When everyone arrives in the morning there is a sign up sheet for which area of the shelter you want to clean. It used to be a first come first serve thing, then it moved to a complete team cleaning, and now it is assigned either cats or dogs which both carry a little more duties. This morning I was a little behind in signing up for the duties so I ended up having to clean the new dogs as well as the ones on the east side of the kennels which ended up being a total of about 15 dogs. Not to big of a deal until I made my way over to the second chance dogs that we rescued yesterday.
When I arrived I was overwhelmed by the smell. Every single one of the kennels had both piles and piles of poo and well as pools and pools of diarrhea. There was even a kennel where one of the dogs jumped on top of his crate to poo in privacy, that was actually a little funny. Anyways, it took me a good five trips with a huge popper scooper in order to even begin to clean up the mess. Once I spayed some disinfectant and scrubbed for a while I was able to get most of the smell out. Once I got all of the food set up I was able to bring all of the dogs up. I did have to split up the two young puppies because it seemed that one had a lot worse poo than the other one. Of course as I was washing dishes I learned the reason the youngsters were so messy was because they both have coccidia, a parasite that lives in the intestinal track. It's nothing too serious but will require treatment for a while and they will have to be quarantined to their own special yards.
After the dogs were up I moved onto the rabbitat. Went pretty fast once I was in there but another staff members started to help and noticed that one of the little bunnies seemed to be underweight. She got the scale and found out that he has lost about a pound since being at the shelter which is a huge percentage of his weight. She got some special pellets and a whole bag of carrots and went at it. I have never seen an animal go after carrots like that, it was hilarious. Anyways, hopefully he'll put on some pounds because he is my favorite rabbit out of the bunch.
I had some quite time to spend with my treeing coon hound Liza and she is so hit or miss it scares me. When I get there in the morning she is wagging her tail and ready for some contact but as the day progresses it seems she gets more and more frightened. She'll eat treats out of my hand but as soon as someone walks up to the kennel she will cower and run to the back corner. I'm not sure what to do now but I do know that she loves to go down to the yards with other dogs and romp around so hopefully that will help her come out of her shell.
I was called to a showing with a family that I had seen walking around the shelter. I went over the profile and noticed that they were home most of the day but at night would keep the dog in the garage. This was a big issue because it can tend to cause some behavioral problems. The other thing I noticed on the paper was that the family had never owned a dog before. My plan of action was to curtail the question about the outside thing and find out if they really knew what the meant. The mother really had no idea the problems that could come out of it and was open to keeping the dog inside but it was something that would have to be discussed. I respected that and decided to show them the dog. It was one of our Mississippi guys who is really just an energetic kisser. The showing seemed to go well but I explained that it was a big decision and the notion of keeping the dog inside at nigh as well as during the day would need to be discussed. I am glad that the family is taking this seriously because so many families and individuals come in here not realizing the commitment that are about to emark on and end up bringing the animals back or pawning them off on someone else.
Overall it was nice to get back to the grunt work after yesterdays trip. I am glad to hear that the second chance dogs are all doing well, aside from a growler that is staff only now waiting for evaluation. I probably shouldn't have named so many after my family members or past and present dogs because if something happens I am really going to be affected. Here is a picture of a special one to me that I named after my mom, Maria. Thanks for reading everyone and I look forward to your comments and of course telling you a few more uplifting stories that a few that I have shared this past week.