It was a very exhausting week at the shelter. Too many dogs, and more than that... too many aggressive dogs. We had an incident were a sweet beagle snuck out of his kennel during water bowl fills, and tangled with a dog aggressive dog going for a walk with a seasoned volunteer. It wasn't a fight more than it was a 'grab and shake' of the beagle. The sweet guy never had a chance against the catahoula mix. I used all my 'dog separating' skills, to get the hound to drop the beagle with no success. Luckily, the walker and I stayed calm and finally after what seemed like hours, the dog let go and I rushed the beagle to the office. He had 1 puncture and road rash, but no broken bones. We gave him antibiotics and pain meds. He saw the vet the next day, and was fine & back to his happy beagley self.
The adrenaline rush was extreme and I left work exhausted. It was the second time in a week I faced a line of snarling canine teeth. The first was a JRT who decided my upper legs were fun to hang off. Thank god for jeans...I only escaped with bruising, where my co worker in scrubs suffered a worse bite on her calf. Neither of these dogs are currently on the adoption floor.
My only salvation was my herding fun day with Brees. I made a promise to myself that I would only take the kennel manager position as long as I remember the joy of my own dogs. Compassion fatigue is a huge problem among shelter/rescue work, and I refuse to be consumed by the tragedies of the job. Its not all bad, but it is all exhausting. Its dirty, loud, physical and emotional.
Wednesday I spent the day in company of a peaceful sheep farm with my funny little puppy and a good friend. It gave me a glimpse in what I hope I will have someday.