The morning began with a little bitter sweetness. I learned that one of our long termers had gotten adopted and was thrilled to hear the news, at the same time I learned that three of our other animals had been returned to the shelter. In fact two of the animals were a bonded pair that I had adopted out about two weeks ago. This is my first "return" so to speak. The news really did hit hard, I was so sure that the woman was a good fit for the two dogs that when I heard the news I was pretty much in shock. When I spoke with the rest of the staff that had a little more info on the situation I learned that one of the little guys (who had lived together their whole lives) was a bit of an attention hog and when the adopter tried loving on the other guy the one would go abosolutely ape. I know that it is tough for me but the positive outlook on it is we know this now and we can use this information in finding the right home for these animals.
Another dog had been returned to the shelter during my days off as well. I was completely blindsided by this one. I thought the adopters were pretty much perfect and really did care about the dog. I was right that they really cared for the animal but unfortuanately their living and work situation caused a few problems. Once the dog was adopted the adopter took her home, left her in the condo, and went to work. For animals that are completely acclimated to their enviornment this o.k., but for those that have been in a shelter and have cortisol levels through the roof it can cause a problem. The animal ended up chewing through some base boards and a door trying to get out and since the condo was rented they felt that the dog would be too destructive and had to bring her back. I really don't blame anyone here, it was an unfortuante event that happened, but people need to be aware that shelter dogs are different from any other animal out there. They need an extreme amount of work and patience but with time they will be your lifelong friends.
On to the busy stuff. All I have to say about cleaning this morning is dissinfecting South with seven puppies that love to poo EVERYWHERE! Once all of the guys were fed, including special diets, we split up and covered the cattery and rabbitat. Before we knew it the clock said 11:00. Opening time and boy I didn't feel prepared. It seemed after being off for three days that I had pretty much forgotten about everything that I was doing here.
I was called to do a showing with a little terrier that is part of our second chance dogs. I read over the file and realized that the adopters had two young children at home and that posed a problem for the animal that they were looking at. The dog gets along with kids fine but had broken it's pelvis before he came to the shelter and had to have some pretty serious surgery this past week. For about the next three to four weeks the little guy can't run around or play and with children in the household that can be pretty difficult. The woman understood, especially becuase she is a physical therapist, but still wanted to meet the guy anyhow. She said she would be back in a few weeks to see if he was still here becuase they really liked his termperment.
Before I knew it lunch time was approaching. That was after a little business got taken care of. There was a relinqueshment of a very old terrier that seemed to be on her last leg. The poor girl was blind, had some massive infections in several areas, and even snapped a few times. Normally we wouldn't take a dog like this because we feel that she was unadoptable, but because of the situation the animal was coming from we felt it necissary. The woman that had been taking care of the animal was stricken with Parkinsins disease and could no longer care for the animal. We spoke with the woman's daughter who brought the animal in and also with the woman herself and informed them about the situation. The owner ended up wanted to put the animal down and her daughter agreed. The rest of the story is pretty unknown to me, as soon as I heard they were going to put the animal down I tried focussing my attention to other things.
Luckily there was a woman that brought in her young pug to have her microchipped. I was glad to get out of the situation I was in to help out. The procedure was very easy, we simply fed the animal some cream cheese, and used a syringe to inject the micorchip under the animals skin right around the neck. Not even a squirm came out of the little pug, probably the easiest microchipping I have ever been part of.
With the day progressing and feedings out of the way I was called to another showing, or rather denial. The family was looking at one of our puppies but on their application said that the animal would be kept outside while the family was away. This is an automatic denial because there are so many issues that can arrise from that living situation. The family had a tough time understanding the denial and through just about every argument at me. They used guilt because the puppy was for thier daughter's 13 birthday and I was keeping her from getting the dog, they also used blind dumbness saying that they did not understand the question on the form, and my favorite one was the dad saying that it wasn't his "fault that his wife filled out the wrong answer, let me just fill out another application". After about five minutes of saying that they couldn't have a puppy the mother was crying and the father looked like he wanted to hit me, that was when I became amazed, the young daughter put her arm on her Mother's back and said that it was o.k.. I was so shocked that I really became speechless. The maturity and understanding astonished me, I just hope it rubbs off on her parents.
To close out the day there were a lot of showings today with not to much to show for. We had quite a few puppies adopted including one that happened right before we closed, but other than that we ended up with more dogs than we started out with today. With a few relinqueshments and a lot of busy work the day came to an end. Even though not to many people went home with animals today it was good to know that there are people out there looking. I can only cross my fingers and hope that some of our guys will go home tomorrow. Thanks for reading and remember, educate, the more people that know about these animals the better.