Mornings are always full of hard work for our shelter staff, who arrive early and are greeted by a building full of animals desperate for attention, potty breaks, food, and cleaning! Puppies and kittens especially make an enormous mess overnight, and we hit the ground running.
First thing is a quick check to be sure everyone is ok, then it's a juggle of tending to small or unwell pets first, while not cross-contaminating anything, getting each dog a turn in one of the three play yards ASAP, and then settling into the fast-paced routine of clean the kennel, give fresh blankets and toys, fresh water in new bowls, and prep and serve breakfast (along with any medications) for each of our occupants - which typically includes 8-12 dogs (when we have puppies this number can go REALLY high!) and 10-30 cats (again, litters of kittens push those numbers up). It's high-paced and everyone is begging "See me! See me! I want snuggles!"
To anyone who has wanted to visit the shelter early in the morning we extend our apologies - we hate that we can't answer the door or phone earlier in the day, but of course we must look after all the pets in our care first. They are always extremely excited to see us and very needy. We generally then take a quick stop for a fortifying coffee before plunging into the day!
This particular morning, however, was crazier than normal! City Animal Control arrived early with two dogs who were so shy and scared it took two of us a good half hour to unload them and get them safely inside. Back to work we went, but half an hour later Animal Control was back with a third dog! This one was settled in our outside kennel to await check-in, and it was back to cleaning.
When our second staff member of the day, Vanessa, arrived, she stuck her head in the door and called to Jasmine - "Where did this puppy come from?" "Animal Control, he's waiting in the kennel a minute." came the reply. "No, not the one in the kennel, THIS one!" And in came Vanessa carrying a FOURTH new dog - an utterly precious Catahoula pup wearing a pink collar. To this day, we have no idea where that puppy came from. It's like she dropped from the sky. She had either been hiding when Jasmine was outdoors bringing in the Animal Control dogs, or had been dropped off in the short space of time before Vanessa arrived, when she was sat quietly next to the Animal Control kennel making friends with the pup inside.
She was so cute and looked like butter wouldn't melt in her mouth...until she was left alone. Even for a second. She wanted to be sat on your feet at all times and if you had to leave her to go care for another animal she would yelp, bark, and howl until your ears rang!
When Michelle, our wonderful weekend kennel tech, met this new pup, she offered to take her home to foster. Puppy was just as naughty at home as at the shelter. If left alone outdoors for even a minute she'd climb the fence. If left downstairs she would squeal and howl. Michelle had to rig a puppy crate next to her own bed and settle puppy inside at night to even get any sleep.
We had christened the pup 'Sidda', but Michelle, to all our confusion, named her 'Angel'. She was cute as a button, but certainly a stinker!
Within just a few days, it became clear that this little one was NEVER going to come back to the shelter. Despite her wily ways, she had totally stolen Michelle's heart - and couch! Now, four months later, she's still growing like crazy and is firmly and very happily home! Angel loves her family and her big sister Xena, and we don't think she could be happier!
Happy tails Angel! We may not know how you came to us, but you ended up right where you were meant to be!