Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Yesterday was a busy day at the animal shelter. Mondays are always busy, just because we have animals building up over the weekend and everyone comes to reclaim them on Monday, but there were a lot of adoptions as well. I think the Christmas season makes a lot of people want to adopt a pet as a sort of "Christmas present."

Just make sure your wife/husband/other recipient WANTS a cat or dog (or white rat, or goat, or pig, or gerbil) around the house. They're not like most other presents that you can toss in the back of the closet or return if you don't want them. And a toaster is a toaster, but a lot of people only like a certain color or type of dog or cat, and the gift-giver might not know which. For example, I really like heelers, but I don't like shi tzus. "But they're both smaller dogs!" someone might say. Yeah, well, heelers are cute and shi tzus aren't.

I learned an interesting lesson yesterday as well. We had a giant husky come in, and they're usually very confident dogs. However, as I walked this one to the front desk to get a collar for him, then to his cage, he would every now and then flatten himself on the floor, stubbornly refusing to move. Dogs do this frequently when they're nervous , but there's a lot of dogs to take care of and we don't always have time to nicely persuade them to move. It took some impatient tugging on the leash to get this husky to move, but I finally got him to his cage. I stepped him through the door, but it wasn't until he turned around and ran into the cage door that I had just shut that I realized he was blind.

His eyes looked perfectly normal, but as I jerked my hand towards his face, stopping an inch short, he didn't even blink or flinch. (And his owners came in that afternoon to pick him up and confirmed it.) Well, that explained the nervousness and flattening himself on the floor while I was walking him--he had no idea where he was going, or if he was about to hit something.

I said it was a lesson to me, and the lesson was this: sometimes people may frusterate you (refusing to move, pulling the wrong way on the leash, etc.) and it MAY just be out of contrariness, but sometimes they may have a legitimate reason (like the blind dog). Sometimes you just don't know the reason, so don't be too quick to judge.

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