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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Now I know!

Today is the first time I have worked on a Wednesday and it really is a little different than I am used to. It started with me volunteering to clean up after the new second chance dogs, big mistake on my part. When I actually walked out to see the dogs I saw what a little giardia and a diet change can do to dogs. I really have never seen, or smelled, such a mess in my entire life. I immediately regretted signing up for the west side kennels. I took a picture so you can get some idea of the poor stomachs of these second chance guys.

I was able to clean up all the kennels pretty quickly but I had a few setbacks while I was scooping. The best way I can explain the smell is a mix between diarrhea, urine soaked cedar chips, and split pea soup. I made it through all of the kennels and moved on to the final one with Maria the greyhound mix. When I entered I immediately gagged and had to take a quick breather before I attempted it again. I finally got it all cleaned out by disinfecting it with a sanitizer, twice, then spraying the whole thing down with bleach. Not sure if it was the initial smell or the combo with the bleach but it was the first time I have thrown up in a good two years. I'm just glad I didn't eat oatmeal this morning and there was a two liter of soda hanging out in the fridge.

Once I regained my composer I helped finish out the rabbitat and moved onto the dishes and laundry. I have to say that my first Wednesday working has been a bit of an adventure when usually I'm hanging out with my dogs enjoying the ocean breeze. I'm happy that we have a solid staff working to get all of the necissary tasks done at the shelter.

Moving on in the day we as a whole have a new system to make sure that all of our special needs animals are getting the extra attention that they need. Recently I have been assigned with my Mississippi friend Liza who we are trying to get used to human contact. We have noticed she is coming out of her shell but still has a long way to go. The crappy part is today I couldn't spen any time with her because Wednesday is surgery day and Liza was slated for a dental and would be in the vets office for the majority of the day. I'm just happy that I know my next few days off she will be worked with and I am looking forward to seeing her progress later in the week.

The day started a little slow and we as a whole had a lot of time to do some deep cleaning. I headed into the cattery where there was already another staff member hard at work. I was able to find a shop vac to finally clean out the door rails which had a plethora of everything from cat hair to food to litter. Once that was done it was time to dissenfect everything from the doors to the super dusty tops of all of the cat kennels. I am not always the biggest fan of cleaning but it was good to make the time go by and know that it actually got done.

I was told that Wednesday's usually ential a lot of showings but up until the late afternoon there had been none. Right when I thought it was going to be a no adoption day adopters started arriving. The first few that I did were more of just going over adopter profiles since they were interested in the second chance dogs that weren't being shown until Saturday. It's really just a way of weeding people out in order to make things a little less complicated when the dogs do become available. Both adopters seem like they will be a good fit for several dogs but one couple in particular stood out. They were looking at a little beagle that I had shown a woman yesterday that was a perfect fit. It is one of those situations that you feel torn, both adopters are perfect fits and since we work on the first come first served basis it all depends on who walks through the door first on Saturday. I did explain to the new family that an elderly woman who lost her beagle of 15 years had been in to look at her and fell in love. Luckily the man today said that if she wants him and is there at the same time he wouldn't feel right taking the dog home.

Unfortuanetly I didn't get any dogs adopted but while I was in a showing with another dog I learned that a family that was looking at our little guy Rex had come back to adopt. I can never say it enough but when you know that these animals are going to a good home it really does make you feel good and accomplished. We spend so much time with these animals that we truly do becom attached and only want the best for them.

Even though my stomach never got quite right today I have to say I went home with a smile on my face. I feel like we as a shelter got a lot accomplished today. I am a little sad that I am off this Saturday because I know all of the new arrivals are going to find homes very quickly. Hopefully when I go back to work there will be lots of empty kennels and some great stories about the homes that they found. Thanks for all of the comments everyone, it really does help when the tough days come around. I also hope the picture doesn't gross anyone out too bad, just trying to share every experience I have.