Thursday, September 25, 2008

Suckers for the animals

Submitted by Janell Matthies of Sacramento, California, EARS leader on site

This morning started the same as the others. My roommates waking and cheerful at 6:20 a.m. Do they not realize this is the middle of the night for us Californians?! I rolled over and pretended to go back to sleep, but then images of the dogs (like Miss Fang, a three-pound Chihuahua who cowers in the corner and shows her teeth to anyone who comes near her cage) waiting to go for a walk and get breakfast started going through my mind. I'm such a sucker.

I stopped for the coffee in a box that I promised the volunteers and got to the shelter to see everyone already busy at work -- cleaning cages, feeding and walking dogs. When I walked into Miss Fang's room, she cowered, growled then saw it was me. She started the whole-body wag and approached the front of the cage. I got her out to snuggle and took her for her walk. Some of the others saw her and commented on how cute she is. Miss Fang responded by glaring at them, then hid her head under my arm. And I always thought I was a big-dog girl.

Big news! The German Shepherd dubbed Sarge by EARS volunteers Julie and Phil (Castenada of Topeka, Kansas) went home just now with his mom. Brandi Furr (staff with the Humane Society of Southeast Texas) had mixed emotions as she handed him over to his very, very happy mom. This is the dog who was obviously very fearful and stressed when he first arrived.

Julie, Phil and Brandi all felt an instant connection to him. Phil and Julie worked with Sarge, using their extraordinary animal-handling skills and experience and passed on their techniques to Brandi who took over his care and handling. They were best buds for the past few days and could be seen playing with the other dogs and getting lots of attention from each other.

When we brought Sarge (real name Taaka) to his mom, he jumped all over her, then turned around and sat on her feet. We all agreed he was telling her he had been so worried about her and was back with her to take care of things. It was a great reunion. (Taaka is pictured here with Janell, his mom and Barndi)

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