The last couple weeks have been filled with hard work, hard play, and tons of fun. There have been about a million great experiences this week, so I will do my best to hit all of the highlights!
From the time Dexter was surrendered by his former owners, he progressed beautifully on his behavior. Every day, he barked less at strangers, was more willing to approach men, and we saw his unique personality come bubbling out to the surface. Dexter was with me for 2 weeks while I made a trip to Northern Idaho to visit family, and over the next weekend while I over saw the rescue so our fearless leader could take a trip out of town. During our stay at the rescue facility, our cute little man fell madly in love with Bella the Bulldog, and probably will never be the same again!
I’m so glad I was able to have him for a longer period than last, and that his former owner was able to have a huge part in finding Dexter his new forever family. Sometimes events in life that you think are negative, actually turn out to be fate. Through the Dexter ordeal we have gained a new comrade (volunteer) in his former owner, have found Dexter a new family, a new foster home for our dogs, and have found my perfect family, 2 perfect dogs.
Okay…the dogs were foster failures, but still…I’m very satisfied with the entire situation, and owe a huge thanks to our wonderful Dex for being such an awesome dog. He has captured my heart, as well as the hearts of several other rescue workers.
For some reason when I agreed to take care of the rescue last weekend, I thought I understood all the work that goes into running our rescue. Collect dogs, feed them, play with them, send them off to their new homes, deal with the occasional high maintenance adopter who has about eight hundred questions. No big deal, right?
Wrong I was so incredibly wrong!
I now understand why our fearless leader has a separate phone just for the rescue. It’s because it constantly harasses her with beeps and buzzes ALL. DAY. LONG. I couldn’t catch a break! I had people calling to inform me that they had sent in an application for a puppy, and would like to come pick it up and take it home at 5 weeks old, some wanted to give me their dogs, some wanted flea meds, others I think called just because they were lonely and wanted to chit chat for awhile. The rescue phone alone is enough to fill up an entire day. It is however, only a small part of running the rescue.
I wasn’t hired to babysit a phone, I was hired to care for the 20 plus dogs that need daily attention. The dogs at the rescue last weekend ranged from 5 weeks old, to 5 years old. Here’s a list of the wards 4 of which are not actually rescue dogs, but are owned by myself or our director:
Ranger: 3yo? Chow-sweet and mellow dog, but there is constant barking, has to wear an e-collar to appease the neighbors
Samson: 1yo pit mix-has mange and resource guarding problems, always playful and lovie dovie
Taysha: 1yo pit mix-dog aggressive, but one of the sweetest and most well behaved dogs we’ve had
Fluffy: 2yo pomeranian-cutest, but most obnoxious pom I’ve ever seen
Sloshy, Puppy, and Max: all younger chihuaha mixes, Sloshy is a bully and picks on the smaller dogs resulting in several rounds of (harmless, but annoying) scrapping each day
2 Red Heeler puppies: 9wo-very cute, but very needy, and want to play constantly
Lilah & Her brother: 5wo blue doberman puppies- Lilah is very small for her age, and has to be fed extra wet dog food to make her big and fat
Maverick: 8mo chihuaha-My former foster who started out as a terrified, slobbery mess and is now a giant attention hog. One of the best dogs I’ve fostered so far
Snowy: 3yo chihuahua-extremely pregnant, due any day, and so lethargic that I have to periodically make sure she is still breathing
Dexter: 9mo dutch shepherd/hound mix-extremely high energy, annoys other dogs by constantly asking to play, but very sweet
Cheyenne: 10wo wolf cub- has some foot pads fused together, and needs antibiotics twice a day
Bella: adult olde english bulldog-boarding at the facility while family is out of country. She is full of love and snuggles, and wants to always be by your side
Diamond: Bella’s puppy-also wants to constantly be by your side, but has not potty training whatsoever, and can’t be inside without supervision
Delilah: 2yo Lab/Viszla mix-my own personal dog. loves the other dogs, has allergies to most dog food, wants to chase cat, has pretty good manners
Ace: adult pocket pitty: director’s own personal dog. would be happy to just sleep on his bed all day.
This is a low number of dogs for our rescue. Normally we have several more. Most of the non-agressive, healthy dogs are allowed to run loose in the back yard during the day which means that the kennel runs are used only for the dogs who could negatively effect the others. I love that our dogs are allowed to socialize and run as a pack in the yard all day.
I could not believe how much food I went through in just 3 days! Each dog has two meals a day, and it really adds up. In dollars and poops. Cleaning the kennels is also a huge job. I spent about 3 hours on Thursday night scooping, and spraying dirt off the cement floor of the kennels in the pouring rain. By the time I was done I was completely soaked from head to toe, and promptly passed out on the sofa with the TV on, and little Maverick snuggled up in my arms.
Not only did I have all of the normal daily tasks to complete, but I was also In charge of safely transporting the adoptable dogs to and from our weekly adoption event where they would hopefully go to their new homes. I absolutely love each and every one of the dogs we bring in, and each dog adopted is something to rejoice over. I’m always willing, and even eager to participate in the dirtiest of chores if it means giving our dogs a better life.
The director of our rescue manages to accomplish all of these tasks, plus about a million other rescue-related projects on a daily basis with only a fraction covered by myself and other volunteers. She is completely devoted to her work, and lives and breathes dogs. I can’t believe how she manages to keep her head on straight, and I have incredible amounts of respect for the job she does. She is the heart and soul of our rescue, and without her we would be a literal zoo.
Please, please, please, if you are someone who loves dogs-volunteer! We don’t care if you have no training skills, or aren’t able to foster a dog at this moment in time. All you need is a love for dogs, and a desire to do whatever you can to make their lives better. There is something incredibly special about giving of yourself for the benefit of others.
For information about adopting any of our dogs or volunteering:
Add us on facebook
Look us up on petfinder
email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
meet us at Petco on 6th Ave: Saturday, May 24th 11am-3pm