I’m sitting poolside and sipping a Corona, slight sunburn on my shoulders. Sounds delicious normally but you should see me…nay, smell me. Vacation this is not. It’s just after midnight and we’ve just completed our third fourteen-hour day of working at the Pasado’s Safe Haven triage center on a private ranch in Raceland, Louisiana. Yesterday, we sent 5 dogs to Vegas and another 15 animals left to various homes around the country. A lot of work and a very long day but I rewarded myself by playing with a four-month-old pitt bull and teaching him “sit” and “shake” in about 30 minutes. This morning, he semi-learned “down”. By the end of my tenure, Paquita will look like chopped liver. His paperwork says his owner wants him, yet his owner hasn’t checked in over a week. People keep saying he’s mine and part of me thinks, “Yeah, I would totally love him better.” But, really, he’s not for me. He will be small for a pitt bull mix, but he is a chewer and a play biter and, well, he’s not “it”.
Today we vaccinated each and every animal with a distemper combo and rabies shot. Quite a task given that most of the dogs want to eat each other and here we are parading them in and out like tuna rolls on a sushi bar conveyor belt. But it went seamlessly and not a single one had an allergic reaction. Whew!
This hardly tells of our experience…mundane chatter about vaccines and walking dogs and scraping up poop. We are bonding with the animals. We try to pamper them in some small way. Keith likes to give them biscuits and extra walks to his favorites. I like to make sure they have a soft blanket for their bony frames and a toy to help fill their idle time. There are a few who desperately need to RUN — off-leash — for about twenty minutes a day. Unfortunately, they can’t get that any time soon. We have our favorites and will be sure to post their photos soon.
The highlight, for Keith especially, was the dinner we were catered courtesy of two friends, women whose birthdays are just days apart. One lives in Oklahoma and the other in Colorado and they joined forces to ask their friends to donate to Pasado’s in lieu of gifts. They raised lots of money, but they didn’t stop there. Instead of throwing themselves birthday parties, they used that money to have a local caterer provide tonight’s dinner, birthday cake and card included. We sang them happy birthday in absentia and listened as the caterer read their card aloud. (I hope to upload the video soon.)
After dinner, was our last walking of the dogs for the night. Another fourteen hours of working down, twenty eight more to go.
Finished with my last Corona. Off to BED!