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Monday, June 15, 2009

Back and forth

It’s one of those days that you go from being happy to sad and on and on. The day was pretty typical with me signing up for the South side dogs. I have to say that it is a quick job when there are only five kennels to clean and a total of fewer than ten dogs that need to be taken care of. Once I got all of the guys fed and back in their kennels. It was nice to get done quickly and take my time with some of the dogs including my favorite little girl Liza, the treeing coon hound, that is finally coming out of her shell. I sat with her after I put her back after her break and she even walked right up to me and started eating her food which was a first as far as I know.

Luckily we had a full staff and all of the morning tasks were easily taken care of. I was able to help out a little since I had so few dogs to take care of. I went into the cattery and loaded up all of the garbage and also took care of the dogs in iso which consisted of three with kennel cough and one on bite quarantine. Of course there was always the laundry and dishes that needed to get done as well.

As I was taking care of food donations that are left out in front of the shelter I heard one of our front desk associates ask me through the window if it was alright if she opened the gate since there was a crowd forming out front. Of course I said it was all good and here came the crowd. I was completely thrown back when I saw an old blind dog being led up initially thinking she was going to the dog park when I realized it was the EBR appointment that had been scheduled. It broke my heart to see the old girl bumping into things and also the family that was waiting around to say their goodbyes. Once again I am content with not being certified in the process because I really don’t think that I could do it. Unfortunately it was my job to help and get the 120 pound body and transfer her to the freezer for later pick up. I know it sounds horrible but she went quickly and peacefully.

From sad to happy, once I did the duty I went back to the office and learned that the final puppy Jefferson had been adopted. It was with a wonderful couple that had spent a few hours with him yesterday but still needed to get rental agreement in order to adopt. Of course they were here right at opening time since we work on a first come first serve basis. They handed over the paperwork and were able to take home the little guy today. We did have to explain some of the medicine he was on for kennel cough and a little soft poop, but other than that it seems like it should be a smoothe transition.

The rest of the day was pretty usual, except for a little bit of news. Our little guy on bite quarantine was discussed by the higher ups and it was decided that his aggressive tendencies made him un-adoptable. I cannot explain the feelings that came over me. It was a cross between anger, anxiety, and utter sadness and despair. I grew so attached to the dog that I couldn’t even imagine that he was not going to be with us anymore. I thought about merely taking him when no one was looking but I really don’t have the guts for that. I did offer to foster him but that wouldn’t change the outcome and the emotional attachment then would be even worse. The only thing I could do was to make him as comfortable as possible while he is still here. I was able to get him and three others down to a big yard down low and had basically an all out play fest consisting of running, jumping, humping, and running some more. It was nice to see them all getting along so well and it took my mind off, at least for a few minutes, of the outcome that is coming in the morning.

I think because of the fuss I made I get to do something a little different tomorrow that is completely new to me. I am going to be part of the caravan that is taking the four hour trip to pick up more dogs at a less fortunate shelter. I’ll be heading out early morning and loading the guys up and hauling them back. I am curious to see the process in action and a little excited that I am going to be able to help name the little guys. Hopefully the trip will dull my mind and I can take my mind off of what is happening back at the shelter.

I want everyone to know that when an animal is put down it is never taken lightly. There is a process that covers all the checks and balances and if there is any possibility that an animal can be helped there is no hesitation in doing so. It is always an unfortunate thing when it happens but when a dog bites and continues to bite without inhibition it is a very big issue. The one comfort that I have is that it is a quick and painless process. I am just glad I’ll be on the road and not partaking in it.


  1. Hunter had the best cheeseburger of his life!

  2. Sorry Nick. That's the crappest part of the job... I was just thinking of Mandy today. The panda crew just lost a baby deer that we had to decide to put down. Hope the trip to El Centro goes well.