why dogs are women’s best friend

Last Saturday I went down to Petco and volunteered with the local shelter for their pet adoption clinic. They have it every Saturday from 10 – 2pm. I got there early and met two other volunteers before the van pulled up with Chris who was the staff person heading up the clinic. We all said Hi and proceeded to unpack the van along with getting out 4 of our cutie dogs who were adoption-ready.

Most of the job was to walk the animals every hour or so, pet and keep them calm and talk to potential adoption clients. It was a pretty easy job. All of the dogs but 1 you could pet through their kennels and even take them out for people to pet and visit with them. There was one dog there Chris said to let her walk and sit next to that he wasn’t really up for adoption and was very timid. She had been working with him for several months, he’s had a hard life so far and was very timid and only really trusted her. So, we placed several signs in front and on top of Brody’s cage saying DON’T PUT HANDS THROUGH BARS. Most times Brody just sat calmly in his kennel not barking or doing anything.

Well, people are just like kids. You tell them not to do something and next thing you know someone’s got their face down in Brody’s cage talking to him and he’s barking and growling. I could understand where he was coming from, too. Some human puts their stupid face in mine I’m going to say, Back off, Buster! I even had to stop one child from putting her hands in there right after telling both the parents that this one was the only one that couldn’t be petted.

People can be so stupid, really. We had four other dogs that were sweet as could be that people did visit with and talk to but every hour or so someone stupid would come up to Brody and get him barking. One lady even said he didn’t deserve to be there and should be put down.

Now, let’s step back. Most of these animals have been in the shelter for at least 2-6 months. Some even longer. Even bringing them out for adoption is a break for them. They get a change of scenery, fresh air, get walked every hour – even Brody – and it’s just a good change for them. Brody may have been beaten in his last life or chained up and severely neglected. People are working with him instead of just giving up and putting him down.

Like every volunteer opportunity it comes with educating morons people about the process, why it’s important and how to take steps not to be stupid in the future to keep meeting the goals of the organization. At least that’s what I kept telling myself – especially, when this crackhead homeless woman eyeing our donation bucket on top of Brodys kennel came up and was taunting him. That was the last straw for me, really – I felt she was just causing a distraction so she could grab the money and run off. I stepped between her and the kennel and told her to move on off and stop antagonizing the dog. She left and Chris came up and said that I handled it well.

I tried to think back on doing the 3-day walk if I ever ran into crazy people that didn’t understand the organization or why we were there. Although, the difference with that organization and this one was the former was all about raising money. You couldn’t raise enough money – ever. This one is all about people adopting, volunteering their time, taking a pet home for a day just to get them out of the shelter and they’re running free adoptions for dogs over 25 pounds and cats this month so they’re certainly not money-driven although money is always accepted. So, there are some differences. I just don’t remember wanting to throw someone off a building feeling like this when I walked the 3-day – maybe it was just because I was so tired walking 20 miles a day.

After the event was over (and, no dogs went home with anyone but one got some paperwork filled out on her so I have my fingers crossed she’ll get adopted) I went home and let my own dogs out and told them how lucky they were to veg on the couch all day watching soccer. Then, I had to meet a landscape client who was just around the corner.

When I went there I realized she lived in this kind of run-down condo complex. I wondered why she needed landscape maintenance until I pulled up at her front door. It was very run down and there was this disheveled woman who came out. She looked so familiar, too, but I couldn’t place her. It was obvious why she needed someone because the small patch in front was all weeds and poison ivy. We talked and she just needed someone to mow it down and clean it up. The next door neighbor had his front lawn all torn up and it looked sod-ready, however, he had artificial turf rolled up at the curb like he was going to lay it on top of the dirt. (Yeah, talk about TACKY!) I asked her if he was laying that and she said, Yes.

He could lay sod on top of what he’s prepped easily.

She just shrugged her shoulders. The whole time I was thinking I was going to price her high because I didn’t want the job when he came out and picked up a few sticks that were in the parking lot and said, I’d appreciate it if you didn’t throw your sticks into the parking lot.

I wanted to say, Dude! You’re laying astro turf onto dirt and you’re complaining about a few sticks??

I went around back to see what the client had there and like the front it was full of weeds. I told her I would email her a quote this week and as we were walking around the front someone pulled up and stopped. It was the guy’s girlfriend/partner/wife/skank whatever. The lady said, Oh, I’m sorry you’re in her space.

I waved and shouted, I’m moving, I’m moving! And turned to the lady shook her hand and said nice meeting you and ran to the truck.

Too late the lady had already torn off in her car in a heat when there were spaces on either side of me that she could have parked temporarily. I got in the truck and thought, What the f*ck is wrong with people?

I was angry and wanted to cry. I think the day had gotten to me. I drove home and let the dogs out again and sat down and cracked a beer and wrote up that lady’s quote – cheap. I wasn’t going to take that job until that neighbor was such a d*ckhead to her. Now I’m p*ssed. F-him I’m gonna make that place look so good and he can go f*ck himself with his rolled up astro turf.

The next day, Charlie and I just took it easy. We were meeting Link and gf Nana for Link’s sister, Sue Ellen’s bday brunch. I prayed they were going to be the only one’s there but I was wrong. Of course both Mike and Dino were there with their wives. Mike unfortunately sat next to me. I was hoping nothing about the bachelor party was going to come up and it didn’t however, when Nana asked me about my new job Mike started in on why it was such a bad company (Mike retired from the company before it got bought out by fortune 500 company) and that I shouldn’t invest in company stock and he hoped it worked out, etc. I added that we were #10 of profit making on the list of Fortune 500 companies but he wasn’t deterred.  I think Nana was sorry she asked because the whole conversation became about Mike (as always). I ignored Mike and actually turned sideways in my seat putting my back to him the rest of the meal only focusing on Charlie, Link, Nana and Sue Ellen. Dino and Martha were there but Dino was constantly out smoking with Mike’s wife, Celia every ten minutes I didn’t talk to him that much. All I can say is that it was a good thing we met them the next day and not the day before because there probably would have been drinks in Mike’s face spilt and me storming out of the restaurant.

I’m tired of grumpy friends these days, too. There’s one I ask to do things with and get ignored or they’re snippy with me over text. Other’s we met up with and they’re grouchy and then there’s Mike. I don’t’ care to see Mike and his wife for a long time now (in fact, usually when we know they’re going to be there we pass). I wouldn’t mind seeing Link and Nana for a couple’s thing because they are always in a good mood. Although, Charlie and I have been working so much these days that it’s hard to have any energy to chase them down put towards making plans and doing them. We were so tired last week we skipped Weezer and Panic at the Disco. I gave the tickets to a young guy in my class, instead. (He was happy, too, and I was so glad they didn’t go to waste). Charlie’s going to Florida this weekend to see her boys and after I make that client’s yard from above look good I’m flopping the rest of the weekend with the dogs who are certainly never grouchy when I’m around. Maybe there will even be some pizza crusts in their future and we have plenty of soccer to watch.

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