Madness! I never know what to expect on Tuesdays when I arrive at the Humane Society. Today when I arrived, things didn’t look too bad. I was there a little early, just after 4:30, which was good. Maybe a half-dozen dogs had been walked already. I took a wander through the adoption area to see who was all there, and figured out which dogs to take out. Mostly smaller dogs had been walked, so I planned to take three shepherds. However, I also noticed there were a lot of dirty kennels, so I revised the plan to walking two dogs, then cleaning kennels. It kinda worked out.
I had just gotten back in after walking the second shepherd bitch (wonderful dog, well-mannered, relaxed, a refreshing change from most of the wild beasts I get custody of on Tuesdays), when Janet came into the kitchen, where I was washing my hands, and asked, “Could you do us a favour?” It’s not a question I ever say no to there. She asked if I’d fed dogs before, which I had. She asked if I could feed the adoption dogs; I said sure. I asked if strays had been fed; she said no. I said I’d take care of them. She blessed me flamboyantly, then said to check the puppy room, too. I asked if it was the one back to the left of strays, and she said it was. (Amazingly, I’ve worked there over a year and never been in the puppy room, though I’d heard of it – oh, the self-restraint!) Okie doke. Then she asked if I’d treated dogs with Panacur before. I said I hadn’t, and asked if it was the ear mite medication (I’ve administered plenty of that to my own dogs). Apparently it’s not: it’s a dewormer (the dogs don’t necessarily have worms, but when strays come in we treat them as a matter of course to make sure they don’t). So she told me to get the food together, then find her or Crystal and they’d show me. Okie doke. So I fed the adoption dogs, about a dozen of them. Then I went back and counted the strays. 18 – full house. Oh boy. And two puppies in the puppy room. Finding enough bowls was fun. Then I went looking for Janet or anyone. I found the girl with the red hair, whose name I still can’t remember. She showed me where the Panacur was and how to administer it. It’s just a white sort of gritty powder that gets sprinkled over the food in a measured amount, depending on the dog’s size. You check the chart, and if the dog was brought in in the last couple days, it’ll show the dates for which it should get Panacur. Dates that the medication has been administered will be checked off with someone’s initials. If you medicate the dog, check off today’s date and initial the sheet. Easy enough. So I fed the 20 dogs in strays. A couple were more interested in getting out. Fortunately they were easily enough pushed back with one hand. Heh, we have a miniature long-haired dachshund! 🙂 We also have a male Rottie puppy who is so beautiful I wanted to shove him in my bra and run.
After the dogs were fed, I let Janet know, and more blessings ensued. It was ten minutes to close and she asked for another favour: water the adoption cats. Okay. Never really done anything with the cats before. (Actually, I lie. Mid-dog feeding, I took a moment to help Kristen microchip a cat, that was a first, too.) So I grabbed a watering can and off I went. Keeping a litter of kittens a) off the gate, and b) in the pod while you’re trying to fill a water bowl is bloody hard. It’s like one-armed juggling. Plus, no time to tickle them and admire their cuteness. Finished that, went through the adoption dogs, watered a few of them, and then I was done. Let Janet know everyone was fed and watered. She blew me a bunch of kisses. Kept calling me “lady”, too. She doesn’t know my name. Fair enough. I felt bad that I didn’t get a chance to clean out the kennels, but oh well. Food and water are more important, and they dogs all still had clean areas to lay down.
Not having had enough dog for one day, and not having been worn out enough, Andrew and I took Baloo, Gordie, and Barney to the dog park. Baloo’s mopey since Chris and Teresa were away, and this was a surefire way to cheer him up. He threw up on the hall carpet today, but fortunately it was pretty much all saliva, and not bile. (How charming I know the degrees of the dog’s vomit, particularly based on how much it stains.) He ate his canned food yesterday, and a bit of kibble last night. That was good. Anyway, we headed over to Andrew’s, loaded all three dogs into the back of the X-Trail, and headed off to the dog park. It didn’t look that busy, which surprised me. Is there a new park? Have people just not been coming because it’s hot? A little while after we got there things filled up a bit more. There were probably 20 dogs. A nice range of breeds, too, from a Dane to a Chinese Crested. Icky-looking little thing. (The Dane was gorgeous – pure black with ears left natural.) Gordie tried racing a whippet. It was impressive, and he did better than I expected, though I think the whippet was toying with him. The dog was only eight months old and had speed and agility the likes of which Gordie can only dream of. He was running and being chased by another dog, and managed to nip the dog in mid-air while doing two 360 degree spins. That said, for a herding dog, Gordo’s impressive. Barney did a couple of his full-tilt runs, which was good to see, and very cute. His little beagle face grinning, his big ears flopping. God, I love being there with those guys. Even when Baloo needs his bum wiped. (God bless Shopper’s travel pack baby wipes.)
In other news, as of today it has been four weeks. I am not great. I am not good. I’m okay. I’m still here. There are a lot of things I still want. But I have had moments of clarity, and reality, and shame. The shame really blindsided me. I read a quote from Gloria Steinem today: The truth will set you free. But first it will piss you off. Quite so. Except that I am not to the point of pissed off yet. I could really go for the freedom part. I have begun to ponder fall. I have a lot of hope for fall.