Friday, July 10, 2009

The dust is starting to settle

Submitted by EARS Roxanne Quinlan of Austin, Texas

This morning was really exciting. We moved the last section of dogs out of the giant airline carriers and into cages. It was great finally being able to glance in and see how they were doing without having to crawl on the floor! To me, it seems like the dogs are finally starting to settle in. At first, lots of them were just afraid when you came to their cage. But now they get excited when they smell the food, and recognize that we are here to make them feel more comfortable. We still have a bunch of them who just freeze when we take them out to clean their cages. But even they are getting better: Now when you walk by, they sometimes tentatively wag their tails, and come to the front to get some love.

A new group of volunteers arrived, and even after the short time we've been here, it was great to have some new blood. I feel like I'm so tired, that I can barely remember my name, let alone what day it is! Today was frustrating for me, since as we set up cages, we kick up a bit of dust. Today I reacted to something that made it hard for me to breathe. I hate to not help the team, but Andy (EARS Field Leader) and I agreed that perhaps I should take a break. So I sat in the hotel room until the dust cleared, and Andy called me back to take care of my babies!

When you have a problem like this on a deployment, your mind wants to continue, but the body does not cooperate, which is frustrating. But the team leader is there to look after every member of the team, so we can look after the animals, and I think it was a good idea for me to take a break and recharge.

I'm much better now, after a two-hour break. And despite my short absence, the animals still received quality care from my teammates. One for all and all for one!

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