuase you never want to jump into owning a new pet. The problem however arose later in the day when a women who had lost her cat about two weeks ago fell in love with the cat and adopted her. Hopefully the original couple will understand and they can find the perfect cat that they can't go home without.

Cat showings in the bag I needed to go feed the little puppies. Their feedings are too complicated but they are pretty strict. We free feed them dry food throughout the day and feed them puppy wet food three times a day. It is very important that the little guys are eating becuase they are growing so fast. I'm just glad that there are only two of them because they do make quite a mess.

During lunch I learned that a great little mutt with the biggest underbite I have ever seen outside of an English Bulldog got adopted. The reason this is such a big deal (not that it ever wouldn't be) is because this little guy has been here since before I started working here. To top it off he was diagnosed with heartworm and just finished his last treatment about a week ago. If you don't know about the two month treatment it involves some heavy chemo therapy that can leave the dog powerless for several days and cannot be active for a month after each treatment. Long story short, he is one of our favorites here at the shelter and it was sad to say goodbye but the happiness surely squashed any feelings about the little guy leaving us.

Later in the day there was another showing with a lab that has been in the shelter even longer. Everyone always holds their breath when this lovely little girl gets a showing. She is a little older so they seem to be very few and far between. From what I was told though the showning was very promising. The next step is to bring in another family member tomorrow to make sure there is no allergic reaction. I'll make sure I light a candle, say a little prayer, and keep my fingers and toes crossed for this one.

A little more cleaning, some afternoon feedings, a lot of manual labor, and some more loveing on the dogs closed out this supposedly busiest day of the week. Even if the urgency isn't there like usual there is always something to do in the shelter. With a little less showings and traffic today I had the oppurtunity to spend some time with some animals I hadn't really gotten to know yet. It's kind of that double edge sword though, you try to not become attached to the animals but it reallys is a difficult task. All of the animals here are incredibly loving and the more you get to know them the more you care for them and the more difficult it becomes to see them in this place for months on end in some cases.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Glad I Can Still Lift My Arms

With a physically demanding week done I am glad I can still walk. I really can't remember the last time I have gotten home and stayed in the shower for such a long time. I do enjoy a good workout but this week was something else. If you haven't read the last three days than I will give you a quick update. We were completely short handed and everyone that was at work did about double the physical work as normal. What does that mean for me, my arms and legs never got a chance to recover from the previous day.

So on to today. With the majority of the staff still at their training class there was once again a limited amount of people here to do the job today. On we went taking all of the dogs down making sure that one of the staff didn't handle any sick dogs in order to deal with the two puppies that are here. You never want to compromise their tiny immune systems so everyday there is one person that is "assigned" to them. After bringing all of the dogs down and making sure the iso dogs got out it was time to clean. Luckily two of the front desk people helped out and we were able to knock out the cleaning in no time. When we finished up I decided to take a quick breather.

As I was sitting there one of the front desk people came in and jokingly said there were 20 people lined up outside. I kind of laughed until I realized she was telling the truth. Today was the day that the seven new dogs were available for adoption and since we don't put holds on any animals the people were lining up. When the crowd came in we also noticed one of the recently adopted dogs was back. Turns out that the little guy was picking on his new brother too much so they had to bring him back. Luck has it though that one of the new adopters had originally wanted the returned dog but was adopted by the time they came for him, talk about good timing. By the end of the day the little guy found the right home and was able to leave after spending a short time back at the shelter.

With a our little guy getting to go home it was time to focus on all of the other adopters. It's a little unnerving when there are a number of people lining up for one dog. You want to scream that there are a bunch of other great dogs that are available as well but it's like talking to a brick wall. This happened with the little five year old Cocker Spaniel. There were two people that were looking to adopt her. The problem was we need everyone here that is in the household to meet the animal to make sure that it was a good fit. Without everyone there it became a game of who could get there fastest. The first couple was calling around and finally got the other member of their family to come in. The issue arrised when after about an hour they still weren't there while the second person in line was still waiting to hear if she had the chance to adopt. After some tense waiting the first couple got their other family member there and were able to adopt. I feel bad for the other couple but there are policies for just such occasions. If she hadn't waited and the first couple not worked out she would have been out a dog. I'm just glad at least one of them worked out and the little girl was able to find a great home.

After all of the excitement I have to say I was trying to do as little as possible. I was so tired and burnt out from this week that I felt like the clock was moving backwards and I would never make it to five o'clock. Luckily I was able to keep myself busy with laundry and a little time with the animals. It is always nice to take a dog for a walk or sit with them in their kennel. Spending time with the animals in a quite situation is what this job is all about. When you're not running around trying to get all of the busy work done you kind of forget what you are actually doing...helping the animals.

You always hope that there will never be those tough days but during today's work piled on top of my experiences this week I realized that work is work. There are those days when you are so motivated and happy to be making a difference that you couldn't imagine haveing a bad day. Then there are those days that ask yourself what the hell am I doing here. You always have to take a step back and say without those crappy days you wouldn't have the great days to compare them to. That's life and once you realize that it all becomes a lot easier.
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