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Thursday, April 29, 2010

A few more adoptions for the road

When it's cold and rainy out I usually come into work early just so I can clean up cats in the comfort of our air conditioned cattery. That is exactly what happened today. I do feel a little bad for not sucking it up but what the heck, I really don't want to catch a cold before leaving for my wedding.

Once all of the cleaning was done I jumped into my first showing. I have to say, after reading the profile I was pretty sure that the family would be able to adopt just about any of our animals, that was of course until I actually spoke with them. It turns out that they really don't know what they want but I do know what they don't want. A dog that is too energetic, that barks, that might have an accident in the house, that might shed, and my favorite, one that is not too old. This was all coming from a woman in her eighties. She also wanted to make it clear to me that she "lives well" and her furniture is to good for an animal to mess it up. Anyways, at least they came into a shelter looking, that does garner some points with me. I just really wish they would have listened to what I had to say rather than speaking over me. In any case, they ended up switching from looking at dogs to looking at a declawed cat. It might have worked but I reiterated that they need to "shop" around and see all that is out there. Luckily the cat they were looking at was adopted the next hour because I honestly would not have felt right sending an animal home to this family.

My next showing was one that sent me home smiling. It was with a younger couple, a firefighter and his wife. They typically are only gone a few hours a day and were looking for the right dog that could go one runs and just lounge on the couch. They initially came in to see a dog by the name of Roxy but she ended up having surgery so they were unable to meet. Well, it ends up another dog chose them. It was our sweet little Mississippi girl Darla. We ended up sitting with her for a good hour and sure enough she turned out to be the "one". It was so nice not only to see her find such a great home but for the adopters to find such a great dog. The couple was so nice and so appreciative of what we do it really did send me home with a smile today.

Well, that's about it for me for a while. I am heading out early in the morning to go tie the not with the love of my life. I'll be back though and of course jumping right back into the blog as well as helping the animals. Thanks so much for reading and I look forward to your comments.
Oh yeah, the picture up top is Roxy after her surgery.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A staff favorite finally finds his home

After all of the morning cleaning it seems that a lot of my time has been preparing all of the stuff that I would have done in the next three weeks since I am taking off. I have been doing everything from scheduling to scanning in pictures for our 50th anniversary. The big thing that I have had to do was collect all of the data, adoption numbers and what not, for the first quarter of this year to send to the county for their records. In any case, I have seemed to remain busy but want to make sure that I don't leave any one hanging while I am away.

Coming into work after a few days off I learned of some pretty interesting things. First our old man Wylie, the twelve year old dachshund got adopted on Saturday and returned on Monday. Apparently he was throwing up everywhere and the adopter didn't want to continually clean up after him. I won't mention that his diet was switched immediately and a half of a baby aspirin was given to him before all of this happened, but I won't mention that. Anyways, at least he got out of the shelter for a few nights, I just wish people would listen to us when we give suggestions about acclimating this animals to their new homes.

On with the day. Speaking of people that fail to listen to you, my first showing was a shining example of that. It was with an older lady and her son and daughter. She had never been to a shelter before but I gave her credit for coming in now. I explained how we operated and why we want to make sure that it's the perfect fit for everyone that we strive for. Well, she was more concerned about tearing up furniture, barking, and peeing on the floor because "she lived well" and didn't want her home destroyed. Now, these are all valid points, but if since I couldn't get a word in with them I just chose to walk around the shelter and see if any animals caught their eye. Of course none did so then she wanted to see a de-clawed cat. I think the only thing that got through to them was me saying to take their time because this is a very big decision and commitment. I am just glad that the cat she was looking at ended up getting adopted the next hour by the perfect family. Anyways, I know there is a perfect animal out there for just about everyone, but people need to take their time in finding it.

Closing out the day it was time for an amazing adoption. There was a family that had come into the shelter several times in the last week to visit one of our long term dogs. Initially there wasn't that great of a connection but the adoption counselor suggested that they come back so that our little man could get more comfortable with them. They did and Cooper the dog was playing and jumping right up in everyone's laps. There was just one thing that needed to happen now, Dad had to meet. Luckily today he came in and listened to what the counselor had to say about behavior and of course energy level. Before I knew it little Cooper was getting a bath and going home. This is one of those dogs that has been on the fence here at the shelter just because of his kennel presence and the slippery slope that is a shelter but it just goes to show you that there is a perfect home for every animal out there.

Thanks for reading everyone and of course a special thanks to all of the volunteers and trainers that made Cooper's stay here at the shelter as stress free as possible.

Friday, April 23, 2010

They keep on finding homes!

Today is one of those days that I spend up at the front desk but actually ended up spending very little time up there because of an "adoption" meeting. When I first got into work my focus was on preparing for the day and making sure that we didn't have any situations arise from all of our puppies becoming available today.

Because we work on a first and best match for our animals it is typical that we have an influx of people coming in for puppies. In fact we actually created a binder for all of the applications that we have received over the past month or so. It was well organized though and the staff made sure that they took every precaution in making sure that not only did the animals find a great home but no one was going to get pissed off in the process. It turned out because it was weekday and pretty chilly out that there wasn't the rush of people that we had expected for the pups. Mind you, we would have liked to see them all adopted right when we opened but it was good that there wasn't a mad dash of people fighting over them.

Surprisingly enough there was another surprise adoption today when all we expected was puppy showings. It turns out that two young ladies that had been in yesterday looking at the puppies came back today to look at a sweet little spaniel mix named Tippie Canoe, don't ask me where the name came from. Tippie has been kind of a staff and volunteer favorite since she came back into our shelter after being adopted out. There was a lot of concern with adopting her to that perfect household with some pretty stringent guidelines. After she went on foster several times though we got to see a different side to her. Anyways, the two young ladies with their sweet little dachshund ended up adding her to their family. It was one of those adoptions again that you don't want to jinx but man did it put yet another smile on my face when I heard she had found a home.

The rest of the day remained busy with several more showings. In addition to that we had a level two dog training class that one of the front desk staff members was able to attend. I think that it was a great idea that she go because everyone in the shelter is gaining an appreciation of what everyone else does. In addition to that it makes everyone aware of why we take the steps that we do to make sure the animals remain adoptable no matter their length of stay at the shelter.

Well, hopefully tomorrow the trend continues and there are a few more of our senior animals adopted. I know that's asking a lot but the way things are going I figured why not hope for the best. Thanks for reading everyone and thanks for the wedding wishes. Keep up the good work fellow animal lovers!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

A sweet long termer finds a home

I love working outside, but there are some days that you wish you could be behind a computer again. Now those days are very rare but when it is raining and cold outside my longing for the desk job begins, but only for a very short while.

Once all of the dogs were taken care of it was time to jump right into the day. Not sure if it was just me or what but it seems that during the early part of the week we have had a few more showings lately. I grabbed my first one just after we opened today. It was with an older woman who had been in a few months ago to look at our little mange puppies. Of course the day she came back with her whole family to adopt the little guy had already found a home. She was still open minded though and said it just wasn't meant to be. She was still interested in finding that right fit though which was nice to hear. She ended up looking at our Cabo dog Alice, I tried to explain to her the extreme energy level she had but she still wanted to see her. The reason I tried to dissuade her was because she lived in a very quite home with her retired husband. Anyways, she did like Alice but I also showed her a new dog that won't be available until tomorrow. She is a little terrier mix that came from a sanctuary in Mississippi. Hopefully she will come back wither her husband and see if we can find the perfect fit.

My next showing was with a few dogs. I of course had to talk to our vet first to get some clarification on the skin issues that broke a few weeks back. Once I got all of my info I went to talk to the woman and learned that it was an ideal dog home. Someone was home all the time, the dog would go with them wherever they went, and of course they have adopted before so they know some of the issues that can come up with shelter dogs. I ended doing a showing with a sweet little spaniel named Tippie. She absolutely fell in love with her. Of course the rest of the family has to meet so I figured I might as well show her the dogs in ISO as well just so she can get a sense of their personality. She liked them but I think she had a thing for Tippie, hopefully I will see the whole crew in this week so we can find this sweet girl a new forever home.

While I was in my showings I learned that our dog Skipper that had been adopted out by us ten years ago and then returned because the family lost their house was getting adopted. I love to hear about animals finding new homes but to hear a twelve year old found his forever home was music to my ears. Peaks and valleys is what I say goes on here at the shelter. One minute you have all of these returns and the next they are all finding homes.

Closing out the day a construction worker brought in some stray neonate kittens that were certainly needing some looking after. Luckily we have an incredibly experienced staff member to care for them until we can get them out on foster. Here is a picture of the teeny crew, you can really see how small and delicate they are.

Thanks for reading everyone and of course thanks for the comments as well. I also just wanted to let you know that I will off for almost the whole month of May for my wedding but the blog will continue after that.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Some really good news...maybe

I finally figured out that if I get to work early enough I can sign up for cats, as was the case this morning. Once I jotted my name down on the sign up sheet I went to work on a little side project. I kept myself busy most of the morning scanning in fifty year old photos of the shelter in to the computer to transfer them into digital format. Once I'm done with that I am going to attempt to make a mosaic of all the pictures over the years for our anniversary gala later in the year.

Once it was actually time to work I headed over to the cattery where I began to clean. I have to say it was really nice just to throw on my headphones and get down to business. It's also nice because I can actually get to know some of the new faces that we have in our cattery. I do have to say that there are a few that I wish I could forget already. In one of the rooms I was cleaning there were a total of about five kennels with covers on them which typically means that the animal is new and is still adjusting. Of course when I went in to clean after them they let me know that they were still "adjusting". Even when I wasn't in their kennels I could here some of them hissing over the music of my ipod. Nonetheless I was able to finish and at least learned a few of the new guys names.

I have to mention a pretty amazing cat story from last week that I was hesitant to right about just because it was a little odd and I didn't want to jinx it. It all began a few weeks ago when a woman and her daughter had come in to look at our girl Ella, a cat that has been at the shelter going on a year now. After a several visits and a lot of thinking the woman decided to adopt and take Ella home the next day so she could prepare her house for the new arrival. In the time frame between adopting the cat and us closing a new volunteer went in and ended up getting scratched by Ella's tooth. What that means is the cat now has to go on bite quarantine to make sure there are no health risks. We were all mortified that after all this time she finally gets adopted and something like this happens. It turns out the adopter still wanted her and decided that while she was on quarantine would still come and visit. It was great to know that a person was willing to wait even longer for her new pet. So, yay! Our longer termer, and I mean long termer gets to go home in just a few more days.

The remainder of my day was spent in a very long meeting discussing some future events and policies at the shelter. Of course when it was done I went back to work and had a great showing with a cute little second chance chihuahua. While I was doing that I learned that our girl Lady, the dog that has been here for who knows how long went into a showing. After about an hour of explaining her "issues" the potential adopters decided on taking her on a "trial run". Now this is not something we typically do but because of Lady's situation and behaviors we want to make sure that we take all necessary precautions in sending her home. I am keeping my fingers crossed and trying not to blink hard because I am so happy right now just thinking that there might be a possibility that she gets adopted.

Thanks so much for reading everyone and of course the wonderful comments, they really do let me know that there are so many people out there that care about animal welfare. Keep up the good work everyone!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Some interesting people today

I started my day by of course checking all of the emails sent to the shelter along with the voicemail. There are always a few that surprise me. This morning the messages consisted of a few senior citizens asking about the silky terrier puppy named Peaches. Of course I returned the calls and let the women know that the little puppy was available for adoption but also had to explain her histiocytoma as well. That's always fun trying to explain why we didn't remove the tumor and what the implications could be on the future of the animal.

The big call I had to make this morning was to a recent adopter. It turns out after I left last night one of the longest term animals in the shelter had been adopted. Ella the cat has been here for over a year now and finally found the right family to take her home. The adopters ended up just putting down a deposit because they wanted to prepare their home for the new arrival. In the time that they adopted and the time the shelter closed though an elderly new volunteer went in to where Ella was housed. Ella gave her a love bite and broke skin. When this happens it is law that we put the animal on bite quarantine for ten days and out of public view. Now this is an animal that has been at the shelter almost as long as I have and now has to stay even longer. It was my job now to call the adopter and explain the situation. Because the woman had just spent time with the animal though she could still come and visit if she wanted to. She ended up being very understanding and really felt sorry for Ella more than everything. The one little bit of silver lining on the situation is the last day of Ella's quarantine is her due date for her yearly boosters, so at least it will save the adopter the trip to the vet. In the end it was a little odd but luckily our girl Ella found the absolutely perfect home.

Not surprising at all as soon as we opened the showings started coming in for Peaches. Within an hour she had been adopted. Once again I had to call a few potential adopters and let them know that she had found a home. I didn't want anyone else making the trip in just to find out she wasn't here. Surprisingly enough some people were upset with me because they didn't get her. I threw me back a bit because it was a little unexpected, maybe next time I will just let them waist their time coming in and let them find out on their own.

Closing out the day I wanted to reflect on the biggest thing that I don't like about the front desk. It's part of being in a shelter I understand but it can become very tough for me at times. What I am talking about is the daily barrage of calls from people who are trying to relinquish their animals. On any given day there are anywhere from five to twenty five people asking if we can take their animals in. Not only is it sometimes incredibly sad but it is frustrating as well. Some people can be so irresponsible and expect us to help them out of their situation. The other side of it is the tough part, you have the individuals that this truly is their last resort and all they want to do is find a home for their family member. Then of course there are the ones that you know we aren't going to take their animals do to health or behavioral issues and you have to explain to them why our shelter won't be able to put them up for adoption.

It can be a sad business at times but with that comes those moments when all you can do is walk tall and have an ear to ear smile. Thanks for reading everyone and of course a special thanks to all of the volunteers and rescue workers around the globe who are making all of the difference.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

I finally had an adoption again

Since my duties at the shelter have changed these past three months I have found it more and more difficult to get animals adopted due to my sparse time working in the kennels. Well, today was a little different. As usual it began by taking out the dogs and of course cleaning up the kennels. Once that was all done and the doors were open to the shelter it was go time.

I immediately started a showing with a sweet elderly couple who was looking at either a lab or golden mix. I began by talking about their needs and their living situation and found out that they would be a perfect home for just about any animal. I initially talked to them about Lady, our resident long termer but after talking to them for a bit it seems she might be a little to much for them, actually a lot to much. After ruling her out we moved outside to take a look at some of the new faces and see if one might be a good fit. It turns out they absolutely fell in love with a dog named Bali. Unfortunately she isn't available until Saturday but they should be back then. I really hope it works out because the family was incredibly sweet. I can't tell you how many times the man broke down in tears because of the loss of their last dog a few months back.

My next showing was with a young hispanic couple who initially I thought might not be a good fit because of the way they answered the questions on their profile. When I talked to them though I got a completely different feeling. This would be their first time owning a dog so they really didn't know how to answer the questions like where would the dog sleep. After discussing to them our dogs and where they come from they agreed that the animal could pretty much sleep wherever they would want to. I talked to them about being patient and waiting for the perfect fit because this is no small commitment. Thankfully the couple was very attentive and hopefully the rest of the family comes back on Saturday to find their new addition.

After all of that it was time to give our little five week old puppies a medicated bath. We think, of course, that they might have some skin issues that need to be dealt with. I have to say for them never having a bath before they did pretty well. Hopefully it helped because I certainly saw some hair loss. In any case, we will make sure that they are healthy and we are already taking applications for their adoptions which will take place in two or three weeks. The picture up top is one of the cuties that didn't like her bath so much.

Closing out the day I had one more showing. It was with a grandmother and grandson that had been in yesterday to look at Petey the cat. When they came in today they wanted to see the dogs as well. After filling out yet another application I showed them our little chihuahua pomeranian mix named Teensie Marie. They absolutely fell in love with her but were still indecisive about getting a dog or cat. I explained that there was no rush and this was a huge decision. Well, they did take their time and came back to the shelter and decided on Teensie Marie. It was nice to see the smile on their faces and it was even nicer to see Teensie Marie strutting out of the parking lot with her new family.

Thanks for reading everyone and if you aren't already following my I would appreciate the support. I also had to include a picture of Wylie, the ten year old dachshund we took in on Saturday, you almost can't even tell that he has the worst teeth I have ever seen, but we'll fix that.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Finally learning some new cat names

Since our hours at the shelter have changed to accommodate daylight savings I have strictly been cleaning up after dogs in the morning. What that means to mean is that I really haven't gotten a chance to work wit the cats in almost two months. Today though was different, we had three openers so I was able to make my way over to cattery.

It didn't surprise me when I almost didn't recognize any names on any of the kennels. Unfortunately I did recognize some at the same time, those special ones that have been at the shelter for way to long. While I was cleaning though it was nice to meet the new ones and get a sense of their personality in order to better explain them if there was a showing. Even though it all seems positive I noticed that one of our cats, Chester, seemed a bit under the weather. Luckily we noticed it because it turned out he had a fever of about 105. Another cat I learned about was Missy, a siamese mix that absolutely does not like me. Good to know that a cat will swat and hiss even if you merely look at it.

Anyways, once the cattery was done I helped bring up some of the dogs to their freshly cleaned kennels. We have a few new faces since our behavior specialist headed down to another shelter on Monday and picked up a group of ten. In addition to that there was a new ten year old dachshund named Wylie that came in as well. This special little guy had come into county as a stray with his brother who had been attacked by a coyote. Sadly his brother didn't make it but luckily Wylie made his way to us. Overall the new group looks really good, even the one eyed pomeranian mix. Hopefully when they become available on Saturday they will all find homes.

It's amazing the ups and downs that you experience at an animal shelter. Right now we have had some adoptions, of course not as many as we would like, but there are some dogs that have just been here way to long. I think that right now we have three or four dogs that are pushing four months and above which is to long for any animal to be in a shelter, no matter how good it is. Once the animal has been here that long it becomes even more difficult to get them adopted because they are acclimating themselves to well to the shelter life. Typically you will see them digress into fence fighting, start inhibiting anti social behaviors, and sometimes even becoming aggressive. We do our best along with a great group of volunteers to keep this from happening but then the double edge sword comes out. While we are focusing on one animal, another isn't getting the attention they need. It's one crazy cycle that I wish we could do a better job with.

The rest of my afternoon was spent bathing our ring worm pit bull, hanging out with our ring worm carrier, and of course throwing the ball for our ring worm beagle. Are you seeing a trend here. We do have a bit of a skin outbreak at the shelter but luckily our medical staff caught on very early. I hope staff and volunteers don't forget to spend time with these animals for the fear that they could catch it because that would mean the dogs would start going downhill faster without the interaction they need.

Closing out the day we didn't have any adoptions but some solid showings for a few of the new guys that will become available soon. Hopefully the week picks up because we have a full house now with some great animals just waiting for their perfect home. Thanks for reading everyone and I look forward to your comments. Oh yeah, the picture up top is Chester, the poor tabby with a high fever.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Dealing with the people one on one

Today was my day away from the animals and at the front desk dealing with the customers. I can never say enough how much of a change it is to jump from the kennels to the office and the complete variety of people that come into the shelter.

My morning began by checking the emails and voice messages. I returned one voicemail of a woman asking for help for a hurt dove that wasn't able to fly. I heard that the message was from about ten minutes ago and since the woman took the time to call us it was only right for us to return the call. I explained to her that we were a private shelter but I would certainly help her get to the right people that could help her out. Unfortunately by the time that I called she said she went back outside and there was nothing but a plume of feathers. I told her maybe it just had to try extra hard to fly and shook out some feathers, not that it was probably eaten. In any case I thanked her for caring enough to call us and she was happy she at least got her call returned.

The other message was from a rescue group that we had called earlier about picking up some donations. Because we have such a great relationship with our community we get in a lot of things including extra bedding and dog food. Because we only use one particular type of food though we find organizations in need and make sure that if we have it and they need it, we will get it to them.

It's finally opening time by this point and today we have three dogs heading home. They were just altered yesterday so they will have to take it easy for a while but I really do love the day that these animals get picked up. The smile on the new owner's faces is priceless, not to mention the gratitude that the adopters have as well.

With the dogs going home today and several showings the front office became a bit hectic at times today. We ended up having two adoptions, Haley and Abby, who both found great homes. It was nice to see two dogs at the shelter for such a short period of time before they found their forever homes. In addition to the two adoptions there was also a lot of showings which was great to see since adoptions seem to be down this month.

Closing out the day we did have a few new animals come in via relinquishment. We had two cats that the families ended up having allergies too. I understand how this could happen but I also have a tough time thinking about giving up my animals if I became allergic as well. I have said it before, that I am not a people hater, but if you truly love your pet there are other things that you can do. This is usually why I don't always trust the reasons why people relinquish their animals. Anyways, the other little guy that came into us was a tiny little silky terrier puppy. The dog was just to much for a the family which is understandable. Luckily the little puppy found its way here because she won't be here for very long.

My days at the front desk are always something new. I learned today that for those people that still use a phone book we are the only number listed in the entire county as a humane society. It's kind of funny because we are actually a private animal shelter and there are four county shelters all around us. What that means for us is the people that still actually use the yellow pages always call us to ask the most random questions and of course for us to get them the right number. Well, at least we actually answer the phone and not some recording, at least we have that going for us. Thanks for reading as always everyone and I look forward to your comments. And remember, there are so many ways that you can help these animals in your area, check out volunteering at your local shelter, it was one of the most rewarding times in my life.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Know what you are feeding your bottle babies!

The morning started off with foster kittens being returned to the shelter because of horrible diarrhea. Now these aren't just any kittens, when they went out they were a mere five or six days old. What that means is they need constant attention, warmth, and of course hourly feedings. We have a great network of volunteers that are trained to get the animals weight up until we can alter them and put them up for adoption, but in those rare instances when something goes wrong they are brought back to the shelter to be looked after until they can get healthy again.

Well, after our experts did some research on the issue because a ten day old kitten that isn't eating and having running of the bowles is a pretty serious thing. It turns out that the KMR (kitten milk replacement) manufactured by PetAg has had a few issues. Apparently there have been several complaints that it has been killing animals. There was a few articles found that basically said that the powdered supplement was actually spoiled. The manufacturers excuse was that every can leaves the factory in good shape but suspects that some delivery trucks stayed out in the summer heat too long and the cans went bad. Not sure who's fault it is but there should certainly be a warning on the can, especially when the expiration date isn't until next year. In any case, if you have bottle babies, make sure you smell the powdered formula first, it should smell almost sweet, and not like chemicals. If if you do find a bad one, make sure you let the manufacturer know.

Well, then, my tirade is over and on with the day because the little kittens are now eating more and their poop is pretty normal. After cleaning it was more cleaning. I forget that the two days that I am in kennels are pretty slow as far as showings go so I try to focus on hanging out with the animals, deep cleaning, and trying to keep myself busy. I was able to almost catch up on the laundry when I got a call for a showing. It was unfortunate because they wanted to look at a dog that has to go home with another dog because of his separation anxiety. Aside from that everything seemed pretty good with the household. Hopefully they find what they are looking for because they seemed like a good family that just wants the right dog.

After more cleaning, scrubbing crates, and washing dishes it was time to take the dogs out for their afternoon break. As I was doing this a woman approached me and asked what kind of dog I had on leash. I explained he was a shepherd mix. Next time I cam down to the yards I asked her if she had any more questions and she then explained that her dog had just passed yesterday and she needed to be around them today. It's tough to come up with the right words to console people but I always try. She was an extremely nice woman who wants to get another dog but she just doesn't know what kind or when to do it. I talked to her for a little while and she held herself together well because I would have been balling my eyes out. Hopefully she continues to come back and we can find her a new addition to the family.

Thanks for reading everyone and of course your comments. All of you our there that read this have some attachment to animals and it is because of you that shelter's like the one I work at continue to be successful. And of course I had to add another picture of the puppies to put a smile on your face.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Smells like rotten eggs

When we began taking dogs out this morning it was important that we focused on a particular order of how we handled the animals. The reasoning for this was cross contamination on some young ones and some sick ones. This becomes very important when you are dealing with five week old puppies. We typically don't take in animals so young but I have to say that their cuteness might have played a part in them being in the shelter.

Having the young animals you have to make sure that you always handle them first and of course wash up every time before you handle them. Once you take care of them then it is on to the rest of the population. Then of course our sickies, which seems like a few right now. It turns out that we have a ring worm issues with several dogs. If your not familiar with the fungus I suggest reading up on it because it can get pretty nasty. And now we have three with the potential of a fourth popping positive.

The treatment isn't to crazy but it does take a while for this fungal infection to clear up. First comes a topical medicine applied twice daily to the affected area. The other form of treatment is medicated baths. I didn't think the baths were that bad because I had actually never used the right stuff to wash them in. Usually I would use a maleseb shampoo that soothes the skin but today was a little different. We ended up using a prescription sulphur bath. You heard correctly, a bath that literally smells like rotten eggs. Even worse, where we wash the animals is a whopping four by six room without the best ventilation. There was a point that I had to leave otherwise my lunch was about to come back up. Luckily this is only a weekly thing because not only was it tough on us but the poor little dogs actually had to have this stuff dry on them. Hopefully it helps because if it doesn't I feel bad that we all had to go through it.

The rest of the day was pretty routine. It was nice though to learn of the adoptions that had taken place over the weekend. Our girl Rikki, who has been here for a while and was starting to get a little nutty found the perfect home. A woman saw her online and new from that moment that she was the dog for her. A few of the new arrivals also got adopted which was nice to see. Of course they can't go home until Thursday when they start their recovery from their surgeries.

Like I mentioned before, in addition to the adoptions we have a whole lot of new arrivals that were taken in by our behavior specialist. There was everything from five young puppies, to boston terrier and bichon siblings, and even a solid white puggle (maybe). It's nice to see some adoptions and some new faces come in. Now I just want to get all of the other long termers out of here so we can get in a few more newbies. It really is tough to see great animals stay in the shelter for so long, no matter how good of a place we have, it is still a shelter and still extremely stressful.

Thanks for reading everyone and of course thanks to all of the volunteers out there that make saving animals possible.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

The loudest dog EVER!

My one day a week in medical is always something that I look forward to. The main reason is because pretty much every day that I am back there I not only get to learn something but typically it is a completely different day back there every week.

The day began as usual by dulling out the morning meds. Today it was the typical anti-biotics and pain killers but there was the added miconosol. This is because we have had a dog break with ring worm. Sounds like fun huh. This is one of those times that I take extra precaution not because I don't trust the dog I just don't want to contract this stuff. The amazing part was we might have another dog with a similar issue. We noticed some hair loss on another dog named Kissy and the vet said it could potentially be ring worm or a transferrable form of mange. I haven't ever worked in a place where I could bring home so many crazy things before, hopefully the tests will come back with some good news but for not we are treating Kissy with all of the above and taking every precaution that it doesn't spread like wild fire into the shelter.

Once all of the meds were done it was time to do some intakes on three little terrier pup mixes. I was surprised at the weight of the little guys with an average of about five pounds and they are already almost six months old. You want to talk about tough to draw blood from. When we got to doing the final intake we started to shave the little pups leg and got the loudest screech I have ever heard come out of a dog. There wasn't anything different that we did, I think that the poor little girl is just so under-socialized and has had such little human contact that any little touch through her for a loop. We finally got everything done and once the ringing in our ears stopped we realized that the blood snap test that we were supposed to use was useless because we missed the snap time. What that meant was that we had to do it all over again and put the poor little puppy through another blood draw. I felt horrible listening to her cry but we had to do it. At least now I know I will never ever miss another snap test after that experience.

The rest of the day was occupied by data entry and making sure all of the new dog's files were updated in our computer system. We basically make sure that all of the vaccinations, tests, treatments, and medications are entered so that when an adoption takes place the new owner knows exactly what their new family member will be due for in the future.

Closing out the day we decided to wash our eighty pound pit bull with ring worm. We gave him a medicated malaseb bath that actually took two people to do. I don't think the poor little guy has ever had a bath from the way he took it. Once the ten minutes of letting the soap sit and rinsing him off was done though he seemed like a new man. Hopefully his skin condition won't spread and we can get him out of here sooner than later.

That's it for today, as always, thanks everyone for reading and sharing my ups, downs, and new experiences with me.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Front desk kind of busy

I have to say, I absolutely love my quiet time in the mornings up at the front desk. I get to relax, drink my coffee and prepare for the day. My early morning work consisted of changing up the pre recorded on hold messages for the shelter, which is unfortunately in my voice, and of course preparing some monthly reports.

The two reports that I compile every month are very similar but serve two separate purposes. The first is what is called an asilomar report. It basically is a break down of all the animals that pass through the shelter from adoptable to euthanasia by request and then exactly where all of the animals come from. It is then put with other local shelters to compile a county wide number. The other report I send to our fund developer (money getter). The excel sheet I send to that person is basically all of the adopter's information so we can send out cards asking for donations. Since we are completely private, this is where a lot of our backing comes from.

Once that was all done it was time to mop up the floor where the roof had leaked last night. It's amazing when I see pictures of the shelter from fifty years ago and see how much the facility has changed. I really do feel proud to be part of something that has not only been around for a very long time, but has been doing the right things that entire time as well.

Finally the rush of people started arriving at the shelter. There was a constant flow of showings and we had two solid cat adoptions which was great to see. A sweet cat by the name of Maui who was previously adopted and then returned hopefully found her true "forever" home. Another great cat adoption was with a sweet guy that initially had some health issues when first coming into the shelter and still had a heart murmur found his perfect family. His name is Louie and he had been at the shelter going on four months. It was great to see him go but also the smile on the adopter's face when she walked out the door.

Everything else was pretty normal for the day. We did have a crazy drunk guy come in and yell at a few dogs but eventually he left and we all got a laugh out of it. Other than that it was a whole lot of answering phones and dealing with people that are trying to relinquish their animals. I am always amazed at why people give up their animals. I still have to tell myself that I am not a people hater.

Thanks for reading everyone and I had to add that picture of top of our medical director's dog with a new cat. Gotta love it when a boxer and a kitten fall in love!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Almost an adoption, but not quite

Once all of the cleaning was done this morning and the busy work was out of the way it was time to move on with the day. It seems more and more that things are slowing down before the real storm of business arrives during the summer. I expected to have more adoptions and showings this week though for the simple fact that so many kids are on spring break I thought it my pick things up, well, I was wrong up to this point.

I found myself most of the day helping out at the front desk where we were a little short handed. I also, luckily, got to spend a lot of time with some great animals. I first hung out with Billy who is one cool cat that does things on his own terms, more so than most of the felines I have come across. When I visited him yesterday he wouldn't even come out of his bed but today when I sat down he came right out. He rolled over on his back and even made bread while I petted him for a good fifteen minutes. He did give on little love bite but from the Billy of the past that I knew it is an amazing transformation to see how well this animal has adjusted to the shelter.

On to my one and only showing of the day. It was with a middle aged man that hadn't had a dog since he was a kid but was thinking it was about time to get one because his apartment complex now allows them. He asked a lot of good questions and seemed to really want to do the right thing and of course get the right dog that fits his needs. After he filled out his adoption application and I spoke with him at length we figured a relinquished dog that we have a history on might be a better fit since he is away for a good eight hours a day and a dog that is used to that might be best. We also narrowed down the size and temperament to fit his needs. The good and bad news of it all was that we might have a fit but he is pushing eleven years old. Unfortunately as well we couldn't show our little Skipper because he had just gotten a dental and was pretty doped up. Hopefully the potential adopter will be back in on Saturday at least to get an idea of what kind of dogs are out there, and maybe to adopt our sweet senior.

The rest of the day was pretty boring. We did finally have one of our fosters that has been at the shelter for a long time get picked up by their owner. It was nice to see the smile on the kids face's when their dog jumped into their arms. As good as that is, when one goes out one comes in. We had another return, a sweet older cattle dog mix that was adopted out from us several years ago and sadly enough the owner passed away. Because we always take our animals back Dusty is now at the shelter up for adoption. Here is a picture of the overweight little man that everyone has already fallen in love with.

Thanks for reading everyone and of course for playing all the many roles of helping out animals in your community.
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