Thursday, July 15, 2010

Because I Want to Remember This Day

I think most of you know by now that my "new" job I started earlier this year was with a humane organization...a shelter, if you must. Anyway, we often take in animals....mainly puppies....from other area shelters who have no space when we do have space.

These puppies, by the time they reach our door, have been through God knows what. They have been to at least one other shelter, came from who knows what kind of situation to get there, and have been moved from crate to kennel, post to pillar.

Then, they come to our door, go through intake, and within two or three days, undergo major surgery (a spay or neuter) and are poked and prodded with injections and such, receiving their vaccines, being dewormed. Then, they are put up for adoption and poked and prodded by all kinds of folk until someone decides they want to take them home. And then they go to a new home, maybe with little kids. Or other animals. All this and they are only seven or eight weeks old.

It's a lot of stress. They are very little. It's amazing that any of them survive, but the vast majority of them do make it and find wonderful forever homes with a loving family. Like Charlie. But some don't make it. They become sickly...often respiratory problems...effected by all the chaos they have been through.

Since I have been at the shelter, I think we have lost four or five puppies. They seem to become sick in batches. After I first started, we lost three in a few weeks. This week was another batch. Two puppies, within days of being adopted. The first one died Tuesday. She had been adopted by a family with a little girl. I helped them pick out the puppy. The little girl was so happy. I cannot imagine how her parents told her the puppy did not make it.

Now, I need to back up and tell you that every time...each and every time...a puppy comes back sick, my boss take the puppy into his office and cares for it until it recovers...or not. He takes it home every night. Feeds it from syringes. Every two hours. All night long. If that's what it takes. He takes it to the emergency vet  on Sundays. He is not a vet, but he puts his heart and soul into each puppy's survival.

This week, there was a second puppy. She had an upper respiratory that turned into pneumonia. But that little puppy...she was a fighter. She held on all week. She wouldn't give up on her own. The puppy's parent...a young man...decided he couldn't bear seeing her so sick after visiting her last night, and relinquished her back to us.

My boss told me after the young man left yesterday that he would probably keep the puppy if she made it. He said he had bonded with her. He was impressed by her strength.

This morning, my boss took the puppy to a vet that helps us out. They did an X-ray and found out one of her lungs was so damaged that even if she did recover, she would be an invalid. So my boss decided the puppy needed to be at peace.

This afternoon, our vet came and administered the euthanasia. At the time, I did not know what was happening so I went to my boss' office door...and saw him in the back corner of his office (where you cannot really see him) with his back to the door, cradling that puppy in a towel. I turned around and left.

Now, I will tell you that my boss has been in this business more than 20 years. And it makes me glad that he still becomes attached. That he still bonds. That he still cradles dying puppies in his arms. I am glad I work for this person who has a heart. And I am writing this post because I want to remember this day so that when I become discouraged at my job or irritated with my boss, I will remember why we do what we do and that he is a good man. Later peeps. B.


blackbird said...

You're lucky to be where you are.
But you know that.

Janice said...

I have met this man. Very special boss man that you have. Glad you work for him. Not many of us are blessed with a person like him in our lives.

Sonya said...

So sad. And lovely.

bunny said...

BB, yes. And yes.

Mom Janice and Sonya, I am blessed and everything we do is sad and lovely.

PS, He told me yesterday that he took the puppy home and buried it in his yard because he did not want it to go to the landfill/incinerator.

Elisabeth said...

What a blessing. I am so happy that you are where you are and work for something (& someone) you can believe in so passionately. Great post. Thanks for sharing.

I've been thinking about y'all this week anyway. Did you get any of the pups taken from the Jefferson mill last weekend? I've wondered if it had any connection to where I got Annie...