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.