Working in an animal shelter is an ongoing lesson in human nature. It shows you the good sides, as all sorts of people from all sorts of walks of life come together to make these dogs’ and cats’ lives better. It is also a lesson in the depths to which human beings can sink, as you see the abused and neglected animals brought in. Luckily I have not had to witness any truly horrific (i.e., battered and bloody) situations yet, but I did spend a lot of time today with a dog, who had been neglected and abused in one of the oddest ways imaginable.
She was kept in a chimney. Literally. All the time, never let out, even to go to the bathroom. Apparently her owner thought this was a great work-saving version of a “giant” litterbox for a dog (which by the way was never cleaned). A litterbox from which she could never escape.
I am not certain of her name, but she is old enough to have one, so we will call her the Pomeranian, rather than give her a name and have it be wrong. She growled and snarled when I tried to come near her. I spent 45 minutes sitting on a concrete floor convincing this dog I was not out to get her. It took some treats, some baby talk, and ultimately just plain old patience. She did eventually come out and was very sweet. The other volunteers have told me that although she has growled and snarled like crazy she has shown absolutely no signs of biting and apparently really dotes on people once she accepts them.
So hopefully she will be adopted soon and by someone with the patience to work with her and undo all of the horrid damage done by her former owners.
I gave another bath to Snuggle Bug and Ornery, who are now sharing a kennel and as happy about it as 2 peas in a pod. They came in about a month apart, but seem to have bonded over their mutual puppiness and manginess. I sat with them a bit, but now that they share a kennel they are pretty rambunctious and not so snuggly. Snuggle Bug wanted to cuddle a bit but every time she tried Ornery jumped on her and bit her (in a friendly, puppy way). Unfortunately, space is at a premium in an animal shelter, so there was nowhere I could take either of them to separate them (for now, since they are not to be walked outside while they are recovering from the mange).
I walked Rosie again but had difficulty getting her leash on her. She gets overexcited and just suddenly bites like crazy like a full grown dog with the jaws of a boxer/pit bull who still nips like a puppy. In other words, I do not think she is trying to hurt you. But she does. So now I have a big bruise on my hand to show for it, but once I got her on the leash she was fine, so I am not giving up hope on her.
The cats are still my weakness. That Siamese is still there, to the amazement of all of the workers. The kitty I really fell in love with today is about 1 year old and very shy. Her name is A (weird I know, she was named by the person who brought her and her sibling in), and she and her brother, O, are grey and white. O is very friendly and outgoing, whereas A is shy and sweet. She curled up under my hand, purring like crazy when I pet her, but she definitely rejected being picked up. The shelter hopes for them to be adopted together, but I think they are worried that A is just too shy.
I wish we owned our house because I really miss having a kitty.
awww, reading your post makes me sad; i admire you for being able to work at the shelter like that.
i just joined the DB this month too, just checking out everyone else’s blogs, wanted to say hello 🙂
mrspresley: It is really a very happy place; I doubt I could hack it otherwise. Nobody wants a volunteer who cries all the time. 😉