Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Feels like the first time

Submitted by first-time EARS volunteer Brian Massey of Indiana

Last Thursday morning when I got the e-mail deployment request, I was only routinely checking my e-mail. Even though I often sign on to the EARS volunteer message board, I had no idea an event was setting up in the region. While I'd been looking forward to deploying, I hadn't yet fully gathered my supplies in totes, and had only the stories from these blogs to picture what to expect.

I am so impressed with the amount of work we get done in such short amounts of time. Everything has a systematic process that works efficiently and can switch gears on the fly.

The first day, we did our best to calm the dogs' nerves as we fed them, gave them water, and cleaned up their messes in their crates. You could see the looks of wonder and confusion inch toward trusting. (Photo courtesy Miranda Pederson, Bowling Green Daily News)

The second day, we arrived back at the shelter to a cacophony of excited yelping and barking. "The people are back to visit us! I bet we get more Science Diet delicious food! Wow, I've been SO thirsty for so many days, and now I get water twice in one day!"

After a mid-day naptime for the pooches, imposed to give them some hugely needed rest, another round of great kibble and water stirred up some excitement and appreciation from our canine friends.

Since we are in charge of the same row of kennels, we get to know the temperments and medical status of each that we monitor. A black lab was undoubtedly saying to me this afternoon, "I piddled in here, could you change that for me because I feel bad about making a mess in the middle of the day."

I, on the other hand, was glad to see she was having good bodily functions and her eyes were bright and alert. But that longing look -- what a sweetheart! I hope she finds a forever home so soon. And the rest, too! In my row alone, there are so many cuties I would love to see pictures of once they've had fresh baths and healthy daily lives. But I have faith in the diligence of the area rescues already involved and The HSUS team also here finding places to foster the dogs. (Photo courtesy Miranda Pederson, Bowling Green Daily News)

This has been a really good deployment to start out with EARS. It's not overwhelmingly huge, which is providing just enough time to let everything I'm learning sink in. It's also not challengingly primitive, thanks to the good facility the dogs are housed in, and the careful attention the leadership is giving to the volunteers.


  1. I'm so glad you're there Brian. Thank you for taking such good care of all the dogs! They're so lucky to have all of you on their side.

  2. Thank you all so much for being there, and a special thanks to Brian for the terrific post and update. It's always inspiring for me to read these stories.

  3. Thank you for sharing! I am so glad that this has been such a positive experience for you.

  4. Brian, it was a real pleasure working/bonding with you and all the team in Bowling Green. Your enthusiasm, hard work, and compassion really raised the bar. Til we meet again...

  5. Worth the time, physical work, and grime to help those sweet dogs out.

  6. Brian, I'm so glad we met. Thank you for your inspiration and enthusiasm. You helped make my first time a wonderful time. Be sure to drop by the farm for those fresh eggs. D~


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