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Sunday, May 17, 2009

The wrong foot forward

It took me a good five hours to finally get in the groove today. There were a number of contributing factors that caused this but I will try to sound as positive as I possible can because today was one of those days for me. Saturdays are my Mondays and usually I am very optimistic and motivated to start my work week at the shelter, however, during cleaning this morning my whole mentality changed.

I started by teaming up with another kennel attendant to clean the South side kennels. They weren't too bad but there were a couple of puppies that were still waiting to go home so the poo works of art were still needing some attention. Oh, I forgot to mention, our laundry machine had been out of commission for the last three days so you can imagine the amount of dirty blankets, towels, and toys that are continuing to get backed up. On top of all the dirtiness in the kennels it has overflowed in to the laundry room with poo stained blankets.

After the dogs were back in their areas and fed it was time to move on to the cattery. I started on the North end which smelled horrible. I later found out that a few of the cats had pooped and peed outside of their litter boxes which is just a thrill to clean. After I switched out all of the litter, changed the bedding and fed the little guys I wiped down the entire area with bleach wipes. I couldn't have a imagined a smell that could withstand those but of course I was wrong and the place still smelled wretched. It was nearly eleven when I still didn't notice anyone in the cattery to help out, a bit surprising considering that we were opening in about 15 minutes. I figured there had to be something that needed to be done so I moved on to the south cattery. I couldn't believe my nostrils, this place stank worse than the first. It turns out that some cats had gotten out of their kennels the previous night, pooped and peed just about everywhere and when one of the kennel attendants tried putting them back in this morning the proceeded to knock over their food and water bowls along with their bedding which broke all over the floor and was welcoming me when I went in to clean.

As you can imagine my attitude wasn't the best at this point. In fact I think that I was pretty much ready to walk out, I know, it was a childish thought but I was so unmotivated to do anything the rest of the day. I took a deep breath and soldiered on and found the last half of my day to be a lot better than the first.

With today being the busiest of days and our staff being a little short handed the afternoon flew by. I had a lot of showings starting off with some kittens. As I was walking into the showing one of the four had already been adopted. Usually we only adopt kittens in pairs but if the adopter has another feline at home we make the exception. My showing however was a little different. It was a mother and her two daughters. They had recently lost their dog and now wanted a kitten for a new pet. I explained to them that we adopt them in pairs and it turns out they were all for that. I got the microchip scanner to make sure we didn't mix up their kittens with anyone of the other kittens. I simply took the ones that the family was going to adopt, scanned their scruff, copied down the numbers, grabbed the corresponding files and got the family on their way.

After the kitten adoption I learned that soon afterward the last little kitten got to go home. Wow, those were a hot commodity. Next I was called into a showing with a little dog that had already been returned once. It was a nice family with a younger daughter that had lost their pet about four months ago. They had been looking online but this was their first time coming into any shelter. They initially wanted to look at a little min pin that had a little too much energy for what they were looking for so I introduced them to a little mellow, yes I said mellow, terrier mix. They immediately fell in love. I told them that the little guy had a tick born disease known as erlychia but we believe we caught it very early and she has about five more days left on her antibiotics. The family wanted some time to think so they went to lunch. Not half an hour later the shelter got a call saying that they wanted to adopt. Later in the day they came back and filled out the paperwork. I gave them some handouts on behavioral training, explained the medication and sent them on their way. Ah, another adoption, the true upside to my day.

The day finished with another interaction that went so so, we might try again tomorrow to see how it goes. Other than that it was a lot of running around making sure everything got done in the little time that we had left in the day. I am thankful that there are some great co workers here that know how to step it up when the day calls for it. Without the teamwork here this machine would surely break down.

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