November 19th, 2009
Submitted by UAN Emergency Services Manager Janell Matthies
Another beautiful sunny day in St Agathe. The dogs seem to be doing very well — eating enthusiastically, drinking continually and finding new ways to bend their kennels so they can get out and run around. They have been keeping the volunteers very busy. Without a fenced-in area for walking dogs, we had to get creative today as many of the dogs won’t eliminate in their kennels.
We put two slip ties together to make a long leash, with one volunteer on each side of the strong dogs with their leashes and a “spotter” to help if needed and do clean up duty. All the dogs got to go outside, breathe the fresh air, and poop and pee to their hearts’ content. I originally had two people per dog in case of a leash slipping and wanted to make sure the dogs wouldn’t be able to run away. However, we realized the dogs, even the emaciated ones, would have overpowered most of us and we could be running back across the U.S. border if the dog so chose.
I know many folks are wondering, have I fallen for any this time? I can proudly say, “No.” Okay, fine, yes I’m in love. “Tucson” (roughly translates in English to “chubby little kid”) is a ten-year- old blind, crazy dog. He doesn’t care that he can’t see and just barrels down the hallway leading me where ever he wants to go. Anytime anyone walks into his room he knocks his kennel around and “roo-roo”s so loudly it makes your ears ring. He continually makes confetti of his newspapers and has also gone through three kennels, bending up the bars at the bottom in the front so he can stick his feet out. That’s all he wants to do; he’s not trying to escape. He just wants his feet out. Nutty dog. But he already has a new home to look forward to: the director of Siberian Husky Rescue plans to give him a new and wonderful forever home herself. Yay!
The volunteers have been incredible as always, dedicating themselves to the dogs’ care and never stopping to complain about the cold, the sore muscles, the hard floors or the aching backs. They are concentrating only on giving the dogs the best care possible and it shows. Many of the them are now napping in their kennels, awaiting dinner (the dogs, not the volunteers). They celebrate when one of the dogs finally pees and proudly tell each other graphic stories about their favorite dog’s poop. Being on deployment really is like being in another world, and as many of us have said, “there’s nowhere I’d rather be.”