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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Lots of new faces

I have certainly slacked this past week but for good reasons. In the last week there have been a few depressing things that in all honesty I just needed to forget. A positive outlook and attitude can go only so far. So needless to say, I took a few days off from the job and the blog, but now I am back and at least a little refreshed.

My day began as usual, taking all of the dogs out for their morning breaks. While I was doing this I noticed a few new guys that had come in while I was off. The group came from a "quasi" rescue a few hours away but seemed to be highly adoptable animals. I was actually kind of surprised at the mixture our behavior specialist came back with. There was everything from a boxer/lab mix, little poodley looking things, and even some of the cutest terrier puppies. They all seemed very sociable but of course they hate to walk on leash.

Once all of the dogs were out we all got to cleaning. For some reason today everyone just seemed to be dragging and before I knew it the garbage hadn't yet been taken out and the doors to the shelter were open. It was nice to see a few people coming in to take a look at the animals on a Tuesday but of course there could always be more.

There weren't any early showings today but there was something that put a smile on my face. I looked at the adoption board and learned about some great animals finding themselves a new home. All but two of the eleven second chance dogs had gotten adopted in a matter of four days. Two of them actually got adopted out together which was quite fitting since their names were Bugs and Bunny. The big adoption that I really noticed was a little guy by the name of Lucky. When he first came into the shelter you thought his name was an oxymoron because of all the things that he had to go through. His first day he actually stepped on a bee and we noticed some blood in his urine. We took him to the emergency vet's office and they were able to take care of the bee sting but we were the ones that took care of his bladder stone and special diet. Well, thankfully his name came true and a perfect woman came in to adopt him.

The rest of the day was pretty slow with everyone finding little projects to keep themselves busy. I personally handled the laundry. I know, sounds thrilling, but at least we were able to catch completely up and actually have two empty bins where the dirty stuff usually is. Other staff members did everything from clean to organize. I guess it really is spring time.

Unfortunately today I didn't get any showings myself but there were at least a few that came through the door. I really think I need to do an adoption soon because the roller coaster that is this job seems to be in a bit of a lull. I know it will pick up soon and hopefully it won't take too long. Thanks for reading everyone and of course thanks to all of you out there that volunteer your time to helping the animals. The pictures above are some of the new arrivals...enjoy!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Finally some adoptions

Being up at the front desk you get a totally different perspective of what the shelter is. I still have all of the baggage that goes along with animals being returned and customers that can be a little bent out of shape but I also get to see all of the smiles on people's faces as they come to pick up their new family members.

The main reason I work at the front desk today is because the day after surgery a lot of animals get adopted and it is the best time to have the extra help up there. Not sure if I actually help or get in the way but It is nice to see this side of how the operation works.

Typically we get all of the medical files from our med director of the animals that are going home today with times written in the corner for pick up. Once we get the files we put together a generic adoption folder since most of these have already been adoption deposits. We deposits when the animal is awaiting spaying and neutering. Then fill out microchip information, check for rabies registration, and of course put all of the animals meds together. I was lucky enough today to have a staff member take care of all of this while I took care of the morning busy work responding to emails and answering voicemail.

There were several good parts to today. We were lucky enough to send four animals home that had just had surgery. It was so nice to see how excited the adopters were when their new pet came around the corner. The funny dog voices the people had and of course all of the kisses that were given. It was really a sigh of relief to be reminded of all of the good things that go on this shelter. On top of this there were actually two great adoptions of a couple of little men that have been at the shelter for some time now.

Both dogs, Mako and Sniffer, got to go home not only with a new family but older brothers and sisters that they can run around the yard with. One of the dogs was actually the second to last remaining "mange" puppies that have been at the shelter since November getting treatment. In reality he actually became one of my favorite little dogs and in turn will be someone else's now.

Of course I try to be positive throughout this blog but we did get a call of a potential return. Nothing to sad but a little bit disheartening. Apparently an adopter passed away and the dog's groomer ended up taking ownership of him. Unfortunately they didn't have the profile we had on the dog and didn't realize that the dog had cat aggression. In any case we should be getting the dog back within a week. Thankfully that is his only issue and should be highly adoptable.

Thanks for reading everyone and thanks again for the wonderful and heartwarming comments. There are so many people out there that care so much for these animals needing homes I am just glad I am lucky enough to be one of them.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Staying busy

After reading the comments posted on the blog yesterday I have to say that they truly did put a smile on my face. There are so many people out there that have devoted so much of themselves to helping animals that it gives me a sense that I am truly not alone. I want to start by saying thank you to all of the people out there that are making a difference in so many people's and animal's lives, thank you so much.

After picking my head up today and of course picking up a whole lot of poop it was time to really get down to business. We have been staggering the schedule a bit lately so we have an opening crew and a closing one. What that means is that you have to make sure that you are helping each other out in order to get everything done. It's a little tough sometimes as far as time is concerned but we weren't to far behind today.

One thing that did make a little extra work today was having a dog test positive for coxidia, a form of parasite. The trouble was that we have so many play groups now we didn't know who's poop we were actually testing. What that means is that we have to treat all of the dogs that have come in to contact on a regular basis, about five of them. It also means that when you clean you have to do a very thorough job and replace all of the bedding in the kennels. Just when we thought laundry had been caught up the blankets get piled up again. Luckily it's a pretty simple treatment and after a few days of this and dosing out their medicine they should be fine.

Later in the afternoon I finally had a showing again. It was with a dog that I had originally adopted out some time ago but got returned because the family just had no time for her. The potential adopters seemed like they might be a good fit but they brought in their in-laws dog to meet because they would potentially spending a lot of time together. Unfortunately our dog is a little bit of a social reject and immediately tried attacking their dog. I really don't know what type of family our girl is going to need but it is a pretty specific one. Hopefully soon we can get her out of here because the overwhelming stress of the kennels is getting to her.

On a better note we got word from the rescue that took our basset that just got off of bite quarantine. He seems to be doing great! They did rename him but said that they were so grateful that we took care of him during this stressful time in his life. It was one of those moments that really lifts your head up and puts a smile on your face to hear.

Closing out the day I wanted to include a picture of a few more kittens that came in recently. Luckily our staff members have a lot of experience with them and those long sleepless nights of meowing every hour for food. The have been able to keep the kitties fed and the both seem to be doing very well. Here is a picture of one getting fed, you can really see how small they are. Hopefully they continue to eat and we can get them in a long term foster home so we can get their weight up and get them adopted.

Thanks for reading everyone and I truly do appreciate the comments, especially the long ones.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Sometimes it can be down right depressing

I know that there are many of you out there that work in the "rescue industry" and deal with the stress on a regular basis but this is still something fairly new to me. In the past I have seen it and been a part of stressful times but recently it seems that the flood gates have opened for the "tough times". If you don't want to read about the experiences I had this past week I suggest skipping this blog, it's still a little tough for me to even write it.

It has been about a week since I last wrote and for me that was tough in itself. The reasoning behind it all though was just so I could gather myself and work out the stress and lack of sleep that I have had lately. Don't get me wrong, as always there have been the highlights but for some reason when it rains it pours.

As you know we had a few returns in recent weeks with one including a bite. Well, good news on all of them because they have either been adopted out or sent to breed rescue. We did however have to put one down because he was deemed unsafe to adopt out. This was understandable but incredibly difficult for me because I was the one that initially adopted the animal out. Because of this I did want to be there when it happened. I was able to treat him with a six dollar burger and I have to say for what it was, it was one of the best ones I have been a part of. I know that sounds horrible but there are those instances when you know an animal was ready to go. This has to be the most difficult part of this job, I am actually getting teary eyed as I speak and the flood gates were opened when it actually happened.

This was tough in itself. Then, the next day while I was working the front desk a sweet little neophyte kitten was brought in by some teenage kids that had found him in the middle of the street. Typically if there is no mother there is a reason. You see that sometimes if the mother cat feels that an offspring might be sick or has a less chance of survival than the rest she will leave that animal behind. Very sad I know, but sometimes the mother has to devote her energy to the healthy ones. Well, who knows if this one was sick or not, we took it in anyhow. One of the staff members cared for it all day and kept it warm until some fosters could come and pick him up. Well, when they left to get supplies the kitten passed. I tried CPR and giving it mouth to mouth but nothing worked. I have to think that he came in sick but it doesn't make it any easier.

Trying to close on a good note. All but a few of the new second chance dogs got adopted this past week. It was nice to see them find homes so quickly. We did have a few dogs come in through our emergency boarding program but hopefully their family will be in to visit for their extended stay at the shelter.

I hope I haven't depressed you all with this blog but it helps me to discuss it and put it down on paper to help me deal with it. Thanks for reading and things will be looking up soon.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Trying to keep busy

My day at customer service is typically spent finalizing adoptions and sending animals home, today, not so much. Since a good number of animals aren't yet available the amount that had surgery this past week was very limited meaning that only one dog would be going home today.
What that means for me is that I can get all of the busy work of the front desk done but it also makes for a very long day.

Believe it or not the first thing I did at the front desk today was liquid sand the cabinets. I know it sounds a little odd but I figured since I had time and it needed to get done I might as well knock it out. Since we had already painted everything else I was glad to get it out of the way. I have to say though, if you ever decided to do this make sure there is some good ventilation.

Moving on with the day it was a whole lot of answering phones. It never seises to amaze me how many people call for the most random things you could ever think of. I had one call today where a man began explaining that his neighbors, in a duplex, had just moved out and had been dealing with mice quite frequently. Since I couldn't get a word in I just let him continue, he said that since they moved out the mice are now starting to make their way to his home. Today he actually caught one fairly easily because the rodent was very lethargic. He wanted to know why the animal was like that. Rather than listen to me tell him to call pest control I finally said that the animal might have gotten into some poison left behind from his neighbors. The caller than said, "what about the plague?". I honestly had to use all of my self control not to laugh. Once I composed myself I reiterated that he should call pest control. Not sure why people think that we could help with that situation but at least it wasn't a phone call of a person trying to get rid of their twenty two rabbits.

Towards the afternoon it was finally time to send the one adopted dog home. His owner came in and you could tell how excited she was. It was so nice to see the smile that this dog brought to her face. Even thought today was pretty boring, which isn't a bad thing, it was nice to see one of our guys find their forever home.

Recapping the day there wasn't anything to crazy that took place, and after this week, I am content with that. I was able to make a schedule for April and of course answer some always interesting phone calls. I do wish that there had been more showings and of course a few more adoptions but at least no animals came back. Thanks for reading everyone and hopefully my day in medical with be a little more exciting than liquid sand paper!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Fringe benefits of the job

I'm going to bypass the monotony of the clean today and jump right in to the rest of my day. One thing really had my attention, my dog that I had to bring in for a few procedures. This is a huge advantage to have while working at the shelter, discounted veterinary care. Well, today it really came in handy.

My dog, aka son, started getting these little red bumps on his chest. I initially brought him in a few weeks ago for our Vet to take a look at them. The fact that my little man sun bathes so much really had me worried when these raised lumps appeared and grew rather rapidly. I was told to bring him in today for the vet to look at him again, that's when they decided to remove them all. My poor little guy not only had FOUR lumpectomies he also had a dental as well. My little guy looks like a frankenstein on his chest. Hopefully they don't pop up again because it's tough putting my little man through that. In any case, the staff took amazing care of them and I am incredibly grateful for the job they do.

Of course there were other things that needed my attention as well, for instance the person still trying to get rid of their twenty or so rabbits. Apparently I am the only person who would give them the time of day and at least lend them an ear because it seems they call every single day with a new way to get rid of their animals. Today's suggestion was to give all of the rabbits to a rescue along with all of their cages and the rabbits can just live outside. Well, unfortunately it just doesn't work that way. I reiterated again that the only option was county, which isn't a bad thing I have to add. In any case, I understand her concern but there are only so many options you have at the point when you are getting evicted for having to many animals along with an open investigation from animal control. I really do feel sorry for them but there comes a time when all of your options have been exhausted.

Today there were a few dogs that needed care for as well, I almost forgot that that is why I am here. We actually had to move one little guy back to ISO for the simple fact that he can pretty much escape any kennel we put him in. The plan now is to put him in one of the show yards where at least he will be in public view and doesn't have as much of a risk of jumping out and hurting himself.

Aside from all of this the day actually seemed a little slow. I was able to clean quite a bit and also spend some quality time sitting down with the animals, including mine. The day ended by taking out all of the dogs for their afternoon break, running down two because they door dashed, and also pairing up another two for a little play date. As you can see from the picture above they really seemed to enjoy themselves. This was awesome because both of these dogs can be little devils when it comes to other animals.

Closing out I just want to say I truly do appreciate the kind words that you post in my comment section. It really does put a smile on my face even on those tough days. I also want to say thanks to all of the volunteers out there that make rescues happen.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Hoping for the best

Coming in to work today I have to acknowledge that my attitude wasn't exactly the best one I could have had. After las week and the events that took place all I was hoping for today was a day that I could keep my head down busy with work.

The day started as such, busy cleaning because of our new eleven arrivals that came in as part of our second chance program. Surprise surprise, they are all little guys with big vocal chords. It was nice to see some new faces though and they all seemed very loving and outgoing. In fact, two of them were a little too outgoing with cries louder than I have heard in a while.

After my initial negative attitude it was time for my 180. I learned that one of the returns that had happened last Friday had already been adopted out. It seemed like a great fit. It was a young couple that typically were home most of the day and could give Banana the energy and time that she needed. Hopefully this works out better than her last home and she will be a happier dog along with her new family that came to visit today and couldn't wait to take her home.

Another thing that really made my day was learning about the dog that was returned because of a bite. Now I don't know the whole story because I wasn't there when it happened and I'm not going to speculate but the fact that this animal bit pretty much trumps any other behavior. Because of the severity of the bite it wasn't looking good for this animal and that was another one of the reasons I came in with my head held low today. Just when I thought the worst though I learned that this animal was making his way to the basset hound rescue. My whole outlook on the day changed. It really did make me happy that this droopy eared guy was going to get the attention that he needed.

Moving on, the afternoon was full of all sorts of busy work. I was happy to see all of the laundry though completely caught up but amazingly enough it continued to grow throughout the day. I did get some time to spend with my favorite cat Billy when I saw the opportunity but before I knew it I got a call for a showing. I can't tell you how long it's been since I did a showing. The man ended up wanted to see Lady Bird, a dog that needs to find a home soon but is still a pretty special case and can't go home with just anybody. Unfortunately when I read the profile the family has three cats and because of our girl's prey drive it just wouldn't be the right fit. I did show them Arnie and he really seemed to like him. Now all that needs to happen is the rest of the family come in and feel the same way, keeping my fingers crossed.

Closing out the day I was able to speak to my "bunny lady" and explain to her that I wasn't able to find any one to take in her huge number of animals. It was very sad listening to her because you could tell that she really did care for all of her animals and things just got out of hand as far as the numbers go. I explained to her that the only option was county and I gave her the numbers. I really do feel bad for her and I wish we could do more, it's tough though when we as a pretty well off shelter couldn't take in any of her animals.

Well, a better day than I was expecting today. Just goes to show that things can always turn out differently than what you prepare for. Thanks for reading as always and I look forward to your comments. The pictures above are of our girl Lady Bird hanging out comfortable at the front desk and of course a few of our new arrivals.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Not a day to remember

Typically my Friday's are spent doing animal intakes and data entry back in the medical suite of the shelter, well, some of that happened. I started the day off by trying to square away the situation that arose late yesterday afternoon about a person who was trying to unload twenty two rabbits. Well, I got the whole low down from other rescue organizations and I learned that the woman takes very good care of the animals, but she just has too many. I was able to talk to animal services in her area and they were going to see what they could do because the person was in such dire need to get rid of the animals. When I hear more I will certainly pass it along.

Initially it seemed like my day in medical would be a slow one with four intakes and some data entry. When I went up to the front desk I learned that the person relinquishing their cats had no shown up, but there were a few other people there. An adopter that had taken home an animal just last week was returning his dog because of separation anxiety. It was a feasible reason but I still wish people would try a little longer than six days. While this was happening another older man came in, slapped some papers on the counter and said "I want to return this dog" like we were Wal Mart. I was completely stunned and asked the man if he had called first. He went into his spiel about how the dog was just too much for him and his wife. He said if he had known the history of the dog it might have been better. This was one of those moments that I truly have to bite my tongue and try not to actually speak my mind. Anyways, we always take back our animals and we will make sure that this sweet animal;s next home will be her forever home.

Later in the day we finally did a few cat intakes. The first one was a sweet little girl that was easily a yes as far as adoptability. The other two cats were a little bit different though. They seemed fine early on but once the actual intake began we found out very quickly that these cats were feisty. In any case, rather than four cat intakes it ended up being just the one.

Of course all of the craziness wasn't over yet. We got a call that yet another animal was being returned. This time is was for another bite. I couldn't believe the day today. There really couldn't have been anything else that could have happened. Of course though I never mentioned that there was just one person at the front desk this entire time while I was in medical so I was bouncing back and forth trying to deal with the returns. Anyways, the new return has to go on bite quarantine for ten days and then be reassessed.

Closing out this crazy and crappy day we had to do re-intakes on the three dogs that got returned. Luckily it was pretty easy but after today I just want to go home. Thanks for reading everyone and I look forward to you comments. Hopefully tomorrow will have a few more smiles than tears.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Something new every day

Today is my front desk day and I am finding out more and more that there are many types of people in this world. To begin the day I walked in and realized that the front office had gotten painted the night before. It looked great but there was one problem, everything was off the walls and the desk and computer were five feet away from where it usually is. I'm just glad I got there early to start to put it back together. Of course I had to wait for the rest of the staff to get there because I honestly had no idea where everything went.

After the office got put back together is was business as usual. There of course were lots of phone calls today asking every sort of question. I still think that it's funny we get calls from forty miles away asking if we can come pick up a stray dog, especially when we are a privately funded shelter with no animal control. I did have one very interesting call today, one that I have never experienced before, it was an individual with a problem, actually twenty two problems. The person began by saying they had some animals she wanted to relinquish. Well, it turns out it was a lot of animal they were looking to relinquish, so many that it's a pretty large issue. Apparently the person's neighbor complained and now they have just four days to solve this issue or be evicted.

I explained to the individual that we just don't have room for that many animals but I would contact a few places that might be able to help. In reality though I really just wanted to get all of her contact information in order to find out the real story and if there was any history from this woman. Once I got off the phone with her I was able to learn that she initially had double the number of animals and county had already stepped in once to help out along with a few other rescue groups. I still am not sure if they took all of the animals and she acquired twenty two more or if they left her with that number. There is a big difference because if she obtained the animals since county already stepped in this might be a true hoarding case. My next step is to call county in the area the individual is located and see if I can get a better story.

Well, the was the majority of the craziness today. I will end on a woman and her mother coming into the shelter asking if we had any other cats that weren't in the cattery. I explained that we had a lot of adoptions this past week and more were on their way. I did walk with her back into the cattery to show her our indoor outdoor room where there are an additional four cats with free access in and out. I suggested to her that she meet with an adoption counselor to get a full story on all of our feline friends to see if there was a perfect fit. She ended up doing that and adopting our our little kitten Jaime. I remember she initially said she didn't want a kitten but ended up with one anyhow, it's funny how that happens.

I want to thank everyone for reading and I look forward to your comments. Hopefully I can give you an update on the unfolding story that I am sure is not yet finished.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

One late showing

I decided to focus on the cats this morning and try to spend at least some time getting to know their personalities. For me the routine when I an in the kennels is one day with the dogs and one with the cats, got to keep it all balanced you know. I have to say that cleaning up after my feline friends was pretty easy today with so many adoptions this past week.

Once all of the cats had been cleaned up after I headed over to dog iso to take care of the stray and our little man still on bit quarantine. I have to say that he seems to be doing a lot better without all of the usual fence fighting that gets him all riled up. As far as the stray is concerned we were unable to contact his owner because their telephone number listed on the tag would not except incoming calls. In any case, county came and picked him up while I was cleaning.

After the garbage, dishes, and laundry were done I found out about an "issue" we were having with our microchips and registration. We are actually lucky enough to have a wonderful volunteer that comes in every week to enter all of the forms into the computer to make sure the proper contact information is updated. The problem came up though that there were a few times that the system booted us out and we were unable to update in time. What that means basically is that about twenty animals over the past year never got registered. Luckily our volunteer made it very easy for me to find out which ones needed to be reentered. It still took me a while though to enter all twenty of them. I was actually surprised that this issue hadn't come up before but I guess the adopters really don't pay any attention when we tell them they will be receiving conformation for the chip registration within a couple of weeks, not years.

For a good portion of the day today I actually got to spend some more time with the animals. Typically I find something to keep me busy but because yesterday was so slow and we got so much accomplished, as far as cleaning is concerned, I decided to hang with my boy Billy again. Ever since we moved him to a larger, more private room, he has really started to come out of his shell. I went in, sat down, and he immediately came out and rolled on his back for belly rubs. This cat is really growing on me and if I would have never thought that he would turn out to be one of my favorites. Here is a picture of him hanging out in his "house" before he came out.

Closing out the day I headed back to the cattery to make sure everything was in order. That's when I saw a woman with two young daughters. They asked if they could pet Lassie our ten year old sweetheart but because it was getting close to closing I didn't think we would have time. Well, it turns out they already had an application in so it was as simple as pulling their file and starting the showing. The woman had been in several times in the past but the right fit just wasn't there. I really think she liked Lassie and her demeanor and will be back tomorrow to adopt, I hope.

A slow day to say the least but hopefully one adoption will come out of it. I want to thank everyone for reading and of course to all of the volunteers out there that really do make all of the difference. The rest of the pictures today were of surgery dogs, I just couldn't help myself, they all looked so cute. I still have a tough time recognizing the dog below, can you believe that he was one of our mange puppies from December?!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Bonded Pair Weekend

I love coming into work knowing that every single bonded pair got adopted this past weekend. Having one of these loving pairs adopted out is one thing, but a total of three was unheard of. It was quite the way to start my day. There were a total of two bonded cat pairs and a brother and sister dog pair that all got to go home on Saturday.

After the big smiles it was time to get to work. Of course we had to take all of the dogs out first for their morning break. The first little guy I grabbed was Mahi, one of the sweet mange puppies that is still here. He seemed so happy to see me, I kneeled down to leash him up when he jumped in my lap and peed on my thigh. At first I had no idea why my leg was getting so warm, then of course the light goes on and realized what had happened. Who would have thought that this was something that I would ever be laughing about in my life? I guess I have gotten dirty enough at this job that it just doesn't seem to phase me any more.

Once all of the cleaning was done it was time for more cleaning. We had our new staff member today training again so we had plenty of hands to make sure that everything was caught up at the shelter. With that being said, there was only so much we could all do. It almost seemed like a mad dash to see who could get to the laundry first. Well, at least all the busy work was getting done today, the bad part was, the day was dragging because there just weren't any showings.

I think after the weekend there were so many adoptions that now we have so many empty kennels there just aren't that many showings. I did have the one and only today though. It was with a sweet older lady and her daughter. She had just lost her dog of fourteen years and she was looking for a new companion. Initially she wanted to see a lab mix named Sedona. The only problem is this dog had just been adopted out to an older retired woman and brought back a day later because Sedona was tearing up the house, with her new mom there! Once I explained this to the potential adopter she understood that it wasn't the perfect fit. She said exactly what I like to hear in a showing, "I am in no rush, I want to make sure it is the perfect dog". That's kind of the unofficial motto I have here because so many people come in, see a "cute" dog and have to have that one not realizing that they are looking at a 12 year commitment without realizing the personality clashes that might come about.

The rest of the day was more cleaning and laundry. It was nice to see the pile go down a little. I did get to spend some time with the animals today which was nice. I hung out with a cool cat named Billy who has a whole room to himself. I also hung out with our bite quarantine dog Cooper who just loves to fall asleep on your lap. I also spent a little time with a new kitty that came in over the weekend as well. That is a picture of her and her neighbor up top.

Closing out the day we got in a stray. Because we are a private shelter we basically hold the animal in our isolation unit until county animal services can come pick them up. We do make every effort to find their owners but it doesn't always work out that way. The stray that came in wasn't microchipped but did have a tag in his collar with a telephone number. The only problem, when you call the number it said the subscriber does not accept incoming calls. Not sure the point of that cellular plan is but if he had a phone that worked or a correct number on his dog's tag this animal wouldn't be heading to county. Just goes to show that microchipping your animal, no matter how secure you think they are is a smart move.

Thanks for reading everyone and I love getting your comments, keep them coming!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

My shortest day yet!

I love what I do, don't get me wrong, but it is certainly nice to leave work early because everything that you needed to get done got done.

The day started with dishing out the meds to all of the sick animals. Everything was going fine until I had one little guy just not want to eat anything I was giving him. Because of this we took his temp, everything was within normal limits but you could tell he just wasn't feeling good. We ended up cooking him a chicken breast and he had no problems with that. Once that was done it was time to get a fecal and clean some ears on our husky/shepherd mix Patrick. You think this would be easy but there was nothing easy about it. It turns out he is a big wimp when ever you touch his ears and he goes belly up and all squirmy. This probably wouldn't be an issue except the yard he was in was about six by four so needless to say we were both trying not to get any poop on us.

Next we were on to a few cat intakes. I was surprised at how easy both of these went. The sweet little felines had no issues with us giving them shots, weighing them, or even drawing blood. I know they were a little older, five and eight, but both of these cats seem like they will get adopted very quickly on personality alone.

Later was my least favorite part of the day. It was time to help treat a cat with the worst yeast infection I have ever seen. It would have been a lot easier with oral meds but this is the only cat I have ever come across that will not take them and will not let us give them. What all of that means is we have to use a cream and ten minute baths to the infected area. Let me just tell you there was nothing fun about making sure this cat gets healthy. Anyways, we got her all cleaned up and it does seem to be helping, I just really wish she would take her oral medication.

The rest of my short day was focusing on making sure that all of the medications, med sheets, and directions were all squared away for the weekend when the med staff is off. Luckily though they had worked extremely efficiently this week and pretty much had everything done. There were only a few new things to add for the weekend.

Aside from the normal health checks and finding out one of our little guys has conjunctivitis the day was coming to an end. It was a nice break in the week especially after yesterday. There were no adoptions that I know of but at least there wasn't anything bad either. I want to thank everyone for reading and I truly do look forward to your comments and I'll work on some more positive things. Up top is a picture of one of our second chance dogs right after surgery, I always feel so bad for these little men, must be a guy thing!

Friday, March 5, 2010

I'm surprised I am even writing today

My days at the front desk are usually occupied by a whole bunch of paper work and a lot of answering phones, today was a little different. It turned out that only one animal was getting picked up today so that meant it was going to be a slow one.

The day began with me answering a few emails, mopping the floor, and recording the "on hold" messages for the remainder of the year. Once that was done I found myself trying to find things to do. It was so slow in fact that we ended up sending the other two staff member homes for the day. Of course when that happens you know you are going to get busy.

The first craziness hit around 1:00 when we learned that a volunteer had gotten bit on the hand by our little man Cooper. This is the guy we had down in a yard yesterday that we thought was doing so well. It turns out he got tangled with another dog and when the two volunteers tried straightening it out one got bit by the little guy when he was going after the other dog. In any case, it is something to be taken very seriously. Even if it was an accident the animal still broke skin and is now on bit quarantine for ten days while we asses him. Hopefully everything works out in our favor and his alone time will actually be good because he is so dog reactive. I do know that we will have to spend a lot of time with him these next days to make sure he isn't going crazy in ISO.

The next thing that was out of the ordinary was that the entire kennel staff had a training session on how to work with the overly stressed animals in the shelter. What this meant to me was that we had to postpone all showings during this time. Luckily though the one that did come in I was able to handle. The biggest issue with the showing was the fact that they had adopted from us before and stated in a call back that they had a tough time with vet bills. After saying that and coming in for another dog there were some concerns. Luckily I was able to talk to them at length and learn that it was merely a miscommunication. Unfortunately the dog that they wanted to see still has kennel cough though and they were unable to introduce him to their pet. Hopefully they are going to be patient and wait for the perfect fit.

Moving on to the worst part of my day. Once I was the only one left at the front desk for the day you can be surprisingly busy by answering phones and directing people where to go in the shelter. While all of this was happening I got a call from a previous adopter that had taken one of our dogs home last year. It was a special case with a special dog that had needed consistent work on behavior issues. Well, it turns out she ended up biting a man on the face and it was no nip. The even scarier part is the adopters have a young child at home. The decision was made to bring in the animal to be euthanized. I want everyone to know that this decision is never taken lightly and this was one of those times that everyone in the shelter was crying. We had worked on this animal for months getting her to the "adoptable" level and were very patient sending her home to the perfect family. It's just how things go sometimes.

I try not to dwell on days like today. It does help my by putting it down on paper, sort of. I know that this isn't an every day occurrence but it is incredibly hard to deal with these sort of things. My best line of defense is moving on to tomorrow and hoping for some great adoptions. This line of work is truly an emotional roller coaster and that was one hell of a drop today.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

A few seniors finding their way home

I'll skip the spiel about cleaning today and get right to it. Once all the morning chores were done it was time to do a little weekly cleaning in certain areas of the shelter. I started by heading over to the cattery to wash the windows. Now this might seem like a meaningless task but you would be amazed at how many nose prints can accumulate on glass. Once that was done I headed back to the laundry room to get caught up on some dirty bedding.

Unfortunately for some odd reason the radio I had today was not receiving calls. What this meant was that every time there was a showing I didn't hear the call. This was good and bad at the same time. For one thing I was unable to take party in any adoptions but on the other hand I did get to spend a lot of time with the animals.

The first guy I spent some time with was Cooper, our Italian greyhound/schnauzer mix. He can be a little bit of a terd but all we had to do was bring in a dog just like him and it was a match made in heaven. We slowly introduced the two male dogs and learned quickly that all they wanted to do was play. It was a huge surprise because typically Cooper can be very leash aggressive. Once down in a yard though the fun began, or rather taking turns humping. After they got all of that out of their systems they really had a good time. It was so nice to see that our little man Cooper can be a normal dog and not the usual freak that we see whenever he comes across another dog. Here is a picture of the two "soul mates" in action.

While we were playing matchmaker with the dogs I learned of two unbelievable cat adoptions. The reason it was such a surprise was due to the cats age. It turns out that not only did our fourteen year old second chance cat get adopted but so did our sixteen year old as well. You are probably wondering how this happened but it turns out that two of our staff members ended up taking them home. It was such a nice surprise to learn that both these animals not only went to great homes, we all know that they will live out the rest of their lives well taken care of.

On a sad note, my boy Higgins got returned. It was one of those unfortunate that you wish didn't happen but it did. It turns out the other dog just wasn't the right fit, I have to admit I was a little angry but at least we got to see how Higgins did in a home. That's all I can say for now on the topic, but as I learn more I will certainly pass it along. I just hope by the time I learn about the situation he will already be in his forever home.

Closing out the day I had to have a few pictures of a sweet bonded pair of cats. These two are probably my favorite right now but you can see they can do just fine without me. Thanks for reading everyone and I look forward to your comments.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

A busy and long day

It's been a few days since my last blog and I apologize, it's been pretty busy shuffling schedules making sure there is enough staff on duty. That also means that I have to cover shifts and because I can be lazy at times the blog has certainly suffered.

Anyways, on with today. I began my morning by taking out all of the dogs to their runs for their first potty break. Once that was done I tackled the kennels on the South side of the shelter and got to scrubbing. I am always surprised at the amount of bird poop that can accumulate on certain ledges in the kennels. Even with our handy dandy owl statue to scare them away, the birds still come for a free meal of dog food. Once that was done it was time for a special morning meeting, the topic, rabbits.

This class about rabbits has been a long time coming. Every time there is a rabbit showing it seems everyone asks everyone the same questions and never really get a straight forward answer. That was all about to change when we had a rabbit "specialist" come in to talk to the staff and a few volunteers. I have to say, this was one of the most informative classes that I have had at the shelter and that's saying a lot. We learned everything about how to handle rabbits differently from every other animal because they are "prey" animals and don't react to people the same way as dogs and cats. We also learned how to distinguish breeds, which are better for kids, and the big one of why they are so much happier as a bonded pair than alone. It was truly an informative class and it certainly gave me the confidence to take on any rabbit showing. If you have any questions about rabbits don't hesitate to ask in the comments section, I feel now that I am better prepared to answer.

Once the class was over it was right into the slow part of my day, which lasted until five. The reason I say it was the slow part was because myself and another staff member had interviews with potential new hires pretty much all day long. I have to say that I am quite amazed at the job pool that companies now get to pick from. We had over forty five applicants the first twelve hours the ad was posted. From those applicants there was everything from engineers, retired military, masters degree holders, and much much more. Just about every walk of life I guess wants to help animals.

The interviews went well but me being me had to be very truthful about what the job entails. I really didn't sugar coat anything. In fact I might have been a little too truthful. I discussed everything from cleaning to handling DB's to becoming certified as a EBR tech (which by the way I am not). We were able to week through the candidates and narrow it down to a few solid candidates. We ended up offering the job to an animal sciences degree holder who was truly enthusiastic about what we at the shelter do. I think she will be a good addition to the shelter and to our team of staff.

Thanks for reading everyone, hopefully tomorrow I can talk about some adoptions rather than the hiring process of the shelter. Remember, if you aren't following on google or facebook I would really appreciate it and of course I look forward to your comments.
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