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.
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