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Monday, June 1, 2009

Mississippi Dog's caretaker


I was a little disappointed that I volunteered to take care of the Mississippi dogs today for one reason, I would not be involved in any dog showings or adoptions. For some reason I thought the main reward for this job was finding the perfect forever homes for these dogs but today I found out that wasn't necessarily true. The affection that you get from some of these animals is amazing. When I first show up in the morning and they all recognize you as the man with the food they really do seem happy to see you.

I started off by dawning the protective gear (hook worm would not be fun to catch) and I took the dogs out to their dog runs. I was surprised to see a little less poo this morning but it was still a whole lot compared to most days. I have began learning all the little nuances of these sweet Mississippi dogs. They are all so happy to see you when you go into their kennels and looking for some affection, but if you make any sudden movements they cower and freeze up. I'm not sure the experiences that these poor dogs have had (maybe the three day car ride) but overall they are so loving. I'm not going to lie, I have my favorites already but they are all growing on me. Especially a little beagle mix that is so timid I have to have another dog walk in with me in order to get her out of her kennel. She is incredibly sweet but definitely fearful of humans. I brought her some chicken jerky and see took it so gingerly then set it down on the floor, once I left she went back and ate it. Hopefully she will gain a little trust because she is such a sweet girl (and potty trained) that she will make a great companion once we get her off of quarantine.Once I got all the dogs their medicine for the morning, their food bowls filled, and their kennels spic and span I headed over to grab the garbage. Like I mentioned yesterday the dumpster was completely overflowing. It turns out that they couldn't pick it up this week due to the driveway being tarred. Well, unfortunately it is the only dumpster where any sort of "poo" can go and two weeks of it at a shelter can be quite a bit. I actually needed help to make sure the balancing act of poo bags five feet over the dumpsters edge didn't fall.

After the trash was taken care of it was time to get the laundry started. To my surprise now the dryer was on the fritz. For some reason an error code I had never seen before was blinking. I went into the office and went through the ten year old manual but was unable to find anything. I went online and was able to find a more detailed version, all I ended up doing was unplugging the thing, hit a tucked away reset button and away we went. First thing I dried was the laundry already in the dryer but also my bleach soaked shoes and socks. It was so nice to put on some toasty shoes compared to the usual dripping wet ones.

Believe it or not the whole dryer thing actually took me quite a while to figure out. The rest of the day was pretty routine with me doing some laundry and missing out on some showings. There weren't any dog adoptions today but there were three cats that found their forever homes. It really has been slow when it comes to cat adoptions so this was great to hear. I just hope that more of them can go home sooner than later.

After my afternoon feedings with the Mississippi I spent some time with them in their kennels. I learned one submissive peas and another gets a bit mouthy and jumpy but I also confirmed that all of these animals are incredibly sweet and loving. Even though I didn't do any adoptions today I was glad to be the care taker for such great and appreciative animals. The sad part is I learned about them coming out from another staff member and she told me the driver brought a total of 35 dogs to California and while he was loading them up another 50 came into the shelter. We have to do something about this problem. Dog and cat overpopulation is a huge problem but it can easily be fixed if everyone would have their animals altered. Trust me, if you could see the faces on these dogs you would understand why I think this way. There are too many of these wonderful guys not making it to their forever homes for the simple fact that there aren't enough homes. Here are some sweet faces I was able to capture during the Mississippi dogs afternoon breaks.

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