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Crocosmia Lucifer

Ugh, what a day. Actually my fault for forgetting we had a meeting that lasted nearly three hours. It was actually very informative - a VA rep came out to talk about their programs and basically how the VA works, as from the outside it sure can seem like it doesn't work at ALL. I learned, for example, that my state is the only state with a VSO dedicated to serving LGBTQ personnel and one of only five who have one dedicated to women. In light of President Psychopath's latest ban... ugh. Let's not go there.

Anywhooo, it was the kind of afternoon that required a trip to the cat room to snuggle some kitties. Bad timing, as it was wet food time and they were all going bananas. I managed two good cuddles with two good kittens.

Tomorrow, puppies! In puppy-related news, someone let their standard poodle wander around, never claimed him and so he's up for adoption. He is HANDSOME OMG, and so smart he 1) let himself out of his kennel when in quarantine, 2) let himself out of quarantine altogether and 3) let himself out of the shelter and was down the road half a mile before anyone caught up to him. I checked for opposable thumbs, but didn't see them.
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Thistle Hair

One of my all time favorite dogs - a googley-eyed Beagle mix named Riley - was adopted out over a year ago. He got returned because, despite knowing his issue with cats, his people moved into a house with cats. *le sigh*

Anyway, he's a love. Super smart, obedient, the works. The only other real issue besides the cats is that he pulls. In fact, he's got a harness for walking. Well, a harness is only as good as the people who bother putting it on him. Twice in as many days, volunteers ignored the harness and put him on a lead only, and he choked himself nearly into unconsciousness both times. What. People, man. They gotta not mess with my main pup!

Tony

Jun. 15th, 2017 06:54 pm
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Tony

And here he is. I had someone helping by tempting Tony with treats. He stumbled again, just in the back showing area. He's so weak and so, so sweet. Part of me hopes he's at the shelter long enough to see how he shapes up. I spent a little while cuddling after the photo shoot. Love. I cannot fathom why anyone would mistreat any animal, let alone a total sweetheart like Tony. I'm getting a little teary just thinking about him. Every time I see his sad eyes, I want to bury my face in his neck and hug him.
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View from a room

I wanted to get a picture of a dog I have fallen in love with (yes, another). He's a deaf 9 year old pit bull named Tony who had been severely abused (neglect) prior to being taken into the shelter. It's heartbreaking and infuriating. He is just the most gentle, sweet soul you could imagine. I walked him today and he's so weak that he stumbled and was unable to break his fall. I started bawling.

But the picture didn't happen because poor Tony stands with his head hung. Almost all the time. :(

In other shelter news, of the 41 cats who made it out of the hoarder's vehicle and into the shelter, sixteen survived. :( Several of those have been adopted. Several have had litters of absolutely gorgeous kittens, which are flying out of the door. One reminds me so of Hank that I ALMOST entertained a thought... No, not really.
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Staring Contest

I like crows. I can't seem to resist them!

So very glad it's Friday. I am exhausted - new clients were nonstop this week, which is fine. It can be hard to keep your feet on the ground when it's back-to-back movement, that's all. I feel like I miss things that should be obvious.


Bonus pic )

Ana

May. 11th, 2017 08:59 pm
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Love. True love is what brings us together today.

Anastasia is listed as a difficult dog to walk because she is extremely shy. She's horribly shy! So shy she pulled my ponytail askew as she tried to clamber onto my lap. Almost beyond hope, so shy is she.



This one was taken thirty point five seconds after meeting.

I love her. I don't think I can have a dog, not as long as I have these cats. And it's okay, really, I adore my neurotic scaredies. Except sometimes an Ana. ♥

Basic Lilac

May. 5th, 2017 07:27 pm
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Basic Lilac

This year I'll try to prune this plant and see if I can get more to bloom. It looks pretty anemic, and I adore lilac so I want to encourage growth. I just really suck at green things!

Also?

Jill II

^This is shelter dog Jill. I love Jill. I am not usually one for the ankle-biters, but she is ridiculous and very sweet. They can't let her go into the outside part of her kennel, because apparently she has a knack for scaling chain link fences and escaping. The only reason she's still at the shelter after five days is that she requires a fully fenced yard - and no chain link for this little magician.
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Random Faucet

I forgot my camera at home today, so it was a scramble and another for the "eh, whatever" pile. Could have kicked myself - there's been a heron standing at the side of the road in the morning lately, neck extended high (reminds me of Lowly Worm from Richard Scarry books...) and I keep meaning to go for him. Of course he was there and more resplendent than ever today. Dang it.

Walked a dog named Maia at lunch. She's a pit/lab mix who was adopted from the shelter, returned years later as owners couldn't care for her, was adopted out after a looooong stint and returned quickly because she's a bit unreliable around other dogs. She used to be highly indifferent to me, but since she returned she's been very pleased to see me. She's also gotten spoiled - today, I wanted to go right, away from the shelter and my office, which is down the road a bit. She all but dragged me to my office so we could go in for some love, attention and treats. Then we left from the back door ... and then circled 'round to the front, where she would not budge from the door. Inside we went. Then left again, and this time she decided she'd try to go in the back again. She really did not want to leave. I feel so bad for her, I think the shelter life is making her depressed. She's a really good girl, smart as a whip. A bit stubborn. LOL. Poor Maia.

Gary

Oct. 12th, 2016 07:56 pm
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20161012_133216_resized

20161012_133227_resized

Just look at that face.
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Had my first optometrist appointment in four years today. Maybe five. I've been having issues with eye fatigue and focusing, especially at the very start of the day and the worst at the end of the work day. I feared it was the beginning of bifocal time...

Nope. My myopia has improved a bit, so my glasses and contacts are actually too strong for me, causing my eyes to freak out. Doctor also said that for being about seven years old, my contact lenses aren't in terrible shape. I won't get new contacts until they can get my info from my prior optometrist which, now that I know the fix is nearly upon me, seems like too far away. LOL.

It's still kind of the first stages of needing bifocals - I recall my mom doing away with her glasses for a few years because her eyesight "improved" and the next time she went in, her prescription was for bifocals.

I didn't like any of the frames they had, though, so I'm running the bajillion pair I already have (some unworn) by some people to see if I should just recycle them.


Yesterday was the hottest day we've had all year - still not bad, I think it hit 95F, though the folks around here act like they're going to keel over at 75, sooooo. I had to remind people that at least we only have these kinds of temps for a few days, not a few months. Still, too hot for the doggies to go far, especially considering the heat on their paws from the rock/pavement. I took Bernie out again. The second we got back into his kennel:

20160819_134450_resized

And that was after hosing him down a bit with water. LOL, poor guy. And, bummer, he too requires a fenced yard or I really would have taken him. He seems indifferent to me (they all do - I think they sense I have more cat experience), but I adore his fat butt.
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At the shelter, the dogs are graded A - D, with A being super easy and D being very challenging. I'm okayed to walk As and Bs only. The problem? There aren't that many of them. It's bothered me for a while that I will go to the shelter and walk a dog who's already been out, when the list of dogs still needing to get out even once is long. Last week, one of the pits was marked B, so I took him. He was SO NOT a B. He's now a D, but I managed okay with him.

Yesterday, I just said, "Screw it, if I could handle that unruly beast before, I can walk something higher than a B!" and took this girl:

dallas
^Photos not taken by me.

The problem became instantly apparent: the more dogs you walk, the more you fall in love with. Expect more spam. WHAT A HONEY that one is. Very sweet, affectionate and gentle. Alas, our shelter has a "fully fenced yard" rule with pit bulls and I do not have that.

I walked her again today, as well as two other "C" dogs - they're really only more difficult to get out of the kennel area and once they're outside, they were all dreamboats. Well, kind of. Dallas, the little girl above, didn't seem to want to walk much, but we're having a spike in temperatures and the heat might have made her less interested and one of the other ones wanted to go after other dogs a tiny but.

Does anyone really care? Nah, but I've pondered what would happen if I just tried to walk a tougher dog without getting certified to do so. So far nothing, though I suspect eventually someone will catch me at it.
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Sometimes, when a client walks in and you're stuck in a little room with them listening to quite the tale you wish you could have a hidden recorder so you could capture just how surreal the conversation is and share it with others. I had one of those this week, a story so out there it seems very unlikely to be true.

The really heartbreaking ones are the ones who have zero idea that they're mentally off and by all outward appearances seem on the level.

The other really heartbreaking ones are ones you knew were going to end up being victims of heartless assholes. See: the sweet old man who came in about a year ago for assistance because he was literally sending every penny he had to his wonderful, kind, sweet, young wife in the Philippines. His wonderful, kind, sweet young wife he met after his spouse of 50+ years passed away and he took a mission trip to help overcome his loneliness...

Yeah. Fast forward a year later and he didn't really take my hints that perhaps to save money he stop sending his new wife every penny. He was in the office again looking for help, just sobbing about her - he'd worked and paid to get her a visa, she was here less than two months and said she wanted to go home. So he flew her home, went with her until she also told him she hated him and to get out of the house that his money fixed up all nice and pretty for her.

I swear to you - those who take advantage of and abuse the vulnerable (aged, children, disabled) are some of the worst of humanity and I hope karma gets them in the end.

Anyway. Longest week in a while - we've had months of quiet, but that seems to be over. Funny how vacation weeks fly by! I feel like I'm still slightly behind the eight ball with work stuff, but I'm not stressing. I learned long ago that you can only do what you can do, and stressing about it only makes it seem even more overwhelming. I will get my rhythm back. But now it's Saturday and I laze like this fella:

20160812_131531_resized

His name is Bernie. He's aged, fat and was left tied up at the front of the shelter during off hours, which I think is illegal. Poor old guy is just the sweetest thing you will ever meet. Love, love, loves tummy rubs, even if he's so chubby it's hard to right himself once he's all done with them. Walks consist of a few short steps and then mini siestas. Bless him. I wish now I hadn't moved bedrooms upstairs or had found a single story home - I can see myself wanting to adopt the old dogs to give them a nice home to spend their last years.
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1) Migraine
2) Rock hit windshield, windshield needed to be replaced
3) The low* kill shelter I volunteer at has taken a sudden reversal in its stance, and has put down one dog (for being fearful and baring his teeth), and has three others on death row. I don't expect any of them to last the weekend.

I'm just stunned by this. Last summer when I got a desperate knock on my door from someone asking me to adopt a dog who was at risk because he bit someone for whatever reason (I feel like sometimes people don't read an animal's cues, and it's the animal who gets pushed for their ignorance), I didn't adopt him but he didn't get put down. They worked to find him a good home and there he lives to this day.

So, I think for a time I will cease volunteering. I don't think it'll be a permanent thing, as it is not the dogs' fault. And, I presume that this policy will extend to cats. If the reasons to put a dog down include "they're dog aggressive" or "they aren't immediately warm on people", I feel sure we'll have an empty cat room soon.

Damn it, now I'm starting to get teary again. I would have at least tried to save that dog had I both known he was going to be put down AND they were't going to give him a chance at rehab. His name was Lincoln and yes, he bared his teeth at me because he didn't know me. He was also twenty pounds, four hundred kinds of cute and worth saving.

If I hadn't already had killer head pain this week, I'd pour myself a stiff one.

*They will euthanize an animal if it is ill beyond hope of any comfortable life or, sadly, kittens who test positive for FIV or FELV. :(
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A while back, I bought two little nighstand-y type tables. One, had I paid more attention, I would have seen was total junk and so the option of stripping and staining was out.

Boring stuff and pictures )

In other news:

One of my favorite dogs at the shelter was returned because he wouldn't stop chasing the family cat. I commented to another volunteer, one a bit more official in the volunteer org, that the "cat test" they do does absolutely nothing in regards to the cats already in the home. The response? "Yeah, cats are mean."

Which is 1) not true and 2) so not where I was going with that. Dog returned for not leaving cat alone does not equal cat's fault in that situation. The dog was not the one being harassed.

I find it frustrating that an organization with "animal assistance" in its name has quite a few members with a hefty dog slant. I get it. Dog people. Cat people. Maybe I'm too sensitive because I love cats and dogs, but have cats. Whatever. That kind of open bias is rude. I don't go out of my way to badmouth dogs as a species.
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Mr. Fox found a home today. I happened to be there as his new people came for him and I can say 100% he is going to the right place. So excited for him.

And a long-time cat room resident also got adopted today. Excellent all around.

One last happy:

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But I might get one.

My neighbor, who also volunteers at the shelter, knocked on my door a few minutes ago and said another volunteer had asked her to ask me about adopting a dog. I don't know much of the story, but apparently someone from the general public scared this guy and he nipped them. That's one of the very few things that will get a dog euthanized. Now, I've walked him countless times and played with him in the yard and never had a problem. He's exuberant and cheerful, a bit of a handful that hasn't received much training. And a volunteer taking him is the only thing that will keep him alive.

What say you, oh smallest of flists? Should I save this guy if no one else can?

The Fabulous Mr. Fox )


I do tend to be the epitome of a bleeding heart.
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Today I walked Riley, a rambunctious beagle. I enjoy walking him, he maintains a pretty good pace and is a big goof. However, I also used a a newly-purchased leash which was too long and the hand loop too big. Somehow or another, my hand slipped out of it and Riley slipped away from me. I got a little jog in today! He didn't get far and did pause when I shouted his name, so that enabled me to avert major disaster. Whew!

Poor little guy - he's been at the shelter for way too long. I'm hoping it's just the fence requirement. He's a bit of an escape artist.
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So far, 2/3 of the photos I have attempted to upload to stock photo site have been rejected. I've put my profile on the links list, should anyone need to purchase any stock photos. The rejection is not too surprising - I have no photographic training and shoot by gut and eye - so I'm trying not to take it personally. Stock photo sites are all about precision and perfection. Some of my most favorite photos are the most flawed ones. I have learned I know nothing about lighting, as pictures I took in broad daylight have been rejected for poor lighting. If I want to continue attempting the stock photo thing as a potential side income, I will have to educate myself. Of course, it would help if I had better equipment. It's been over two years since my "good" lens broke, and I can't justify the cost of even a cheap replacement right now.

Anyway, I had an appointment across town this morning and walked to and from - about four miles round trip. I had my point and shoot camera with me only, and came across a few things I found interesting.

Storm water cover

Cobwebs in metal handrail

I miss taking a photo a day. I might have to do that again in 2016 (<-- holy sheet, really??), though that was a project much easier to do while unemployed. If I worked in the town where I lived, it would be easier too - where I work has limited material as far as what I'll see while out on a walk, but if I worked here I would be walking to and from work and probably walking at lunch as well.

While I was out, I took the Riverwalk back and came across a scruffy guy and his adorable puppy. I was wearing an army green T-shirt with camouflage sleeves. First thing out of the guy's mouth, "You're not wearing enough camo, because I can still see how beautiful you are." Then, "I guess that was kind of a clumsy line, huh?" after I didn't really respond to it, too taken with the guy's puppy - a blue nose pit bull, and just the cutest thing.

"No," I said with a laugh, "It was actually pretty clever."

But not clever enough for me to stop. LOL.

house stuff I've learned )

I think I need tools. Like, actual power tools.

Also, there's another dog at the shelter I love. I finally got to walk him on Thursday (there's a DD girl who tends to monopolize the cute dogs, bless her heart, so I don't always get to walk a great variety) and fell for him. He's a Havanese mix, black with a white mask and white paws and is so, so cute. He was adopted on Thursday and returned on Friday, because the adopters didn't think the shelter was serious when they said dog doesn't do well with small children.

I don't need a dog. I don't need a dog. I am too lazy for a dog.
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One of the other volunteers didn't quite latch a dog in her kennel today. She got out. She got out and got outside into the play area, where another dog was. The other dog is not too receptive toward other dogs. Turns out, now we know the first one isn't, either. She didn't lunge while being led out, but there was a major fight and there was blood.

And of course this happened when there were only volunteers present - both animal control guys were out.

I had walked one dog - Tucker, the hound, and he'd gotten squirrelly over a couple of mule deer in the field, pulled a lot more than usual - so when I came back to the dog fight, I then went to the cat room. But while the volunteers were tending to the involved dogs, I took care of this little honey:

IMG_1222

What a sweetheart )

Long story short, people can be awful. The shelter stories break my heart, but also make me glad that I am able to give a few hours and a lot of love a week to animals who need it desperately.

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