Thursday, July 30, 2009
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Monday, July 27, 2009
Later in the day I did have a two more showings. Unfortunately none of them were that perfect fit. There was one though that might pan out in the new few days. It was with a woman that has an English bulldog at home with several cats as well. She was looking at a second dog and there were several that fit into her animal loving home. She ended up liking two dogs, Sara and Shyla, but we not only had to do an into with her dog but also cat test them as well. Turns out both dogs seem alright with cats so it is going to boil down to what dogs gets along better with the potential adopter's animal. Hopefully we find a good fit and can send home another animal in the next few days.
In closing I just want to thank everyone for reading and of course leaving their feedback which has been truly helpful. I look forward to reading your comments and sharing you thoughts. Remember that everyone can do their part to help out with the over population of animals in this country. If we all do our part we can truly make a difference.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Before I get into my experience with a showing I had today I will tell you a little bit about the rest of my day. The norm was the norm with cleaning the cats and rearranging a few moving them to ISO or out. Once all of the cleaning was done it was on to flicking some switches on the breaker box and resetting the washing machine to make sure it worked. After that I had a little time to spend with a few animals and of course become more attached to them. While I was sitting with a couple of dogs I was asked if I could help out with the intake of three cats. We were a little short handed again so I was filling in where I could.
Of course it slipped my mind that today was surgery day and that no intakes could be done in the med room so I walked into our pet kitchen where a temporary table was set up to evaluate the cats. All three required their vaccinations and two we had to draw blood from testing for feline leukemia. The reason we didn't test the third is because he has some other medical issues that need to be addressed first, like the fact that he weighed a measly five pounds. After all the weighing was done, all animals were micro chipped, and tests were run it was time to put the two seemingly healthy cats into the cattery while the underweight one we put in ISO. Hopefully it's not too serious and his condition will be treatable.
Now, back to my showing. It began with a very unusual profile from an individual that had originally adopted from us over 20 years ago. Their pet had since past but they still had twelve tarantulas that they were caring for. Then I noticed that they didn't have any other pets but listed one on another section of the application saying that they had an unaltered cat that visits frequently. I was a little confused when I read this but once I got the explanation that the cat was a neighbors and would spend the night at their house as well as get its food there made me think that this was no longer the possible adopters neighbors cat. Apparently the potential adopters are taking ownership and having the cat neutered. Of course they also understood that if the cat was theirs we could not adopt until the animal was altered, kind of defeats the purpose of what we do here if we were to adopt pre-surgery. Anyways, after explaining and getting the explanation I moved on to discuss the animal that they wanted to see. It was a little toy fox terrier that was a relinquishment and had had some leg problems in the past. He now has plates in his front legs but seems to be doing fine and in little if any pain. The woman wasn't deterred by this, in fact it even made her want to see him more. It turns out the woman has plates in both her legs, a rod in her neck (breaking it in the past, and has a prescription for a small 5-7 pound dog to be her therapy animal. I have heard of this sort of thing but this was my first experience with it. I explained to the woman that the little guy has a lot of energy and will need exercise but she seemed O.K. with that. In the actual showing she did everything from walking with him in her arms to sitting down and seeing his reactions. She felt completely bonded to the animal and even mentioning how they were both "bionic". The unfortunate part about this entire showing was that the woman's husband was unable to come in to do an introduction and won't have the time until this weekend. Because it is our policy to be on a first come first serve basis to get the animals out of the shelter environment as quickly as possible she was noticeably upset at the notion that her little friend might already have a home if she waits until Saturday. All I can do is hope that it all works out because the two of them together really seemed like a right fit.
Well, I have done showings with doctors to businessmen and non-English speakers to sufferers of chronic pain. It is really amazing to see how animals can enrich every walk of life and at the same time be so fragile. On a closing note, I am adding a picture of a scared little girl named Binky who came to the shelter because their previous owner past away. Hopefully she will find a home soon and be a friend and companion to a lucky family.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Of course early on though I had some free time after our morning meeting and making sure the laundry was started, the garbage taken out, and the dishes were soaked. Once all the chores had been done though it was time to go hang out with some dogs. I first hung out with Jack and Sweetie who are an older duo that have been in the shelter for some time now. It's always tough to get a bonded pair adopted together let alone one this is getting up in years so it is always nice to be able to give them some well deserved loving when anyone has any time.
Next I moved on to a dog I really hadn't spent any time with, it was with one of our second chance dogs named Beatrice. She is a Sheppard mix that really can intimidate you when she is barking in her kennel. The thing is though once you go in she settles down, lays on your lap and just wants to be loved on. I spent a good half an hour with her and whenever I stopped petting her she would lightly paw my arm and stick her head under my hand to not let up. She was even protective of me if a stranger came up she would run to the front of the kennel to check it out and once she knew everything was O.K. she would come back, lay down, and want to be petted more.
After all of the time with the dogs I got a call over the radio for a showing with Fergie, this little terrier that just became available today. I was actually surprised that no one else had wanted to see her up to this point. I went over the profile and everything seemed pretty good minus everyone not being her to meet her yet. I explained how the animal has some allergies and why she was originally relinqueshed to us the mother and daughter were ready to meet. After only a few minutes the dog warmed up and the family was in love. The showing couldn't have gone any better but the family wanted to put a hold on her until everyone else could come meet. I then informed that it was our policy not to hold any animals and we work on a first come first serve basis. They understood so the woman called her husband to leave work to come meet the animal. Thirty minutes later he was there and playing with Fergie as well. Now just the son had to meet but he was at baseball camp until later in the afternoon but we didn't think it would be a problem. The family ended up putting a 100 dollar adoption deposit that if it didn't work out the shelter could keep it as a donation. Luckily though when the son finally came he loved the dog as well. The adoption was a go but unfortuantely Fergie wasn't able to go home just yet, she was scheduled for a dental the next day so we all felt it best that she stayed at the shelter rather than bouncing around and getting more stressed out.
During the time that this extremely long adoption was going on I got word that White Lightning, our resident bad hair cut huskie was adopted as well. I didn't know but it had pretty much been sealed yesterday but we were just waiting on rental agreement which came in today. Two adoptions on a Tuesday makes for a pretty good day if you ask me.
The rest of the day was pretty uneventful with a few more showings but nothing panning out. I did get to spend some time with a sweet terrier mix named Tiberius. He is the type that rolls over on his back the moment you try to pet him. The sad thing is the med staff did a biopsy on a large lump on his chest and found it to be a level one which isn't horrible but not benine either. They ended up having to remove the lump plus a few centemeters in all directions as well. He now has the nickname Frankenstein but he seems to be doing well and keeping his good spirits. Here is a picture of the sweet little guy.
You can always leave here with a smile on your face when you are able to not only spend quality time with the animals but more importantly find them new homes. In the end you can only hope that more and more people realize the amazing animals that can come from a shelter and those people turn to adoptions rather than online breeders or malls.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Once the three or so hours of cleaning was done and I noticed once again that all of the laundry was once again caught up I got a call over the radio to start my first showing. It was with a little poodle mix named Lily who was actually adopted out last week but returned after only four days. The main excuse the adopter used for returning the animal was that she would leave the dog in the garage or out in the back yard and when she was in the yard Lily would find holes in the fence and escape. The adopter felt that she could not afford to fix the rotted out areas in the fence and decided to return the dog. I am not going to lie, it kind of aggravates me to hear something like this but at least we got a better idea of the perfect home for our little Lily. Well, today I think we might have found it. I had a stay at home mother with her two children come in and absolutely fall in love with Lily. This would be their first dog so there were a lot of questions to be answered. Initially we wanted to send Lily home with older children but after watching the the kids in the showing I knew that they would be a good home for any animal. The big issue that arose in the showing though was that the husband/dad was unable to come in and interact due to conflicting schedules. I spoke with a few people and got the O.K. from my supervisor that we could make an exception and do an interact over the phone or we could hold the dog until tomorrow with a 50% adoption deposit. I ended up speaking with the man over the phone and he had some pretty serious questions which I liked to hear. In the end he said it should be a good fit and the adoption was a go. It was good to send an animal home the day that get adopted rather than the dogs having to wait for surgery or other medical reasons. This is the benefit of working here, seeing smiles on faces and knowing that a great dog has gotten another chance.
After all of the paperwork had been done I went to the back office where I saw some of the kennel staff standing around a new kitten named Wally. He was brought in by a family that actually found the week old kitty in their wall. The little guy was tiny but we were able to keep him warm, bottle feed him some milk, and of course get him on foster until he is big and healthy enough to be adopted. It was kind of funny how excited a few of us got when one of the staff members was able to make the little guy go to the bathroom, ah, it's all about the little things in life. Here is a picture of the fresh new face to the world.
I had one more showing towards the end of the day with one of our younger puppies. Initially when I went over the adoption profile I found a couple of things that would need to be discussed. The biggest one was the age of the children, both at seven. Before I even considered bringing the dog out to meet I spoke with the woman about the positives and negatives of the animals that she wanted to look at. The big problem with the puppy she was looking at wasn't everyone getting along but rather that the little guy is an extreme door dasher. this is an issue when you have younger children that might have a tendency to leave doors open not realizing that the dog is there and then you have a missing dog. She completely understood and decided because of that he might not be the best fit. Rather than leaving though she took a look at a little terrier that will be available tomorrow and said she would be back to meet her. She said she was in no rush and wanted the perfect fit which is what we all like to hear so hopefully the new dog might meld better with the family and we can find a new dog her forever home.
I'm trying to stay away from talking about the cleaning and the mundane chores that are an everyday part of the shelter because honestly is getting to be like the mail. I know it's boring to do so I am assuming it is boring to read, so unless there is some crazy thing that happens while cleaning I am going to stick to the adoptions and actual interactions I have with the animals. I would also appreciate any of your suggestions about what you would like to know about the happenings in a shelter. Thanks for reading and I look forward to hearing from you.
Monday, July 20, 2009
Moving on with the day I started my cleaning routine in the cattery. It's amusing at the order you have to clean the rooms and the signs that are posted on their doors telling all of the visitors to visit this room last or this room after that room to try and cross contaminate as little as possible. Colds really do spread fast between these cats. Anyways, cleaning of my feline friends went pretty fast today and once all of the rooms from the kittery to ISO were taken care of I went to check and see if anyone else needed any help. I was a little surprised to see that most everything had been done so I took out the garbage and started the laundry. Wow, it was nice to start my week with almost no laundry backed up, a sight that I have only seen at the shelter maybe twice.
Once I got a good look at the dogs I noticed that we had about four new ones that all were relinquishments. I always say that this isn't a good thing but at least we have a full history on the dogs and their medical and behavioral issues. They all seem very friendly albeit a little nervous so hopefully we can get them out of the shelter sooner than later.
Early on there was a quick adoption with a dog named Wylie. He was a second chance dog from another county shelter who had a few issues that made us wait for the perfect home to adopt him. He was so petite and fragile that we didn't want to send him home with very young children and also because he has some issues with his ears. Well, that perfect family finnally came along and decided he was the dog for them. Always great to find a home for these animals, makes it all worth while.
My first showing was with a young couple that absolutely fell in love with Cinderella, the French/English bulldog mix. Everything seemed good on their profile so we did the interaction. They were really surprised at her playfullnes, great temperment, and overall freindlyness. I did discuss a few things, one major thing being Cinderella's skin condition. I exlained how we have her on special vitamins and use a special shampoo to bathe her to cut out all possible allergies that could be the cause. They understood and after a long discussion decided to adopt. The couple even said that they would bring her back to visit which was good to hear. I do hope that I explained enough the commitment owning an animal is and that they understand that the reward is far greater than the work.
When I went back to the office to tell everyone she had been adopted (she was a staff favorite) I found out that another dog was being relinqueshed. This time it was a four month old boxer/dane puppy named Lucy. She is absolutely adorable and her temperment sweet so we decided to take her. Once we got a kennel set up and got her settled in we learned that she won't be here for long once we get her evaluated from the amount of inquiries that we got from potential adopters. Here is a picture of the little girl (really not so little though).
This job is always nice to come back to after some well deserved time off but I have to say that it is probably one of the toughest jobs I have ever had. The emotional rollercoaster that is an animal shelter has its highs and lows but dealing with it all can be difficult at times. I try to bury myself as much as possible in the maitenece of it all and of course the adoptions but there are those times that you have to deal with the depressing stuff. All anyone can ask for is that the good times out weigh the bad and we as a shelter can help as many animals as humanly possible. Thanks for reading and I look forward to your comments.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
For some reason I always feel like the harder you work the more is put on your shoulders. Today I felt that once again. As with any other day it began with cleaning, since I was the early person I got to taking care of the dogs immediately at eight o'clock. After I had gotten all of the animals back in their kennels and monitored a few of their feedings I headed over to the rabbitat. Not sure if I was working fast or not but usually the later crew takes care of the rabbits but since I found the time I decided to bust it out. Once I finished I remembered that I still had to clean out the yards that I had put the dogs in earlier this morning, when I took care of that I came back and saw that the one rabbit left in ISO had be done. It was nice to see everyone working together with the "common goal" of getting everything done as quickly and efficiently as possible. It's also nice to have everyone help each other out which is what I am seeing more and more of at the shelter. Once thing that I have learned here, of the many things, that if there is a problem, it is every one's problem.
After we took out the garbage, got the dishes washed, and started the laundry it was time for a kennel staff meeting. Of course that didn't stop a few of us from putting together a four story cat condominium that was donated to the shelter. While we were busy reading the directions the meeting started off with a bit of a psychotherapy session. It began with our head of medical speaking to us about the difficult times that we face working in a shelter. It covered the four stages that we all go through and focused heavily on euthanasia. It was good to hear how she personally dealt with the emotional stress that one goes through but also to hear a better explanation and reasoning of why it is a "necessary evil". The big thing that she said we have to focus on is the bigger picture. There are so many animals that need homes and so few shelters that you really need to get the good ones out there in order to promote the shelter throughout the community as well as having more people understand that shelters are a great place for great pets. I know that sounds pretty harsh but if you put a dog out there is barking and biting and being aggressive people will think that that is what shelter dogs are like when in reality those types are few and far between. Overall I thought it was a great explanation and truly did help my understanding of the incredibly sad process that is part of every shelter.
Once that was taken care of the meeting moved to animal behavior itself and how difficult dogs are to be handled. I think this portion was focused on me since about two weeks ago I was stirring up a dogs food and he came over and started eating without any signs of aggression. I past this info along to our behavior analysis who took it as I was food testing a dog that had already shown signs of aggression. Then the meeting went into the cost of workman's comp and so forth and how even if the shelter was made out of money the concern for the safety of the workers is a top priority.
Finally on to the day. Of course since I was part of the early crew my day was almost over. I did have time however to do a little more deep cleaning in the cattery and even got called to a showing. It was with a young boxer mix named Hounder. The match with the family seemed pretty good but a few more people had to meet. The potential adopter said he would be back this afternoon with everyone but unfortunately was unable to make it. I did however get a call from them saying that they would be in first thing in the morning since we work on a first come first serve basis. Hopefully everyone, including their other dog, gets along and Hounder can head home after he gets neutered.
There was an adoption that took place today though. It was with Hounder's roomate and she found an older brother who fit perfectly into her life. She is going to go home with a loving family and an older giant Italian Greyhound, or whippet if you ask me, and will be able to play all day. It's nice to see dogs that have been here such a short time able to go home so quickly, it is tough though when you think about all of the ones that have been here entirely too long.
If you didn't notice the picture up top yet you have to take a look. It's a picture of Sweetie, a sweet older girl that has been in the shelter now for about four months. She was lucky enough today to have a volunteer take her to the doggy salon and get her hair done. Hopefully the cute new look will draw some attention and get the pretty girl adopted. Thanks for reading everyone and I look forward to hearing your comments.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
I had the understanding early on in this job that you have to take the mentality that you just can't help them all. Of course that doesn't mean that you can't try. This past Saturday my fiance and I happened in to one of our country shelters. We always like to go in and see the workings and of course visit with the animals. While we were there we saw this cute little chihuahua that was just staring at the wall. When she saw us she came over but you could tell she was incredibly fearful and looked like she was in some pain as well. We decided to do an interaction with her so we could at least get her out of her kennel. It turns out the reason she looked like she was in pain was because her pads were either rubbed raw or burned from the pavement. The poor thing looked like it had been through hell. The adoption counselor told us that she seemed to be going downhill and might be euthanized if she got any worse. My heart broke and we both felt that we needed to take action.
We were prepared to adopt her (more like foster), take her home, and try to get her a little more acclimated to humans. After a while we would then turn her over to our shelter where we could get her a little more socialized and in turn more adoptable. That was the plan that I took to our President hoping he would agree. When I told him about the dog he immediately called the director of all the county shelters and explained the situation. It was nice to know that I wasn't the only one concerned but when I brought it to a few others attention they had the same reaction as I did. The outcome was better than I had hoped too. Our President decided to send our behavioral therapist out to the shelter to look at the little girl in addition to a few others to bring back to our shelter as "second chance" dogs. The smile I had on my face couldn't be wiped off the rest of the day. Once again, I know that you can't help them all, but not trying isn't the same thing.
After my discussion about bringing in an animal I got back to work taking care of our animals. I learned of some not so great news from our medical staff early on. It turns out our little chihuahua/Italian greyhound mix has a seizure this past week and was at the vet's office these past two days. Well she came back today with the diagnosis of epilepsy. It's sad but treatable and not terminal which is the positive way of looking at it. Unfortunately she will be on medication for the rest of her life. I'm not sure if the adopters are still going to take her home after this news but if they don't I know the perfect home is out there for the sweet little girl.
For a Monday there were a lot of showings today. I guess it's either because of the extended hours or everyone on summer break but there is a lot of traffic going through the shelter these days. My first showing was more of an interaction with two dogs. The family had been in yesterday to view a sweet little eight month old mutt and was back to see if the whole family got along with him. He was a little timid at first with the new dog but was still pretty curious. Unfortunately the adopters dog wanted nothing to do with him and basically guarded the family. The real concern however was the extremely young children in the household. I have to say they were very mature and handled the animals extremely well but when you have children that young doors can tend to be left open. The woman agreed that this was an issue because they let their dog off leash all the time and he is always glued to their side. The problem is a puppy will merely run away and most likely not come back. It is a concern that needs to be discussed and thought about and that is why they are postponing the adoption until all issues are addressed. The right answer as far as my thoughts go, hopefully if they do adopt they are prepared.
Personally I only had one more showing for the day. It was with one of the newer second chance dogs we brought in last week. He was a sweet boxer that has the biggest cherry eye I have ever seen. The potential adopters were pretty dog savvy and are looking for a new pet for themselves as well as their bull mastiff at home. The showing went well and I explained to them that when they have children over it is very important to control the dog. He tends to be that typical boxer who likes to jump and play and when there is a smaller body involved things could get ugly. The completely agreed and asked about introducing their dog. I explained the process ( and that the dog did not have ghiardia), a concern that arose with the couple at the last shelter they looked at. They said they would be back soon with their lady (bull mastiff) to do the introduction. Hopefully it works out and if they do come back I'll be sure to let you know how it goes.
The rest of the day was pretty uneventful except for the fact that it was incredibly got. So hot the dryer overheated and I had to once again climb into the lint trap to reset the machine and clear out any debris. We also had to monitor how long the dogs were in the yards limiting the time to about 15 minutes. Another thing that we do on these hot days is place frozen water bottels with all of the rabbits to give them something cold to lay next to. One side not, never eat an otter pop, or any popsicle for that matter, when you enter a rabbitat. The next time I tried taking a bite there was so much rabbit hair in my mouth I felt like I had just left the dentist.
Monday, July 13, 2009
Of course with the good news comes the not so good news. I learned that the Huskie which was relinquished a while back had to be put down for behavioral reasons. I hate the fact that I am almost becoming numb to this but I feel like I have had to put blinders on just so I look past it and pretty much try to ignore it. I know these things don't happen every day but when they do it is incredibly hard. I was told that he was euthanized when I came in this morning but had a pretty good idea about it when I saw him taken off of the web site and heard a voice mail saying to call the shelter if I wanted to know about the dog. Of course I really didn't feel like crying on my day off so I chose to ignore the call. I do know that he went peacefully and is now over the rainbow bridge so all I can hope for is that he is in a better place now.
There are the updates for the three days that I spent sitting on my butt. Of course things don't slow down no matter what day of the week it is but it was nice to jump back into things today. I was the late shift which is nice that I can sleep in on my Sunday mornings but cleaning cats isn't that much fun to me. We were able to get it done pretty quickly. Luckily the propane had finally been filled so we were able to get the dishes done with hot water and start the laundry which was still incredibly backed up.
Early on there were showings after showings. I decided to hold off on them until I was able to get all of the morning cleaning out of the way. As soon as I was finished though I headed back to the office to do an interaction with one of our Mississippi boys Spud. He was to meet an eleven year old who could be his new older sister. The big concern is that Spud tends to hump a lot and the adopters dog can be a bit of an alpha and have a short temper. In the end she growled Spud off when he tried to hump and he actually took direction very well. The family decided to adopt and it was great to see a loving animal get to go home. Of course while all of this was going on another Mississippi dog Mystic was also getting adopted. That means that Liza is the only one left out of the group. Hopefully her in house "rehab" will do its job and she will be able to be the perfect pet sooner than later.
A few more showings followed late in the day but no more adoptions. There either weren't the right fits or no rental agreements to finalize the adoptions. There was one more interaction with our girl named White Lightning who came into the shelter in pretty bad shape but she seemed to growl off the other dog. Understandable when you think that this dog once had a broken jaw and fox tails embedded in her coat. She might just have to be an only dog. Here is a picture of the beautiful lady.
Overall it was a good day and I was glad to be back to it. I know that I can get a bit negative working here but it is part of the job. There are certainly the highs that come along with it as well. Hopefully this week will be a good one and we will be able to send some great animals home to some great families. Thanks for reading and keep the comments rolling.
Thursday, July 9, 2009
I started my day as the later shift and was surprised at how quickly cleaning can go when you are only doing it for an hour and a half. Since I came in at 9:30 I wasn't able to attend to the dogs but rather the cats and rabbits. We teamed up and took care of the cats in a flash and quickly moved onto the rabbits. Usually I am a morning person and feel like I can get more accomplished the earlier I get to work but today coming in late was nice in the sense that cleaning was cut in half.
Of course once all of the animals were taken care of it was on to the normal chores. Surprise surprise there was still no propane for the tankless water heater so no laundry and washing all of the dishes in the cattery. To give you an idea of how quickly the laundry can accumulate here is a picture of it piled up outside, this isn't even close to what is piled up in the laundry room itself.
After all of the cleaning was done it was pretty much a relaxing day of hanging out with the animals. I first attended to my Mississippi girl Liza. I have to say she isn't completely comfortable with humans but she is certainly getting better. In the morning she is at the front of the kennel wagging her but ready to head outside with her doggy friends. As the day progresses though and there is more traffic through the shelter she becomes more fearful and deeper into her kennel. The good thing was though when I sat with her in the kennel she ate in front of me and even came out of her crate to say hello. You try not to expect to much from animals like this but when there is that glimmer of hope that they are becoming a little more comfortable with their environment it is a great thing to experience.
The remainder of the day was pretty uneventful until the late afternoon when we began taking out the dogs for their afternoon break. Along with taking the dogs out it was time for all of the surgery dogs to return to their kennels. It is a little amusing to see the doped up dogs laid out in their kennels wondering what the hell just happened. While we were feeding the surgery guys I was asked to help out with an dog introduction. The dog the family was looking was a sweet little female chihuahua named Apple. The showing went great and the schnauzer and our dog played like there was no tomorrow. The family and the adoption counselor agreed that it was a good match and it was a good finish to our day. It was also the first adoption that occurred late in the days with our extended hours.
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
I started on the East side kennels (healthy dogs) and once that was done I headed over to the West where all of the second chance dogs are being housed. I was pretty surprised to see that it was rather clean in comparison to groups in the past. Even though it was clean there were two dogs that were still very timid and I decided just to leave them in their kennel rather than add more stress on them by dragging them out when you could tell they wouldn't have come peacefully.
When I finished the sickies I was about to go and start bringing them back up when I noticed that they were getting their photos taken for the website. They were also getting their first bath and heading into the med room for their intakes which consists of weighing, vaccinating, checking for some behavioral issues, and an overall physical exam. Hey, I wasn't complaining, it meant that the ten new arrivals would be brought up for me, or rather eight since two were still hanging out in their kennel. Here is a picture of one of the boxer mixes that I'm sure I will grow attached to, as I do with all of the dogs in the shelter.
Of course I couldn't forget about the rabbits. Once I finished all of the dogs it was my responsibility to care for the rabbits since the other staff member is extremely allergic to them. I was able to knock them out pretty quickly but had some difficulty with a new bonded pair that was brought in this weekend. I'm not sure of their names but they should be Ali and Frasier. These little guys wouldn't bite but they sure would swat the hell out of my hands. Luckily I was able to get their hay box out and change the blanket without too much damage to my hands but I can honestly say I would not want to do that again. Hopefully they adjust soon because as they are now they will be a tough pair to adopt out.
Today same as yesterday there were a huge number of dishes piled up and the laundry was overflowing since we were still out of propane and didn't have any hot water. I usually am happy when I don't have to do laundry but when you finally get caught up with it there is a problem and the whole cycle of falling behind happens. Now we are so short on towels that we are having to pull them from the cattery to wash dogs. Hopefully the company will fill it up soon because washing dishes all the way in the cattery is a little annoying.
Not too many showings today. In fact the only ones that I did seemed to be babysitters or nanny's that were bringing in children to visit with kittens. I was a little perturbed at the notion that our shelter was being treated like a petting zoo but what can you do, if the profile is alright you have to show them the animals. I just get annoyed because they are taking time away from the other animals that need attention and caring for.
After a busy day of cleaning and taking care of the old refrigerator it was time to bring the dogs out for the evening break. I have to say it was pretty funny when I was taking out a pair of schnauzers that seemed to play peeing leap frog. While I was walking them one would lift his leg until his brother would pull him and interrupt him. Then the other brother would start to pee and the same thing would happen all the way down to the dog runs. I thought it was worth mentioning because it really did put a grin on my face. I did feel bad for the guys but at least they were exercising their kidneys.
There weren't any adoptions today but a few adopters that were waiting on their animals to be altered came in and visited. We also got an update on Mohawk and his new life, it was great to see one of our animals that had been in the shelter so long playing tug of war with his new older sister. Definitely the reward for doing the job that we do. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that one of the strays that we had taken in last week and transferred to county became available to the public and since our med staff fell in love with her we decided to bring her back to our shelter to give her a better chance of getting adopted. The named her Cinderella and here is a picture of the cutie French Bulldog mix.
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Of course today we got to clean all of the dog kennels out and disinfect a few at the same time. We also had to do some rearranging in order to make room for the ten dogs that would be arriving from a county shelter as well, our second chance dogs. Once we got all of the kennels taken care of I got asked to go up to the front where a few people had brought in a stray that they had found over the fourth of July weekend. The family spoke no English so I was asked to translate. You could tell the animal was from a home with the invisible fence collar on but it still had no tags. Luckily it was micro chipped and we were able to leave a few voice mails on the owners machines. It turns out that during the fireworks the family thought it was better to have the dogs outside than in and once the explosions started the dog flipped out and ran right through the invisible fence. It really annoyed me when she said that it was humane and got me red under the collar when she said that she has lost two of her five dogs the same way. You would think that you might get a clue to do something different but I have to remind myself that I am not a people hater.
After the morning chores we got a call from our behavioral therapist giving some descriptions and names of the dogs that she would be bringing in. This is important so we know where and how to set up the kennels for the incoming animals. Turns out there were ten total and rather than the usually chihuahua mixes we actually had some large breeds as well. Here is a picture of a beautiful, yet hyper, weimeriner doberman mix. I learned quickly that she could lift the latch on the fence which is definitely something that you want to spread the word about.
Even with all of the dogs coming in and a few finally going home that were medically cleared I got on the task of bringing in our new refrigerator into the staff kitchen. You think that it would be easy but when you have ten people telling you to do it ten different ways it can get a little confusing. What we ended up doing was taking the door into the kitchen off the hinges as well as the doors on the refrigerator. It ended up going in pretty easily but required a lot of screws and screwdrivers. I'm not complaining though, it was something a little different than the normal scooping and taking out garbage.
Another highlight for the day came in the afternoon when our little 11 year old schnauzer who is on medical foster came back in for a blood test. She has been in the shelter's care for some time now but has been "on loan" to a loving family that takes very good care of her. She seems to be doing great and is her typical sweet grandma self. Hopefully all her levels in her blood work improving and she will continue to live a long and healthy life.
One thing I have to add is my good friend Liza the treeing coon hound from Mississippi. If you have read in the past several weeks I have spoken of her and how timid she is towards humans. The same holds true today when you have her in her kennel but when you get her out to the yards it is a different story. She will run, play, and even come up to you on command. In fact yesterday she even jumped up on me and gave me a kiss, not sure if it was nervous lip licking though. Anyways, she is progressing and getting a little better but I am not keeping my hopes up just because I don't want to be disappointed.
Monday, July 6, 2009
Of course there isn't much to say about the holiday except that you basically clean all day and by the time you are done it is time to go home. Once again though I have to mention all of the incredibly helpful volunteers that gave their time to help us make our jobs easier. Heck, they even offered to help clean! Of course I couldn't allow that but they were able to help bring dogs in and out for their breaks and take them on walks. Thanks again volunteers for the great job that you do.
Back to the open days. Today started a little different. I was supposed to be coming in at 9:30 and staying until six with our later hours but I got a call to see if I could go in early to give meds because something came up for one of the other kennel staff. I got in early and proceeded to give about 20 animals their pills, cough medicine, ear cleanings, and even nose drops. I do have to say some of the little guys are better at taking their pills than others. Once all of the meds and cleaning were done it was already opening time. I figured it would be slow after the holiday but I was wrong. Immediately the crowd flowed through the gates and it was on to the showings.
The first thing that I heard was Gina and Garcia, our two little kittens, were adopted. Then I noticed another staff member putting signs on kennels for several other dogs that had been adopted this past Friday. I was surprised to see how many were going to go home once they are medically cleared. There was a sad note that Sara who was adopted some time ago and was waiting to be spayed was going to be up for adoption again. Turns out the adopted had some second thoughts and decided she wasn't the perfect fit.
On to my first showing. Well, it turns out it was a no go. The application looked great but the family had a female dog at home and they were looking at another female dog. If you didn't already know it is against our policy to adopt female to female because of the fighting issues that can arrise. A perfect example happened this past Friday with two female dogs at the shelter that have lived with each other their entire lives ended up getting into it and it got pretty serious. Both dogs are OK now but one actually had to be taken to the vet for some wounds. The family was understanding and said they would check back to see if there were any more dogs that they were intersted in.
Of course my next showing was the same situation. They had a female cattle dog at home and wanted to look at a female chihuahua mix. I explained our policy and they really had no idea. In fact the woman really never even thought about getting a male dog until I mentioned the snowball effect fighting between femal dogs can have. I showed them a few options and finally our little Ryley who is the pug chihuahua mix. They immediately took a liking to the little guy. They liked him so much that the wife hung out with him while the dad made the hour trip to go get their dog and kids for an interact to make sure it was a right fit. After the interaction the family decided to adopt. It's been a while since I have done an adoption so it was good to know that one of our little guys found the right home to spend his days in.
The day went by fast and the adoption signs got hung. There were a few little set backs like running out of propane so no hot water, no dryer, and no washer but what can you do. I know I have been a little bitter about the past week but hey, we all have ours. I hope that I can look past the monotony and focus on the good parts, like finding these animals their forever homes.
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
After all the animal cleaning I went in to get the dishes started. Right when I was about half way finished we got called back to the office for our bi-monthly meeting. Pretty standard stuff when our president let us know that we will be staying open an hour later for about the next three months. I think that it is a great idea to help increase adoptions and allow the individuals that work to have the opportunity to come in later on in the afternoon. My only concern is that we had a whopping 21 hour notice that the hours we have always had will be changing and rather than starting at 8:30 and leaving at 5 I will be fluctuating between going in earlier and later on specific days and leaving accordingly. I understand why we are making the change but a little more notice of when it would take affect would have been appreciated.
So once the meeting was over I went back to finish the dishes. When I returned to sign off for them I noticed everyone taking a break when there were still morning duties that needed to be done. Rather than sit down I figured I might as well knock them out (not the people but the tasks). So I took out all of the shelters garbage and did a load of laundry. Finally, it was time to take a breather and figure out how this schedule is going to work out for me.
Next I went over the "weekly do's" list and noticed that cleaning the cattery was the job for today. Of course when I asked for some help the two people that were there were ether on lunch or leaving early for the day. I figured what the hell, I can't do showings today so I might as well throw on the headphones and get some cleaning done. I did everything from scrubbing the floors to vacuuming out the tracks in the sliding doors. I do have to say it actually smelled pretty good compared to normal. When I finished it was already 2 so I figured now would be a good time to go to lunch when I realized that two other people were already eating so I would have to wait until they were back. Now I'm trying not to complain but I am rather trying to explain why everything just seemed to be pushing my buttons today.
Since I wasn't able to eat after being at work for six hours I figured I might as well take care of all of the dirty crates that needed to be dissinfected. The good thing was there wasn't that many of them, the bad part was on two separate occasions the nozzel popped off and completely soaked my pants and shoes. Luckily the second time it did it there was a staff member there that understood what I was going through and shut the hose off. I thought it was some divine intervention since I had my back turned and I was trying everything to get the nozzel back on without getting soaked.
After yet another load of laundry I was finally able to eat. At least the day is almost over is all I could tell myself. I was a little dissapointed that I wasn't able to do any showings today and basically be the grunt worker but it was nice to spend some time with Harry and see how well he is improving. Thanks for reading the vent session everyone and I will go into tomorrow with a better outlook on the day. Heck it is my Friday! Just wanted to add that I will also be working this Saturday since it is a holiday and no one else would work it for me, woo hoo.