Four Little Magical Paws

, , , , | Hopeless | November 27, 2018

My husband and I decided to adopt a dog. We picked one out right before our wedding and took her home about a week or so after. She had been abused in the past — beaten, shot at, etc. — and had behavioral problems that came out once she got comfortable with us. While at the shelter, she’d been too scared to “show her true colors.”

Our vet directed us to a behaviorist who helped us out, and literally changed my life, how I viewed dogs, and my relationship with them.

Fast forward a year. We decided to go ahead and adopt a second dog. This time I was determined to pursue the passion that I’d acquired for training and helping needy rescues, and I knew I wanted a special dog. While I loved our dog, she had been my husband’s pick, and I wanted to choose this time.

I set my sights on an 11-year-old mutt, who had been in the shelter for more than ten years. The shelter had a pretty awful past, where they’d basically abused their dogs and refused volunteers, and that had only changed within the past year or so — now it’s literally, hands down, one of the best in the country — but it meant that for about nine years he had no human contact and was severely neglected.

Needless to say, he was a basket case. I spent four months dedicating almost every free minute and weekend I had either visiting him at the shelter or at a course I was taking to be able to offer him the therapy and help he needed. I was finally able to take him home, and shortly after, I passed my course and was certified to work with dogs.

If I thought my life changed before, he was the final straw. My trainer and behaviorist both have called him one of their most difficult cases, and he isn’t one of those miraculous “changed overnight” dogs, but he is my absolute pride and joy and sunshine and everything good in this world. He sucks up every minute of my free time, but that’s all right. He has separation anxiety that prevents me from being able to leave the house without either finding a babysitter or arranging for him to be taken care of — no hopping out to the store to grab that one thing I need for dinner for me — and poses a huge problem to every aspect of my life, but I wouldn’t give him up for the world.

It’s such a joy to see such a needy dog that doesn’t know how to function properly go from terrified to entire body wagging with joy when he greets me, and proudly walking by my side on walks instead of running around in terrified circles trying to drag me back to the shelter. Everybody who’s seen his progress keeps telling me that he’s an entirely different dog, and he just makes me so proud. I have crippling depression at times, and he’s the only thing that keeps me going on a really bad day. I might be able to convince myself that the world would be a better place without me, but then I remember those four little paws that panic and freak and forget all the things he’s learned when I’m not around.

Unfiltered Story #124480

, , , | Unfiltered | October 24, 2018

All of the pet in the adoption rooms are spayed or neutered before going home and there is a note on their information card letting customers know if it is already done or if the animal needs to have it done before going home

Customer: What does this note here mean, I don’t get it.

Me: (looking at card) That means this cat is already spayed and ready to go home with you as soon as you finish the paperwork

Customer: No, I mean what does Spay-did mean?

Me: That means she is fixed so she can’t have any kittens

Customer: oh, does that mean like she don’t get her monthlys no more

Me: umm, sure…

Needs To Adopt Some Knowledge On The Subject

, , , , | Right | August 15, 2018

(I volunteer at a local animal shelter once per week. Since I worked part-time there last summer, the employees and I are on very good terms, so they don’t mind me offering advice to customers and getting them set up with the proper assistance. On this day, a woman I’d estimate to be about 60 comes into the shelter and stops in front of me while I’m folding laundry.)

Me: “Hi. Do you need any help?”

Customer: “Yes, I’m here to pick up Mack.”

(Mack is a very cute German Shepherd mix puppy we are accepting applications for; with puppies we tend to accept more than one applicant and then choose the best a day or two after the puppy is made available.)

Me: “Oh, um, do you mean you’d like to meet him outside the kennel?”

Customer: “No, I’m here to pick him up.”

Me: “Um… One moment, please.”

(I go and get [Employee], who runs the dog team.)

Employee: “So, I hear you’re interested in Mack?”

Woman: “Yes, I’d like to bring him home.”

Employee: “I’m sorry, but we’re not reviewing applications until tomorrow due to the high interest in him.”

Woman: “Applications?”

Employee: “Do… Do you have an application in on him?”

Woman: “Application?”

(It turned out the woman had no idea she needed to apply to adopt a dog! I later found out she had come by to try and adopt before with similar results. She didn’t get Mack, but she did fill out an application for another dog, so I guess she figured it out eventually. We all found the whole thing funny more than annoying, since she’s hardly the first one to make that mistake!)

A Weighty Request

, , , , | Right | June 28, 2018

(I’m a volunteer at an animal shelter. A woman comes in wanting to adopt a cat.)

Woman: “Do you have any fat cats?”

Me: “Excuse me?”

Woman: “You know, obese? Plump?”

Me: “Well, we try to maintain the health of the animals here, so any overweight cats are on strict diets. May I ask why you are looking for a, um, fat cat?”

Woman: “You may not.”

(She leaves the shelter. I hear her yell outside.)

Woman: “Honey, they were out of fat cats!”

Wish The Cat Caught Her Tongue

, , , , | | Working | May 25, 2018

(My friends and I are a bit bored, so we decide to go to our local cat adoption center to hang out with the cats. Usually the ladies there are more than happy to have people come in and keep the cats company, but today they have a new woman working. I’m speaking with one of the older workers about how I want a kitten someday in the future, and telling her about my current cat.)

Lady: “You want a cat? Well, what is your current cat like?”

Me: “Well, she’s a bit old and grumpy. She doesn’t really get along with other cats very well, but—”

Lady: “Was she raised around other cats?”

Me: “No, she was mostly raised around dogs. She doesn’t get along with other cats. That’s why—”

Lady: “Well, is she stuck in one room all the time?”

Me: “She likes to stay in one room. If we let her roam she tends to pee on carpets, especially if there are other animals in the house. So I was planning—”

Lady: “Well, she sounds very territorial. It sounds like you want this kitten for yourself, not for your cat. If you really want an application, I’ll give you one, but you shouldn’t be introducing a new cat into your house.”

(I try and get a word in, but she just shoves an application in my hands and walks away. My friends and I are all very confused, and I turn to the older worker I was speaking to previously.)

Me: “But I’m not even planning on getting another cat until after my cat is gone. I just wanted to pet the kittens.”

Worker: “Oh, don’t worry about her. She gets angry when people come in to pet the cats because she says you’re ‘getting their hopes up.’ I think it brightens their day to have people to play with!”

(I had a great time with the cats, but I won’t be back to adopt a cat while that lady is working. Hopefully she’s gone when I’m looking to adopt a cat in a few years!)

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