When Poop Flies: Malcolm

Walking the dogs at the shelter is not all sunshine and roses and good feelings especially when the poop starts flying. I mean literally; poop flies! When I get to the shelter, I start looking for the priority walks and dogs that hold it and walk them first. I start with row one and work my way to the back.

There was this one dog that needed walking but his kennel was full of poop. I didn’t see anyone around inside to clean his cage so I thought I will walk him last so when I put him back, his cage will be clean. The staff were really busy that day with walking, introductions and all the amazing things they do to keep the shelter running. It was almost time to head home and this sweet dog was still needing a walk. Seriously if you had seen his cage, his body and his paws, you may have walked by thinking someone else will walk him. I really felt bad for this little “holds it” guy who didn’t hold it this time.

I walked around until I found a staff  person and asked him should I wait a little longer  or could someone clean his cage while I was walking him. Fortunately, he told me he would clean it and to go ahead and walk him. Nice to meet you Malcolm!

I knew I would get poop on me from lifting him out of his cage and prepared myself but holy cow I didn’t expect what was to come next. I opened his cage and the poop went flying….in my mouth ( It is what it is people. Don’t judge me), on my face, my neck, my shoulders, my shirt, and my hair. Another staff member was standing near and came over and helped me get him out and off we went. Once I got outside this same staff person brought me lots of wet and dry towels to wipe off with directing me to the spots I couldn’t see. Forever grateful!!

We then proceeded to give Malcolm a much needed bath. He was quite the trooper and patiently endured shampoo and being hosed down. Poor guy!! He was just so desperate to get out of his kennel that his paws were going in every direction. Once his bath was over, we went on our walk so he could dry off. Let me tell you that boy knows how to clean up and is a very handsome dude.

When I got home from my Malcolm experience, my dogs refused to greet me, my daughter-in-law was laughing her butt of while I shared my story and my husband was pointing me to the shower…..sigh.

I haven’t had  a chance to walk him again. Usually someone has gotten to him before me or I am so busy walking rows 1 and 2. Would I do it again? Of course! It’s just another day at the shelter.

Malcolm is 5 years old and 11 months and just a sweet loving boy who loves to give kisses and available for adoption at the KC Pet Project in Missouri. I sure hope someone sweeps him up soon. These aren’t my pics but they are awesome!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When Heart Strings Get Pulled: Patron

There are times when walking dogs at the Shelter that a certain dog comes along that pulls your heart strings. For me that comes often. I wrote about Hinkley in my last blog and she is my current heart string puller but there’s another little man (actually he’s an 81 pound Pitbull mix) that came along the first week in July. His name is Patron.

When I first met Patron, he was a grumpy, old man. He would come out of his kennel and we would head out for our walk and he would just stop and refuse to move. I would let him stay for a few and then give him a little tug and get him to move a few more feet. He wanted to be in charge and he just seemed mad to me.

I took him out to the kennel yard to try and get acquainted a little but he was so indifferent to me. It was almost like he was doing me a favor by allowing me to pet him. As I was stroking his head, I started praying he would find a special home with special people who would love him and make his last days more special then his first. And of course the tears started flowing. I just thought how unfair it was that a 10 year dog who was accustomed to living in a home was now possibly spending his last years in a shelter.

When I took him back inside the shelter, he reluctantly walked in with me and planted his bottom in the doorway. I had to get help from a staff person to get him to his kennel and get him back in. He just broke my heart.

I took out again another time he was a much more compliant boy but still didn’t want go back into the building. I had to have a little help this time but once we got through the door he actually moved a little quicker to his kennel but I still had to coax him in and give him a little push.

The third time I walked him he walked with me with out stopping, ate my treats and when we stopped at the love bench, he put his paws on my legs and let me totally love on him. When we got back inside the building and in front of his cage, he walked right in. I was smitten!! I saw a young puppy coming out of him..

Every day after that was just amazing. He had a spark in his eye and seemed genuinely happy to see me. I would be so bummed when I came in and someone else had walked him but I made sure to stop by to tell him how awesome he was and give him treats.

The last day I walked him, we were walking up the hill and he stopped and dropped in the bushes and just began rolling around. My boy was frolicking. My old man was acting like a puppy who had found his happy place. He even played tug of war with me. I was so happy that I just wanted to shout, “Hey everyone! Look at this beautiful boy playing and being a puppy again!”

When I came back the next day, he was gone. He had been moved to a different location. Where he went, could have given him a better chance of being adopted. I kept checking his profile on our website and then one day I saw he was in a foster home. I was so happy, someone was loving on him and he was in a home again. Just recently I saw he was once again at our other shelter.

If I didn’t have my two precious boxer girls, I would adopt him in a heartbeat. So now I just continue praying that my precious boy will get to live out his last days in a home with some amazing people loving all over him. I’m hoping that I can take a trip to the Zona Rosa Adoption Center at 8721 N Stoddard Ave, Kansas City and maybe walk and visit him some time.

It’s a good thing my heart has a lot of strings that can be pulled cause……..I’m hoping to be here for a long time.

I walked Hinkley again today! This time I took her to the play yard and she let me pet her and feed her hot dogs. She didn’t flinch one time. Progress!!!!

No Shelter for the Heart.

I’ve been walking dogs at the KC Pet Project in Mo for two and a half months now. It is both the most rewarding and painful thing I have ever done. I laugh and cry and sometimes both at the same time. I’m the person who watches all the animal videos on Facebook and balls her eyes out so actually living it out in person makes for a very emotional experience.

The reward comes in knowing you are making a difference in this dogs life. He’s getting walks, treats, love and comfort he wouldn’t be getting in an abusive home or on the streets. My favorite thing to do when I get to the shelter is to walk up and down the rows and just talk to them and pet them through their cages. I also say goodnight to them and tell them to have a restful sleep and pleasant dreams as I walk out the door. I hope they feel my love and that it restores their hope. I genuinely love them all.

Sometimes as I near their cages they will put their body up against the cage and just wait for me to touch them. A few of them will roll on their backs and you can feel and see the love they are so desiring and desperate for. I like to take them out for a walk so they can relieve themselves then find an empty play yard and just love the heck out of them. If the play yards are full, I have this bench I go to that I call the love bench and we just sit and talk, enjoy treats and I brush their hair.

Their personalities are so different. Some will walk right by your side and never leave your side. Others will play tug of war or with balls and some will just walk around the kennel yard not interested in you at all but they all are interested in the treats you offer them.

I pray for each of them to find good homes and for God to heal them or keep them in good health. And sometimes as I’m praying, I break down and cry. My heart breaks for the seniors the most. It takes a very special person to adopt a senior. My hats off to them knowing they may only have a short time with them or health issues may come up that can put a huge dent in their finances. It breaks my heart that seniors are even in the shelter. Most of these sweet babies are used to the comforts of a home and all of a sudden it’s ripped apart from them and most people looking for dogs are looking for certain breeds or puppies. We do have amazing people in the shelter network who foster seniors and I just love and respect them so much. That is my future dream when my two boxer girls pass on. I was only going to foster boxers until I started falling in love with shelter dogs.

There are times that I am so overwhelmed that I will get into my car and cry all the way home. There was this one dog named Hinkley that I took out for a walk two weeks ago. She got out of her kennel great but as we were walking, the sound of someone closing the dumpster freaked her out. She jumped and ducked. I got her calm and we walked this path that I like to call PooPoo Alley cause it’s just a perfect place for the dogs to pee and poo. When we got on the path, I went to pet her and she went down on the ground terrified. Her eyes became like saucers. I felt so bad for her but it scared me. I took her over to the play yard and just let her walk around but those eyes. She let me pet her a couple of the times very gently on the head but she was just so fearful. I started wondering if she had been abused and maybe I looked like the person who had hurt her. I left the kennel and asked a staff member to help me and she jumped when he tried to pet her. He was amazing with her and we walked her back into the shelter and he and another staff member got her back in her kennel even though she didn’t want to go in. My heart was broken. She was my last dog to walk for the day. As I climbed into my car the tears started rolling and I sobbed all the way home. This poor baby just needs to have a home where she feels safe and totally loved. I keep her in my prayers daily. I haven’t’ taken her out again but I stop by and talk to her and feed her treats. I want her to trust me and know that I love her so much.

I love volunteering! I’ve had a passion for animals all my life, especially the abandoned and hurt. I see this path I’m on as a great privilege that I don’t take lightly. I’m just so glad to be a part of this great work.

Update: I noticed Hinkley hadn’t been getting afternoon walks and I would see her standing there always waiting and I couldn’t stand to see her like that. So, I decided this day was the day I was going to resume our walks. I didn’t try to pet her. We just walked and I sang to her and told her how wonderful she is. She still flinched a little if I moved my hand too fast but we made it all the way around the building and she went peacefully into her cage. I made a decision yesterday that as long as she is there, she’s gonna be my sweet baby who is always going to get her afternoon walk and a tremendous amount of love. I’m not going to give up on her!

Passion for Pups!

As far back as I can remember I have been an animal lover. I knew all the cats on the block especially the roamers. I brought home all the dogs I found in the desert, including snakes, horned toads, rabbits and hurt birds. I drove my parents insane. But animals got healed or returned to owners. I cried every time I had to give an animal up but my parents always assured me, it was for the best.

I decided I was going to become at a vet at around age 15 until my dad told the vet we were taking my dog to with a broken jaw.  The vet let me hold Beau’s head while he stitched him up and my dad had to catch me as my head almost hit the floor. So much for that dream.

In my 30’s I started working for a vet again and was doing very well. The vet sent me into the room with a couple putting down their dog and I think I was crying harder then them. It was my first euthanasia. I think he had high hopes for me becoming a vet tech but I was having physical problems at the time and didn’t agree with his bedside manner so I moved on.

In 2013 after the death of my son’s boxer/lab, we started looking for another dog for our living boxer girl. I got a notification of a male boxer on Pet Harbor but by t he time I contacted them, he was gone. There was another boxer that popped up, a little girl. Everyone told me not to get a girl but one gentleman who was a boxer lover as well. I called the Stockton Shelter for three weeks checking to see if she was still there. I really wanted a full bred boxer but I could tell by her pic she was a mix.

But something was drawing me to her. Finally I  called my daughter Meghan and said, ” I’m going to the shelter. I want you to meet me there and talk me out of adopting this girl.” I called my husband and told him I was going to “just” go look at her and I was off. Now my husband knew at that moment, we were getting a new member of our family.

I got to the shelter and Meg and I started looking for this girl boxer named Sandra. Sandra immediately stretchered her legs through the bars of her kennel and tried to wrap them around me. We asked if we could take her out to the yard and as soon as that door opened she was running around playing with every toy and jumping in the pool. I was so touched but it was all over when she came over to where I was sitting and put both paws on my shoulders and laid her head on my chest. You see Sandra chose me! I told the lady I would bring my husband back the beginning of the week and my daughter cries out, ” No Mom! You have to take her now!” So Sandra became Jewels at that moment and a part of our family. I always say she is the best gift I ever gave myself.

When we left California in November of this year and moved to Missouri, I started seeing pics and hearing about this shelter on the lost pets sites on Facebook. I  looked them up and thought, “I have to be a part of this.” Meghan and I went driving around site seeing one day and I said, “Hey let’s go check out that animal shelter. I want to get info about volunteering, That’s me in the purple appropriately standing in front of the dogs!

Shelter Tour 05.08.19