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Monday, January 4, 2010

A new year and back to it after eight days off

I have to say it was a little tough to get up this morning and go into the shelter for the simple fact that I have been on vacation for the last week. Once I walked in the doors though it was a different story. I was glad to be back to helping out the animals and of course finding them their new forever homes.

It's sometimes takes a little more time than expected to get back in the rhythm of shelter after being gone for so long so there are some simple steps that I like to take. First I see who has been adopted while I was gone and then of course checking on the new arrivals. Because of the busy holiday season there weren't that many new faces when I came into work but there were certainly a few less. I learned that three long term cats had been adopted; Raja, Cayse, and Mollie. This was great to hear since all of these wonderful cats had been in the shelter going on six months or longer. I also learned that a sweet rabbit named Noel, named that before the holidays, had also been adopted.

Once I learned of all the adoptions now I just had to remember how to clean everything and actually do my job. After I took care of cleaning and disinfecting the south side kennels the showings came rolling in. Unfortunately the first profile I had was a denial for the dog that the potential adopter wanted to look at. Everything looked good but because the adopter had young children the dog they were looking at wasn't necessarily the best fit. Luckily they understood thins and said that they would keep looking.

After my first showing the rest of the afternoon was incredibly slow, not sure if it was because of the traveling day or what but I found myself doing a lot of laundry. When I was finishing a load I got a call to come back to the med room to help with an EBR (euthanasia by request). If you have read any of my past blogs you know that I really try to not have anything to do with these but because the animal was so large they needed my help moving him once he has already past. Not only was this tough to begin with but the poor guy lost his bowels in the process and there was an entire pool of poop all over the stretcher and on the floor. Needless to say I had to move him in steps because of the smell and of course because we were all covered in poop. I hope I am not sounding cold but it is what it is and this is how we had to deal with it. Eventually we got him covered and taken care of but not before stepping out of the med office several times for fresh breaths. I am just glad that the old guy went quickly.

After very few showings I found myself bombarded with adoption applications. My first was with an older woman and her live at home son who were looking at two terriers that just became available today. We thought we would have a tough time placing these guys because not only were they going home together, they are also almost nine years old and not potty trained. On top of this we were steering away from young children because one of the dogs was very skittish. Surprisingly enough though the mother and son absolutely fell in love with the pair and decided they were the right addition to their family. The adopter finished by telling me in Spanish how grateful she was to have found both of those dogs and is looking forward to bringing them home soon.

Closing out the day I was juggling about four other showings with several dogs. One was with a dog named Cora that has to go home to the perfect environment because of her "spastic" behavior. Luckily the family was understanding and is willing to wait for the perfect dog but they still absolutely fell in love with the huskie mix. The rest of the showings went pretty well, we had a lot of good potential adopters in today it's just a matter of finding them the perfect fit. I always say in my showings now unfortunately there is no shortage of dogs and that everyone should wait for that perfect fit because this is no small commitment. In addition to this we at our shelter pride ourselves on matching up the right dogs to the right homes, we are in no rush to send our animals out if there is a possibility that their new home isn't the perfect one. I am glad the people appreciate this when they come into the shelter because owning an animal isn't a small thing and you need to make sure that it is a mutually good thing.

Thanks for reading everyone and I hope that the new year brings everyone, including the animals, blessings. In the coming weeks I am going to be switching up a little what I do at the shelter to helping out at the front desk along with medical so get ready for a new perspective on the shelter environment. And keep the comments coming, I know that for those of you that are too young to volunteer there are programs that shelters provide for younger people to help out as well. At our shelter we have KCS which brings in middle and high school aged children to lend a helping hand.

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