This Story Is A Real Treat

, , , , , | Working | October 29, 2020

In 2013, I spend a few weeks in Ireland, where I volunteer full-time at a small local dog rescue. English is a second language for me and I speak it fairly well, but I don’t speak Irish at all.

In the afternoon, when most of the daily chores are taken care of, I am free to take some of the dogs for a longer walk or cuddle and play with them.

One of the dogs in the kennels is a very timid adult male border collie, a stray who arrived a day or two before I did. He is very wary of humans and the constant barking and noise in the shelter stress him out. Consequently, he doesn’t eat well and spends most of the day curled up in the far back corner of his kennel. Whenever I can, I take him out for a long walk so he can get away from the stressful environment and relax a bit. It is quite a challenge as he is not used to walking on a leash, and close contact with humans makes him incredibly nervous. We usually walk for a bit until we find a nice, quiet spot where we sit down two or three meters apart and just enjoy the view.

Over the course of about two weeks, we manage to build some trust and he calms down considerably during our walks. One day, when we arrive at our usual spot, instead of keeping his distance as usual, he sits down right next to me and even accepts the treat I offer him!

Back in the kennels, I find the manager to tell her about the progress I made with the dog.

Me: “We’ve come so far! He came right up and sat with me, and he let me give him a treat!”

The manager seems confused for a bit.

Manager: “Which dog is that? What’s his name?”

I tell her and describe him. Suddenly, she starts laughing out loud and can’t seem to stop.

Apparently, this dog didn’t have a name when they picked him up from the pound. Because they received a few black and white border collies from two different locations on the same day, she just wrote down the name of the location on the little whiteboard at the front of the kennel and forgot to change it to a proper name later on. However, I didn’t notice this and just assumed it was some Irish name I had never heard of before. We laugh about it and agree to find a good name that suits him.

A few days later, the manager approaches me, asking about the dog’s progress.

Manager: “The other volunteers tell me that the dog outright refuses to be taken out of his kennel for a walk and that he still doesn’t eat properly or take treats from anyone.”

Confused, I grab a collar and leash and take her to his kennel, where he is curled up in a corner as usual. I call him by his name and he immediately comes to the front, shyly wagging his tail. I put the leash on him and take him outside the building where I hand him a few treats that he basically inhales.

Manager: “Well, I guess the dog is yours now.”

She turns around and goes back to work.

For a few days, I contemplate whether I can actually take on the responsibility of having a dog — I am still a university student on a tight budget — especially a former stray that has no training and probably comes with a good load of bad experiences and trauma. But finally, I decide to take him with me to Germany. We still haven‘t come up with a new name for the paperwork, and since he already responds to the one accidentally given to him, I decide to keep it.

And this is the story of how my dog, Mayo, got himself a new home and a rather unique name.

This story is part of our Feel Good roundup for October 2020!

Read the next Feel Good roundup story!

Read the Feel Good roundup for October 2020!

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They Deserve A Cat Nap After This Rescue, Part 2

, , | Right | September 16, 2020

My mother and I run a cat rescue. A woman shows up at my house; she needs somewhere to board her cat for a while because she needs to move. My mom and I are willing to help, but we need information. 

Mom: “Does your cat have FIV?”

Cat Owner: “He’s never been tested, but I know he doesn’t have it.”

Mom: “If he’s never been tested, you can’t really know he doesn’t have it. It’s very sudden. How long will he need to be boarded?”

Cat Owner: “I don’t know.”

Mom: “Well, we’ll need to know dates and stuff, because it’ll be very difficult to find a foster if we don’t have a time frame.”

Cat Owner: “Well, I don’t know how long it will take.”

Mind you, she had already told me before my mom walked up that it would take a couple of weeks.

Mom: “I can’t really help you without information.”

Cat Owner: “You know what? Y’all can go to Hell! You’re a bunch of stupid b****es anyway. I hate people like you. You’re trash!”

This is why I don’t give people my address.

They Deserve A Cat Nap After This Rescue

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We Feed Them Sarcasm And Kibble

, , , | Right | September 13, 2020

Two ladies turn up at the animal shelter I work at to sign over a pair of kittens. This happens as we’re filling out paperwork.

Customer #1: “You feed them while they’re here, right?”

Me: *Deadpan* “Nope.”

Customer #2: “MOM! Seriously?”

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Ahh, Bonding

, , , , , | Legal | August 13, 2020

I was involved in… erm… liberating a family of abused dogs from a backyard breeder. This is the only time I’ve ever done something in my life that would be considered wrong in the eyes of authority; I’ve always been very straight-laced. However, my brother has fallen on the wrong side of the law quite a few times.

I call my mum to give her an update on the situation and let her know I’m safe, which she’s glad to hear, but she’s also annoyed that I’m doing something she considers to be wrong. 

Unfortunately, I decided to cheer her up by saying, “Well, I guess my brother and I do finally have one thing in common; we’re both criminals!”

I’m going to hear about this for the rest of my life.

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I Know Why The Caged Dog Barks

, , , | Working | July 17, 2020

It’s a slow day at work, so my coworker and I are looking up cute pictures of dogs at the local city pound. My coworker frantically tells me to stop and enlarge one certain picture, which I do.

Coworker: “That’s my dog! That’s my dog who ran away three months ago! I’m sure of it! I never thought we’d see her again; we looked everywhere for her!”

We read the description of the dog: female, same breed, and same age as her missing pet. My coworker is thrilled but a bit panicky.

Coworker: “What am I going to do? The pound will be closed by the time we get off work! Even if I leave now, I’ll barely make it!”

Me: “Go. I’ll explain it all to [Boss].”

We have a very friendly and understanding workplace, so I know our boss will make an exception.

Coworker: “Are you sure?”

Me: “Go!”

My coworker hurries out the door while I go talk to [Boss]. Sure enough, he gives her permission to leave early to find her dog.

My coworker arrives barely ten minutes before the pound closes. She goes right up to the front desk and gives them a description of her dog.

Employee #1: “We don’t have that dog anymore.”

Coworker: *Shocked* “But you posted it on your web page!”

Employee #1: *Gets an attitude* “We sent it to a different kennel. And I know it’s not your dog. That dog we had is male. You’re saying your dog is female.”

Coworker: “Your website said it was female!”

Employee #1: “It’s not.”

Coworker: *Getting suspicious* “Can I at least go back and see the dogs?”

Employee #1: “We’re closed.”

Coworker: *Looks at the clock* “You’re open for another seven minutes. I just want to walk by the cages really quickly.”

Employee #1: *Groans* “Fine.”

He leads her to the back in-house kennels. However, they’re ALL empty.

Coworker: “Where are all your dogs?”

The employee addresses her like he’s talking to a small child.

Employee #1: “They’re out back for the night. In the outside kennels.”

Coworker: “Can I see them, please?

The employee relents and shows her the door to the outside kennels. It’s shaped like a C with cages in the curve and a door at both ends. Sure enough, all the dogs are out there. 

The moment my coworker walks through the first door, it shuts behind her. Then, she hears it click. She tries the handle but it’s locked. Figuring it is an “entrance only” door and the other door is the exit, she makes a quick sweep of the kennels. It only takes a minute — a literal sixty-second minute — to confirm none of the dogs are hers. 

She arrives at the second door. It’s locked, too. She pounds on it, rattles the handle, and looks for a doorbell. Nope, nothing. So, she hurries back to the first door. Still locked.

It gets worse. Through the chain-link fence, she sees the same employee she was talking to get into his car and drive away.

Frantic at being locked in the outside pound all night — as well as one larger dog starting to growl at her — my coworker starts to rattle the fence, scream, and in general make as much noise as she possibly can. Of course, Murphy’s Law, she was in such a hurry to get into the pound before it closed, she left her cell phone in her car. None of the other employees seem to notice as they leave a couple of minutes later, also driving away, leaving her still trapped.

Fortunately, a customer happens to be exiting the store next door. She sees my coworker, who is now screaming, “Help, I’m locked in!” The customer races to her own vehicle and whips out of the store parking lot and into the pound parking lot. She BARELY catches the final employee before he leaves for the night.

The customer explains what’s going on with a lot of pointing, all while my coworker is kicking up a fuss. The employee doesn’t even return inside to unlock the door at first. The first thing he does is walk up to my coworker and talk to her through the fence.

Employee #2: *Grins* “Well, you ain’t have a good day, are you, lady?”

By the time he went back into the building and unlocked the door to let my coworker out, she was so angry she was shaking and crying. It took her a full twenty minutes to calm down in her car before she started making calls — to the owner of the pound, to the local council, and to her husband. 

The owner of the pound got back to her and was very apologetic. He even offered her the phone number of the other kennel they worked with. She did call to find out if her dog was there. It wasn’t, and the dog we thought was hers was male all along, although how a pound couldn’t tell, we don’t know. 

The sad part of this story is that she never was able to find her dog. However, while I don’t know the exact details of what happened, I do know an investigation occurred. They were able to pull up security footage, proving my coworker was locked outside the pound in their enclosed area for almost twenty minutes. There was a VERY MAJOR overhaul in the entire way our city’s pound was run — including eliminating the kill policy and largely increasing visibility to return lost pets to their owners. I don’t think any of the employees work there anymore, and it seems to be a much better place.

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