Thursday, January 31, 2008

A sheltered life

First thing, before I go into this, I want to be clear, I love animals, however, I do keep in perspective that they are animals and not humans.
I started volunteering at the Animal Shelter this week. I have always loved animals and thought this would be a great way to really get in there and give some love and helping out where there is a need. Catie and I went to an orientation last Saturday and it was enlightening. I remember when I took the Vet assistant class a year or so ago, I thought I would never get to use it, with the exception of my own animails. Alas, however, I used it today. Let me go back to Tuesday. I went in about 1115am to help. I had about an hour, I thought that would be enough to get my feet wet. I was able to help with laundry, I gave all the animals toys and treats. It was a great hour. Today, I had 4 hours available while the girls were in school. I got there at 815am and came in the back door. When I opened the door, there were 3 workers there and a dog. The thing that you hope never happens had happened. They had gotten a rush of animals yesterday and had to euthunize. I didn't know whether to cry or run. I knew it happens and I understand that it HAS to happen. For every child born in the US, 7 dogs are born. There is just not enough home for all the pets. There are not enough people who take care of their pets. It is very sad. So, the only thing I could say is, "where do I start today?" The supervisor apologized, she said they were trying to get done before I came in and that was the last one for today. I told her that I understood going into this that that was going to happen and it was okay.
So how did the rest of the day go? It was great! I helped with laundry a little bit, but mostly just folding today. I cleaned kittly cages and pet some sweet kitty cats. There was one that wanted me to pet him and everytime I walked by he would stick his paw out to get my attention. There was another one that was sick and in a lot of pain, so she had to be put down. Very sad. Moving right along, I helped to clean dishes, then I gave the dogs toys and treats again. That is always fun. There was one dog in the stray area where they hold incoming dogs for 72 hours before they determine their status and whether they are adoptable or not. He was so cool! If I didn't have a big dog, he would be a GREAT family dog. Everytime I would walk by he would talk to me and I would talk to him. He would sit and try be so still with his tail wagging a million miles an hour. He would bark at me to get my attention and when I would look at him he would try to be good, but it was sooooo hard. He wanted to be loved so bad. When they are in that section, they are not supposed to be messed with because they have not been checked out yet. You don't know demeanor or health status. Anyway, I talked to him all day. I hope he finds a good home. Next thing, lets see, I swept the halls and cleaned the baseboards in the cat room. (Yes, I actually cleaned baseboards!) I then got to go play with a little black lab puppy. He was really sweet too. Not very good manners though, but he was just a baby. He is going to be a big black lab and with some consistency, he will be a great dog! I got him to walk on a leash, sort of. He was starting to get that when I called him I wanted him to come. It was fun. He liked to chew on me or whatever was close more than anything. I have the marks to prove it. Then the lady that I had been "shadowing" more than anything today, she is a animal catcher, for lack of a better term, she does the pictures of the animals for the shelters Petfinder page online. I got to help hold/play/pose/love on the dogs so she could update the online page. That was totally fun! I was playing with them and loving them and rubbing bellies. They were so cute. There was two boxer puppies, probably 3 or 4 months old, a male that was tan like a lion and a female that looked like a tiger. They were little busy bodies together in the cage. Tiger was the first to get her picture taken. She was very shy and did not really want to leave my lap. She wanted to be pet on and loved on and once she got some of that, she started to come out of her shell. I can't wait to see which ones are picked to put online. The other one, Lion, he was a spit fire. He was all over the place, like my mom would say, full of piss and vinegar. He was an all around boy such a hoot.
I could go on an on about all the animals that we took pictures of today, but the sad part is, I don't know if they will be there when I get back. I hope they get homes. I know that I appreciate my dog and see him in a different light. I know how my cat felt when she picked me. I know why when I met her eyes that day at the Arlington Animal Shelter, she picked me and wouldn't let me go. I also appreciate all the hard work it takes to run a shelter now. There is so much to do. They are constantly taking phone calls and people are always bringin animals in, stuff always needs to be cleaned and laundry needs to be done for the next day. All of the animals get new blankets everyday and sometime more if there are accidents.
So, I pray that I will be blessed by and help bless the people that I come in contact with in this volunteer position. What a great opportunity.
Oh yea, I also got to take in a stray at the front desk. A lady came in with a stray that she picked up and couldn't keep. The dog was so sweet and wanted to be loved so bad. The even sadder part, she was sick with mange. The chances for her are not good. I guess the moral to this story is, take care of your animals. Make sure they are fixed. Make sure they have their shots. Make sure you keep tags on them or get them microchipped. The first thing they do when a dog comes in is check for a microchip, so they can get a dog back home. If you do lose your dog, call them to try find it. They will keep their eyes open for it. If you want an animal, check a local shelter first. There are all kinds of dogs there. Pure breds and everything. In fact, I think there are more pure breds than mutts there right now! Don't go buy one out of the paper or in a pet store. A shelter animal is loyal. They know what the streets are like and what it is like in the shelter, they appreciate what they have. I know it is crazy, but it is true.
So with all my soapbox talk, my closing statement is this, love your animals because they love you. God blessed us with these wonderful things to keep us company, try not to take them for granted, they are one of a kind.
Until we read again, here are a couple of things for you to look at...Burleson Animail Shelter petfinder list

And my lovely Oreo See he wants you to be good to your animals too!

1 comment:

Hollie said...

I am SO proud of you! What a blessing all around, kudos! Really enjoyed this read! Talk to ya soon! Hugs girl ;o)

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