Variety is the Spice of Life

Lately, I've been volunteering at the animal shelter on Monday and Friday mornings. My schedule is really tight, but I tell myself that I can give up a few hours a week. Sometimes, it can be difficult to get there, but the variety of dogs I'm exposed to at the shelter keeps me going. No surprise, this tiny chi was adopted right away. Good thing because I was tempted to take this little flower bud home myself!

Juju is a 10-year old pug. Lucky that I don't know who her previous owner was because I wouldn't have been nice to him/her. Juju is about twice the size she should be, and her nails were so long that she had to walk on the sides of her paws. I'd like to meet Juju's previous owner alright--in the back of a dark alley! But a dog park friend of mine, already a pug owner, has taken Juju home as a foster--thank goodness for kind people like her! Juju has been bathed, her skin folds have been swabbed out, and her nails have been clipped. Going forward, she'll get the daily exercise she so badly needs and hopefully get down to a healthy weight.

The area around the shelter is very industrial and run down, not the prettiest scenery. But I've come to appreciate these big cement blockades--they make a great leash walking practice course. I like weaving back and forth through them, changing directions unexpectedly to keep the dogs' attention on me. Pictured is Bo, a 9-year old Gordon setter who is recovering from Lyme disease.

I'm always surprised by how scared dogs are of this car wash balloon guy. Big, tough pitbull Major was completely freaked out by the blowing advertisement. I could not get him to walk past it, so we ended up having to cross the street to get around it. Makes me realize how important guide dog puppy training was--I know Cabana could walk by it without a flinch.

This is 12-year old Chili. He walks on 3 legs but gets around well in spite of his handicap. The shelter is paying for surgery to correct his hind leg, and he'll need a 6-week recovery foster. I think it's awesome that they are willing to spend the money on a senior dog like Chili. He deserves to live the rest of his life in comfort and good health. Yep, volunteering is definitely worth any time I can give.

JackDaddy  – (August 18, 2012 at 9:47 PM)  

How wonderful for you to do the volunteer work! I'm afraid I would end up with 50 dogs at my house!

Min  – (August 19, 2012 at 1:19 PM)  

Keep up with the great work, Mimi! Also, do you have any tips on how I can get Bella to walk better on the leash? Even the Easy Harness makes for a frustrating walk. Our lives would be so much better if we could figure this out.

Becky  – (August 19, 2012 at 8:23 PM)  

Oh my what beautiful/important volunteer work you are doing. Oh, the pug .. just spent the evening with Natalie and Adam's pug -- so fun (she was rescued). Hope they all find loving homes. Agree that would be so hard not to end up with them all at home!

Mango  – (September 2, 2012 at 5:32 AM)  

I used to volunteer at the dog orphanage, but found myself bringing home dogs that were not suited to my household (well, only twice, but they both had to go back). I also got mad at the owners because they seemed to misrepresent some of the dogs' issues on the adoption forms. Hopefully your experience is more positive. It can be heartbreaking how easily so many good dogs are tossed aside.

Mango Momma

Susan Campisi  – (September 3, 2012 at 4:09 PM)  

It's so good of you to find time in your busy schedule to volunteer. It's great that this shelter invests time and money on some of the more high-maintenance dogs, who, I hate to say it, would probably not survive in an LA shelter. Of course I'm in love with the pittie! The other day a balloon floated down from the sky into our yard and Louise was terrified. It was hilarious.

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