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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Sometimes you just have to try.


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.

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