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Friday, February 26, 2010

Front desk time


I began my day by first making some tasty coffee, it's nice to be able to sit for a day and enjoy a cup ever once in a while. After I got all settled in it was time to check the emails and messages. Nothing too exciting but one message did get my attention. It was with a woman that was having some problems with an adoption process. I looked up her name in our system but found no information. I finally called her and learned that it was a rescue group that the woman was having issues with. Her main questions was if there was some sort of adoption board that she could talk to in order to clear up a few issues she was having. After the twenty minute conversation she had with me I finally suggested that she talk to her lawyer friend because in the end she did sign a contract. I do hope it all works out and I'll know next time that our 411 number is the same as our front desk number.

After all of the morning necessities were done the doors were open. I was surprised to see that no dogs were actually going home which is unusual for Thursdays, typically all of the animals that got altered the day before are picked up but apparently everyone is waiting for the weekend this time. What this meant for me was that the day could potentially drag on. That's when the phone rang and a young woman wanted to find out a little info on Chica, aka Millie. I answered as best as I could and tried to discuss a few of her issues before she made the trip in. She still seemed interested and said she would be down within the hour.

Well, a little later in the afternoon the woman came in. She filled out a profile and was excited to see Millie. I have to say I was pretty pessimistic just because Millie has been here upwards of six months but to my surprise about fifteen minutes into the showing the potential adopter became an adopter. Woo Hoo! Everyone was so excited for one of our long termers to go home. Just goes to show that there is the perfect home for all of these animals some where out there.

The rest of the day was pretty quite, we did have an EBR (euthanasia by request) come in which is always a little sad. There is really nothing you can say except I'm sorry for your loss. Well, enough of that, back to positive stuff.

Our front desk dog of the day was Lady Bird, a sweet lab that has been at the shelter for quite some time but doesn't necessarily have the best kennel presence. But as you can see from the picture she does quite well in a more calming environment. Hopefully she will get a little more exposure up here when she is calm so the right home can finally take her home.

Aside from being Mr. Information on the phone, we are one of the few places that picks up with a live person rather than an automated service, there was another adoption. I didn't take part because I was helping out another area of the shelter but from what I hear it was a great fit. Our boy Hamilton finally found the right home where he will be taken care of. The poor guy got returned just two days after going home originally because of allergies. Oh well, at least it wasn't too long before he got to leave for good this time.

Thanks for reading everyone and as always thanks to the volunteers and shelter workers out there that sometimes go unappreciated, you are making a difference.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Keeping myself busy

As far as weeks go, you could certainly say that this one was a slow one. But when you think about cleaning, you could say it was a busy one. The way it works is that we are completely full to capacity as far as dogs are concerned yet we can do showings with a good number of them. What that means is a whole lot of cleaning with only a select number of animals that we can do showings with.

As usual we began by taking all of the dogs out to their runs. I tackled the cats after that and continued on to disinfecting dog ISO when that was finished. For some reason everyone today just had the motivation to get things done which was nice, because once that was done we headed over to the dreaded poop buckets. I thought I had gotten out of these forever by not working on Mondays anymore but because of a large tree removal it got postponed until today. I have to say this is one part of the job I do not miss.

The showings today seemed limited. I can only think of two in fact that anyone even did. One was with a cat that turned out not to be a good fit because the potential adopters were looking at an indoor cat but wanted an indoor/outdoor cat. The other showing was with one of my favorite dogs Millie, aka Chica. She is a long termer that is really a staff favorite but has had a tough time getting adopted because of her socialization issues. Good news is though the showing went well, bad news is we still have to introduce her to a small poodle that is already part of the household.

The highlight of the day, since there were no adoptions, had to be the sizable donation that was received. Now I didn't get the details about it but I do know that the individual has donated before but this amount was double of the last. I was shocked to see it and completely astonished at how much it can do for the shelter. So, to the donor out there, thank you.

That's it for today, as always, I want to thank all of the volunteers and donors out there for their continued dedication to the animal cause. Thanks for reading and I look forward to your comments.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

A full house


Ah, my Monday. It's tough some days to come back to the overpowering smell of poop but after ten or so minutes of it you remember why you are here. Today this rang true. When I first started taking dogs out all my mind could think about was how bad everything smelled. Not sure if it was the new dogs or the fact that they all had giardia but man did it stink. Of course, once I actually started cleaning I realized how many new faces were at the shelter and how many more animals we were helping this week.

I learned quickly that our behavior specialist had ventured out to a far away shelter and given another ten dogs a "second chance". I was expecting her to do this but it is still always a nice surprise to see all of our kennels full. I was surprised though at how full we actually are. I think that this might be the most dogs in house that we have had since we have been here. Not sure of the total number but in addition to all of the kennels being full, several of them are doubled up.

Anyways, once all of the cleaning, special feedings, and bringing the dogs back up were taken care of I headed over to take the garbage out. Not the highlight of my day but at least I get to get some sort of a workout lifting the kitty litter bags into the dumpster.

Moving on with the day I learned of some great cat adoptions while I was off. In fact I think there was a total of five! They included the sweetest bonded pair that had both been in separate car accidents before making their way to us. Another special adoption was a cat named Gertie, a fourteen year old one eared cat that one of our staff members decided to take home and make comfortable for her remaining time. Now I see where she is coming from but boy could that turn very tough in no time flat.

With all of the good though comes the unfortunate, in addition to all of the adoptions I learned of two more returns. A cat that had been adopted out this weekend had already come back because the adopter said that their apartment was too small. Not sure how big of an apartment a cat needs but I will continue to tell myself that I am not a people hater. Another animal that came back was also adopted out this weekend, a sweet older dog that apparently gave the adopter some severe allergies. Understandable none the less, but I would think that a person in their fifties would know what they are allergic to. Dang it, do you see what I am doing? I need to not be so negative and just get over it! We will find these animals the right home and just because it didn't work out this time doesn't mean that it won't the next time.

Today was a good start to the week, even with getting used to the smell again and learning of some returns. When you are in this industry you have to realize that sometimes it doesn't work out, but at least the people tried. It takes a lot for a person to go down to any shelter to even consider taking these animals home so I will continue to tell myself that even when these animals are returned at least now we know how they are in a home. Thanks for reading everyone and I look forward to your comments. And the picture up top is a new second chance dog named Porky Pig, apparently he is an albino chihuahua mix...I can see where his name comes from.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

A lot of medicine

Today was my weekly day in medical. It began as usual by preparing all of the morning meds. This includes everything from antibiotics, allergy medicine, de-wormers, pain killers, steroids, and of course the dreaded wipes. Everything was fine until I got to those. Not sure exactly what is wrong with the cat that needs them but I think this it is basically a horrible yeast infection. I felt a little uncomfortable wiping her down but I guess it had to be done. The really tough part was trying to pill her afterwards, talk about impossible.

After the morning meds it was on with the day and some data entry. I began by entering a few animals into our system so they could be adoptable this weekend. It's pretty simple stuff but if you screw up one date it can end up causing a lot of problems. I do tend to rush through these so it's good that there are a few others here able to double check my work.

Once that was done it was time for the vet due treatments. This usually takes up a good amount of time but today there was only one dog that needed anything done, a simple monthly flea treatment. After this I figured today might be a day that goes by pretty fast.

Moving on I began preparing all of the meds for the weekend. I was amazed at how many there were. I can't imagine only one person doing this job, I really do have to give the medical staff credit for everything that they do. Just getting the bottles ready for the medicine took me a better part of the day.

Closing out the day we did an intake on a dog named Lucky who had been relinquished earlier in the week and was sent immediately out to our vet's office. It turns out the little guy was peeing blood right when he came into the shelter. Luckily though they found it was bladder stone and not something more serious. They actually also found that the poor little guy had been stung by a bee, lucky for him they caught it early. Hopefully his surgery to remove his stone goes smoothly and we an find him a home quickly.

Thanks for reading everyone and I look forward to your comments.

Friday, February 19, 2010

All I can say is WOW!

My typical Thursdays usually consist of the recently altered animals getting picked up by their new adopters. Today was a little different. It began like any other day up at the front desk, me making some coffee and checking the emails and voicemail. Once that was done the money was counted and I began to prepare the files for the animals that were getting picked up today, a total of six. This was a little high but nothing out of the ordinary.

The doors opened at eleven and already the people were flowing in. The first group was actually a film crew interviewing our president. All I have to say is they picked a good day to do it, I haven't been a part of a busier Thursday since starting here. After they met with our president and headed off to another building the adopters started flowing in like clockwork. Luckily our med staff staggers the pickup times so it makes it a little easier on us. Before I knew it though pickups started overlapping with new showings and adoptions as well as new relinquished animals and even EBR's (euthanasia by request).

The became a blur from the moment we opened to the moment we closed. There were so many adoptions and animals relinquished it all seemed to blend together. Now I am not complaining by any means, I'm just trying to paint a picture of how busy it was. The only problem that I had with today was the fact that we were so busy I wasn't sure if everyone was getting the attention they needed and deserved. Hopefully everything got taken care of and nothing got overlooked.

Now on to the adopted animals. Believe it or not there were a total of six adoptions with one being our long term dog Bobbie and another two being a bonded pair that were pushing eight in age. It was so nice to see these animals find their forever homes and especially see the smiles on the adopters faces when they got to call them their own.

I honestly can't remember to much more because it really was to busy to think about it. I do remember our behavior specialist taking in an animal at one point and her just handing the poor guy off to me, before I knew it though I got the whale eye, put him down, and the scared little guy going into bark mode. We took in a total of three new dogs and sent out six new ones. It was a great day for adoptions and an even greater day for the animals. I think we sent out a total of 13, a record for me.

If every day was like today there would be a lot less animals looking for their forever homes. I want to thank everyone for reading as always and apologize for no pictures, a little to much going one to take them. I look forward to your comments.


Thursday, February 18, 2010

A little of this and a little of that

Quick re cap of the morning, lots of scrubbing and lots of poo, nuff said. After all of the cleaning I headed up to the front desk to see if we do figure a few things out. A new concern that has come up is having animals that are already adopted, and on foster, head in to showings with new adopters not know that the animals have a home already. Now this is a rare occurrence, but it does happen, and when it does, it can be a pain in the but.

The problem really originates when there is a break down of communication. However much you try to avoid it, it is still bound to happen. We do have a proper routine in place that if followed the issue doesn't arise but let's say no one puts an adopted sign on a kennel. Then a customer fills out an adoption application to see that animal, then the counselor wasn't there the day the animal got adopted, and let's say the animal went home on foster because it was still waiting an operation the computer says available for adoption, then you have a problem. One thing we were trying to figure out at the front desk was how we could change the status of the animal in the computer to "on hold" because we can't technically adopt them until everything is good to go, like being spayed or neutered. Anyways, that was the beginning of my day, hopefully it won't be too difficult of a problem to fix.

Moving on it was a lot of laundry and trying to get all of our linen and beds somewhat consolidated. Luckily everyone had kept up on keeping the washer and dryer running so the big issue was just taking care of all of the recent linen donations that have poured in the past couple of weeks. Now there was a quick and easy solution if I ever saw one, we simply took all of the donations that were filling up an empty kennel and loaded them into our large van. Our behaviorist who will be making a trip to a few less fortunate shelters will take the donations to them where they will get some good use out of them. Two birds with one stone there.

I did have one good showing today, it was with a woman that I had met last August and had introduced their dog to Wendy, a long timer here at the shelter. It seemed to be a good fit back then but she had some issues with the energy level our dog had. Long story short, she was back to see our lab named Higgins. Now this guy is truly one of my favorites, he is a sweet and lovable loaf. He will go belly up over pretty much anything but has been gaining some confidence since first arriving at the shelter. The interact went well with the woman's dog pretty much just assessing the area. After a while though our little guy started running and trying to instigate play with no luck. I suggested that the woman come back when her dog is a little more comfortable and we'll see how things go. Hopefully she'll be back because as you can see from the picture below they really could be brothers.

There were a few more showings the rest of the day and luckily a couple of adoptions as well. A sweet cat that can be a bit fickle found a new home as well as one of our second chance dogs. In addition to this a gentleman came back in for the umpteenth time to visit with our long term girl Bobbie. Hopefully it went well and in the coming days I can say she was adopted. The last showing I saw was with a couple that already had two dogs. Unfortunately their little male was un altered and we were unable to adopt. Now I of all people understand that it seems rough to "take away the guys manhood" but believe me it really does help the bigger issue of pet population. We tried explaining this to the guy but it was like talking to a brick wall. Maybe his wife can talk some sense in to him and in the future they can adopt from us.

That's it for now, as always thanks for reading and of course your wonderful comments. I always do appreciate them and all of the people out there that are doing their own part to help all the great animals in need around the world. Oh yeah, I couldn't forget to add a picture of the little Italian greyhound we have here that just got her dental.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Some good numbers this weekend


I love coming back to this place after a few days off to learn who got to go home. Of course there are those days that no one does but on the other end of the spectrum are days like today where I learned of about ten different adoptions. There weren't to many cat adoptions, mostly dogs, but there was a bonded pair of bunnies that have been at the shelter for quite some time that finally found their forever home.

A few of the adopted animal were still at the shelter when I arrived today. They basically are waiting on some sort of procedure before they can go home. Most of the time it's either a spay or neuter, but we also have a few dentals and a check up on on a sweet little dog who may have a heart murmur. It never seizes to amaze me the medical attention that our animals receive.

On with the day. I began as usual by helping take out all of the dogs to their runs. I have to say, the smell always takes some getting used to in the morning. Once that was done it was time to head over to the cattery. It was nice to see some empty kennels because this last month has really gone to the cats as far as adoption numbers go. There were a few new faces though but everyone in there seemed to be well adjusted. Maybe it's the fact that the majority of them have at least two interconnecting kennels to stretch their legs in. While I was cleaning I was lucky enough to have a volunteer not only offer their help, but more importantly just spend some quality time with the cats while I took care of tidying up the place.

The next portion of my day was dedicated to a meeting going over some future events as well as the normal stuff. We discussed everything from a large volunteer project to our anticipated anniversary gala event. It's always good to see how many people are involved in the shelter and more importantly how people are so passionate about what we do here. I won't bore you with to many details but I will say that we are planning another adoption event and we did get some nice bagels to munch on.

Before I knew it the day was already winding down. I was able to do a few loads of laundry and even got the dogs fed once I went back to the kennels. I didn't hear of any adoptions but at least there were a few showings. The rest of the afternoon was spent bringing out all of the dogs, making sure their kennels were ready for the night, and of course cleaning.

Closing out the day I did my time cards, yes I said time cards, something I haven't ever experienced before this place. I got out my calculator and started working. Luckily it only takes about five minutes, but if you forget you can get in some trouble.

I hope tomorrow I will see a few adoptions but in the mean time here is a picture of our girl Lady. Now typically she is a wild and crazy sort of dog but when you get her some quite time she becomes part of the family, or floor for that matter (see picture above). Thanks for reading everyone and I really do appreciate all of your comments and all that you do out there helping those that can't help themselves.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Best just to jump back in




My day in medical was a fast one. Immediately when I got to work it was time to dish out the meds and get on with the day. It was good because I think I needed some busy time to not have to think about anything else.

Once all of the medications were given it was time to dive right into the day. Typically on these days I have been helping set up meds and doing a lot of data entry for the animal's files but today was a little different. Today I helped do a total of eight cat intakes. An intake consists of drawing blood for 'snap' tests to determine if the cat can come into the shelter. We also make sure that all vaccines are up to date and if not administer them. We also look at the teeth, coat, tail, ears and basically the overall well being of the animal. We listen to the heart as well to make sure there are no abnormalities.

The eight cats that we brought in to the shelter all seemed healthy except for one. It turns out my one eared friend who was originally aged at five plus is really around 14 plus. Apparently you can actually tell by simply looking at the eyes. If they have crocodile eyes it means that they are pretty old. Other than being old though the cat seems in pretty good health, a little feisty too. We did decide to run a full blood panel just to cover all of our bases to make sure that this animal is adoptable.

The other cats were all pretty scared on intake but really took it well. We ended up giving just about every one of them an updated rabies vaccine along with anthelban, a de wormer, and revolution to cover the external parasites. Amazingly enough we were actually able to do all eight intakes today. In addition to that all of the animals that could go home this weekend were entered into our computer system. All in all, a busy day that went by before I knew it had began.

In closing today I have to add that I got my first award, the Scribble Scholastic award from a great blog called One Girl Too Many Animals, a touching blog about animal rescue in Kuala Lumpur. Now the trick goes is that I have to award this to five of my favorite blogs, so here it goes, I wish it could be more. So here are my five:

* Rules for Superior Scribbler Award:
1. Each superior scribbler must pass on the AWARD to 5 friends who are also SS.
2. Each SS must link the author and name of the blog from whom he receives the award.
3. Each SS must display the award on his/her blog and link to the post which explains the award.
4. Each SS is asked to visit the post which explains the award and add his/her name to the Mr. Linky List.
5. Each SS must post these rules on his/her blog.


Friday, February 12, 2010

Trying to get through the day

Today was one of those days that as soon as it started I was ready for it to end. The morning started out pretty normal, me opening up the front desk. I had a little extra free time so I helped out a few other co-workers and then went back to my corner of the shelter. Typically Thursdays are pretty busy up at the front desk because all of the adopted animals that just had surgery are able to go home, well today there were only three.

The preparation for these animals to go home is pretty simple, especially since the adoption deposit they made initially covers just about everything. Basically all we have to do is go into our computer system and "adopt out" the animal in there, print out some medical history, and state how the adopters paid. Not rocket science but you still have to be pretty careful because the computer system can get a little complicated and it's best that we stick to one way of doing everything.

Once the first animal went home I was already getting bored, there is only so much you can do when you have three staff members covering all the daily tasks. Luckily one of them wanted to get out of here early so without hesitation they were sent home. Just so you know I think every staff member here today wanted to get out of here early. See, we got some bad news about our cat that I was talking about yesterday. It turns out that there were even more lumps than originally expected and we had to euthanize her. This is the hardest part about this job but then again it was something that had to be done. That is all I am going to talk about that because it's still a little early for me.

The rest of the day dragged on, that is of course until 4:45 when everything hit the fan. We had a number of late showings as well as a number of volunteers taking animals on foster. Not to mention that we still had one of our adopters come to pick up their dog at 4:59. Hey, as long as they get to go home I am O.K. with that. On top of all of this we also had an adoption take place right as we were closing. Like I said before, and the staff agrees, as long as an animal gets to go home we are all fine with staying late.

Today was a pretty rough one, a day that if I drank I would have probably had two when I got home. Maybe another day I will go into more details about how crappy it was but for now I'll talk about the good things that took place. Thanks for reading everyone and I'll talk to you soon.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

With the bitter comes the sweet.


With my stint in kennels this week almost over I figured I might as well pick up after the dogs. Luckily though none of the ones that I cleaned up after had any sort of bacteria or parasites living in their intestines so the smell was at leas bearable.

After all of the cleaning was taken care of it was already opening time. People were already coming into the shelter even though there were still dogs that needed to be brought up and bags of garbage that still needed taking out. Fortunately there were some other staff members that were willing to help a hand.

Of course that didn't mean that I was finished cleaning. I still had to disinfect our South fake grass areas where our sick dogs with giardia had been going on breaks. Not the most difficult task, but scrubbing astro turf isn't the easiest thing either. On top of that there was a whole lot of bleach that needed to be sprayed on to make sure that it was actually disinfected for healthy dogs to use.

Once that was done I sat down with a staff member to go over a few ideas about an adoption event we are having this weekend titled "Puppy Love". In addition to having puppies though we are actually trying to focus the public's attention on our senior dogs. See, I just found out that we are pretty much the only shelter in our county that takes in animals over four years old. This was a surprise to me because we have so many senior dogs I thought it was the norm across the board. Anyways, I digress, the event this weekend will feature our KCS (kids community service) volunteers manning kissing booths (with puppies), selling baked goods, and having face painting. As well we will be offering discounted adoption fees as well as gift certificates to our thrift store with every adoption. Hopefully it will be a huge success and we will continue to grow these events.

Later in the afternoon it was finally time for some showings. All at the same time there were three cats showings. The first, which I grabbed, was with a pair of cats that we are adopting out separately. There story was a sad one to say the least, but as I was about to find out, it was a lot sadder. Initially when the pair came in we couldn't tell if one of the guys had an old scar or ring worm. Well, it turned out to be a mass cell tumor. Our medical staff removed it, and the surrounding area hoping it would take care of the problem. It turns out that today, with our vet, the med staff noticed a few more lumps. Upon biopsy, it was determined that they too were mass cell tumors. Now I'm not sure if they are going to try to remove these or not, but with two popping up in a matter of a month I have to be realistic. It's one of those moments that you really have to try not to think about. I mean the animal has been through so much already and now it's going through this, my heart really does break.

Even with all of the depressing news, there was still a little light yet to shine. Our sick cat's sibling got adopted as I was learning the sad news. Along with that another cat had also found her forever home as well. This place is one amazing emotional roller coaster. I really don't know how other rescues do it across the globe. I am still amazed at how lucky we are here at this shelter and the attention that we are able to give these animals.

I wanted to close on a picture of a few new arrivals to try to lighten up this down right depressing blog. The ones up top is an Italian Greyhound that came in with her sister from another shelter and of course some of our surgery dogs that found warmth with each other. Below is my first one eared cat that came in with the group of seven this past week. Thanks for reading and remember, the good stories always out weigh the bad ones at this shelter.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Coming back to a lot of adoptions, poop, and a few baths


Recently I have kept myself from constantly looking at our website on my days off. I am trying to do this so when I go in to work on my "Monday" it will be a surprise to see who went home. Needless to say, the first time I tried this there were a whole lot of adoptions across the board.

First our crazy Wheaton terrier with extreme IBS got to go home to a wonderful woman who drove several hours with her dogs and family to come and meet him. In addition, Eclair, my little submissive grinner who was in the news paper got adopted as well. Those were just a few of our dogs that had been here a while, besides them there were a total of about four more that had come in through our second chance program that got new homes as well.

Of course I can't leave out all of the cats. When I walked into the cattery today I was astonished at how many empty kennels there are. I looked at the numbers and it is truly amazing the number of cats that have been adopted this past month. I guess now I understand why a few of our staff members went to another shelter today to rescue a few more. In addition to all of these animals we even had a long term rabbit, in fact two in the last week, that have been here for who knows how long. I have to say it was a nice surprise to see all of the adoptions going into work today.

On the other side it wasn't so nice to see all of the poop. All of our second chance dogs have been being treated for giardia but that still mean that there isn't going to be a little poop in the kennel. If you can stand it and you haven't eaten anything recently here is a picture of one of the kennels below. This is also why I bathed a few dogs today. I can imagine even if you are the cutest thing out there, when you smell like crap it's kind of hard to keep all of your appeal.

After the bathing my lab friend, pictures up top and down below, I finally got to see our friend Lucy. She was the dog that had the major ear surgery that was so graciously donated last week. She had been spending this time being monitored at a 24 hour veterinary clinic to make sure everything went well. She was still having a tough time blinking but she seems to be back to normal now. I couldn't believe the energy level she had. She was bouncing around, playing fetch, and jumping up in my lap. It was one of those moments where all you could do is smile.

Well, there were no adoptions today, but I have to say it was a pretty good day. I know I made a dog miserable by giving him a bath but hopefully the suffering will be worth it in the end. There are so many things at an animal shelter that can make you cry but what really is amazing is how many more things can make you smile. Thanks for reading everyone and I look forward to you comments.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

A day of data entry

If you didn't already know, today was my day in medical. Usually it involves a few intakes, a lot of paperwork, and prepping for the weekend. Well, today was more paperwork than anything else. I won't bore you with to much of the details but the data entry consists of setting up the animals files in our shared computer system and entering all of their medical notes.

There were a few other things that I did today in addition to sitting in front of the computer. I dished out the meds in the morning, including pilling a few cats which I must say I am getting pretty good at. We also had to pay close attention to our cat in ISO who has had a tough time pooping. We actually had to take him to a vet's office yesterday to have him looked over. They ended up giving him an enema and putting him on lactaloose. Apparently, from what I hear, he had a pretty large movement but has yet to go at the shelter. Hopefully the laxative and wet food will do the trick because I really don't feel like learning how to give a cat an enema.

We also had to purge a hematoma on a poor little safe house animals ear. I have to say, the sound of pus coming out of this poor little guy was pretty nasty, along with the smell, but he really seemed to be feeling better once it was all over. The med staff is still debating if surgery is needed. They are still waiting to see if the purging and antibiotics do the trick.

After all of this we still had to give a good ten dogs a dose of panacur. This is a de wormer that can usually knock out giardia in a five day treatment plan. I hope it does! When we all came in this morning, one of our new second chance labs was pretty much sprawled out in a large mess of diarrhea that even the most seasoned kennel staff members were holding their breath for.

The day took a little longer than expected but we ended up getting all the information entered into the computer. We also got all of the meds ready for the weekend and all of the dosing done for the afternoon. There wasn't anything to crazy which means that it was a good day in the med room. Thanks for reading everyone and I look forward to you comments.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Not a lot happening

Well, as my Thursday's go today was an uneventful one. Typically it is the day that all of the previously adopted animals get to go home after their surgery day but surprisingly enough there were none today. What that means for me is that my attention was focused on a different sort of task today.

The majority of my day was spent setting up our "on hold" messaging system. Sounds exciting I know, but it is actually something the shelter has been looking to do now for some time. What the system does is loop a series of pre recorded messages and announcements for all of our customers that have been placed on hold. This is a big step up from dead silence that has traditionally accompanied the uncertainty of our customers wondering if they have been disconnected when they are actually on hold. It is also a way for us to spread the word about upcoming events at the shelter.

It's actually a pretty cool system that is easy to modify if you have a new event or change of hours. The only thing I don't like about it is the fact that it is my voice playing on the message system. The other thing that kind of got to me, and a few other staff members, was while I was setting it up, just about every speaker phone in the shelter was on a continual loop of the message. Not that I don't like to hear my voice, but over and over again even I was annoyed with it. Finally I got a hold of the phone company and was able to straighten it out and get it all working, so now, we no longer have dead silence but rather a nice recorded message of the events that are taking place at the shelter.

There were a few other things that took place today up at the front desk. As always we got to spend some time with a dog in need of some good sleep. What happens is one of the kennel staff will bring up one of our animals that is having a tough time and set up a nice comfy spot for them behind the counter. It not only lets them get some well deserved shut eye but also puts the spot light on them for customers coming into the shelter. In addition to this we also had one of our staff members dogs up there while he tried introducing his other dog to one of ours. Not sure if he is thinking about fostering or adopting, but in any case I hope it works out.

I'm closing with a picture of one of our mange puppies that we have been treating at the shelter going on three months. I am amazed every time I see these guys because they are looking better and better. Hard to believe this guy was once hairless covered in soars! Thanks for reading everyone and I look forward to your comments.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

A whole lot of nothing, til the end that is.

For some odd reason, today I decided to do as much cleaning as humanly possible. Not sure if it is because I am only back in the kennels for two days a week or what but I just had the urge to help out. I started by doing the East side kennels, not a difficult task because for the first time I cleaned up after the dogs and didn't have to pick up one piece of poo. It was a miracle! Once I got all of the dogs fed and back in their kennels I moved on to the North cattery. There I was caught by our medical manager and asked to dish out a few meds as well as feed some of the guys that had been slated for surgery. I was able to feed them because they came down with upper respiratory infections and were unable to be anesthetized. I have never seen a cat eat food with medicine in it faster. After I swept up and made sure that I cleaned up after Clark the cat twice since he always spills his food bowl I headed back to dog ISO. there I finally cleaned up a yard that I had been neglecting for some time. I also cleaned up after our new puppy that stays there during the night, not because she is sick but because the heat is that much better back there.

Once the animals were accounted for I headed over to do some dishes. It's pretty amazing how fast they can accumulate when all of the new dogs are on panacur and dirty up an additional dish every morning. As long as there is good music playing in the kitchen the task is made a lot easier, and at least this way I can get out of taking out the garbage, especially because I saw that someone had torn a whole in one of the cattery garbage bags which means litter and poop are spilling out at some point in the journey back to the dumpster.

My afternoon was pretty uneventful, I did have a long conversation with a volunteer about how the shelter works and the choices that are made and never taken lightly. I always appreciate their input and help but it is tough for them to understand the things that go on in the shelter because they typically are only getting a snapshot of the happenings. In any case, I think they account for so much here that if we didn't have them this shelter just wouldn't work, plain and simple.

I did have one dog showing today, it was with our good friend the escape artist Cora. The family wasn't necessarily the perfect fit but I was willing to give it a go any how. Well, they fell in love with her even after all of my explanations about why she was returned and her tendencies to muzzle punch and escape. I decided to leave them alone for a bit to get a feel for her. When I returned I learned that they felt she wasn't the right dog for their young children. It's funny that no matter how much I explain a behavior, until the people actually experience it they tend not to believe it. Hopefully they find a right fit and Cora will find hers as well.

The rest of the day was dedicated to laundry and one interaction with a dog that just got returned to us. Luckily we found her a good playmate who needs a little guidance as well. We are just crossing our fingers that this duo will be a positive influence on each other rather than a bad one. And just so you know, I am finally learning to understand where people are coming from when they return our animals. I just always hope that it never happens.

Closing out the day, in fact at 4:55, a gentleman came into the front office to adopt Clark, the rambunctious cat that always turns over his food dish. Apparently he and his wife had been in this past weekend to meet and wanted some time to think it over. Well, it was decided that he was the cat for them. It turned a good day into a great one. Thanks for reading everyone and I look forward to your comments, and remember, yes there are those people that return animals for the wrong reasons, but there are also those that have fought with it for months and feel it is the only option for the animal. Then of course I need to remind myself that I am not a people hater! :)

Oh yeah, the pictures are of two sweethearts that were just looking for someone to play with and of course the other is my new friend Legend the basset hound who just came in this week.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Back at work and learning of some great adoptions


It's always nice to come back to work and learn of some great animals finding their true forever homes. Today this was especially true because I learned of a great senior dog finding a home along with FOUR cats! The dog was a great story, I had actually been conversing with the adopter via email the entire week and sure enough they came in on Saturday and ended up adopting. About half an hour after taking Princess home they had already sent a thank you email and of course a picture of the once skittish dog asleep on grandma's lap. It was a great sight and I even saw some staff members get a little teary eyed when they saw it. In addition to that adoption we had four cats go home as well. Three were pretty standardized adoptions but one in particular stood out, it was a cat named Spice that has for some odd reason been returned twice already. Now it wasn't anything on her part, they just weren't the right homes for her. The first had just lost a cat and felt it just wasn't quite the right time yet and the second thought she was a little too "needy", funny when I hear something like that when in the adoption they say they are looking for a lap cat. Oh well, I just have to remind myself that I am not a people hater. In the end I think that he found the right home that he will be truly appreciated in.

Moving on with the day. I began by cleaning out some kennels, I thought I was doing the lazy thing by signing up for south side dogs but of course that bit me in the but. It turned out that one of the guys over there has giardia and boy was he a painter. I felt like I needed hand rails in his kennel just so I wouldn't lip and go face first into the mess. I am being a little selfish here, I really do feel bad for the little guy but man was it a mess. Not only that, but an hour after I scrubbed it the kennel was back to the same condition. Well, at least we know we can treat him and it's not something more serious.

After all of the cleaning I was able to finally take a look at all of the new arrivals that came in on Monday. As always they were a very cute bunch that shouldn't have any trouble getting adopted come Saturday. Most of them are pretty leash shy but when it came to friendliness they all scored very high. I actually have two favorites out of this bunch, one is a big old basset hound who is just nicest thing and another that looks like a cattle dog but is only about twelve pounds, it quite a site to see in person. Here is a few pictures of some of the new guys.

I did do one showing today, it was with my friend Arbuckle the Italian greyhound and Schnauzer mix. The woman seemed like she would have been a good home but once in the showing she saw the energy level of this dog and said it might not be the best fit. It was really sad actually because he is such a cute dog but because of his age his is a bet scattered brain. Hopefully he doesn't stay here much longer because he needs to get the mental stimulation that will keep him busy and of course help him with training.

Closing out the day I talked to a woman who saw one of our animals on pet finder. It was one of those special animals that needs the perfect home. One without children and of course they have to be familiar with the breed. Luckily the conversation went really well and even after being a complete realist about the dog she was still willing to pack up her van with family and two dogs to come down and meet. Hopefully it will be a good fit and come Saturday our Tanner with have a place that Tanner can call home.

Quite a day back and I do have to say I am going home with a smile on my face. I do have to ask if Johnny M. was ever able to find those padded envelopes, but maybe I'll save that for another day. Thanks for reading everyone and I look forward to your comments.
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