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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Every walk of life

It's funny when you you actually think about what you are doing and who you are doing it with. Today I realized that working at a shelter is unlike working anywhere else. In certain jobs you have the tendencies of working with a particular type of individual whether it be a businessman, a chef, a designer, well, when you work at a shelter you get to work with everyone. Today was one of those days that I actually was able to take a step back and realize it.

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.

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