February 4th, 2011
|Getting kisses from puppies|
It was a busy day for the dogs and the UAN volunteers today. Each dog was taken by a volunteer to be examined by a veterinarian to determine immediate health needs and to get its weight, temperature, heart rate and other vital statistics. The dogs were then microchipped and given vaccinations and preventive medications. Though it is a long and sometimes tedious process, it also allows the volunteers time to interact with the dogs and get the really neglected ones used to being handled.
|Getting his first touch of love|
Most of them were a bit nervous at first but quickly calmed down and truly enjoyed being cuddled and petted. The puppies were the most fun, cuddling and nuzzling and kissing, with their tails wagging non-stop.
|Tracy cuddles the poodle with the
string around his foot
There was also the black and white Maltese whose eyes were basically matted shut, preventing him from being able to see much, if anything at all. He was sent to a veterinarian, along with my chocolate dog mentioned previously and a few other severe cases, to be sedated for grooming/shaving in an attempt to minimize the stress and the potential discomfort of removing the large quantities of matted hair covering their bodies. In addition, there were other dogs who had injuries requiring surgery, like the black toy poodle with a string wrapped around his foot so tightly that it was embedded in his skin and could not be removed without surgery; we hope he will keep his foot, but watching his resiliency during the entire exam, this little guy is a survivor, no matter what happened to him.
|Sloan Smith with a dog prior
We also did our own sort of “grooming” for those dogs needing quick attention to relieve the discomfort of their matted limbs. Sloan Smith, groomer extraordinaire (not necessarily by choice) and local volunteer, shaved while I held and comforted several dogs that needed some quick relief. Though we are pretty certain we should keep our day jobs, we did give some dramatic relief to a few dogs that needed to relieve themselves of about 50 percent of their body weight in useless hair.
|And five pounds of fur later!|
All in all, it was a good day. We got all of the dogs (and our token kitty) vetted, and began the road to recovery for those that needed health care and those that needed to feel the love of a human being for the first time in their lives.