Rescue Journal

the domino effect

Carol  ·  Apr. 11, 2011

there is a domino effect in a bad day that if you are not very, very careful..will become an avalanche of really crappy things, one piling on top of another and eventually burying someone or something.
this post is not intended as blame...shit happens, sometimes several times all in one day. but it is intended as a learning post..for me, for you, for anybody else who is responsible for the care and well being of vulnerable shelter animals.

the day started off with a sick call which totally sucked because i was on the very early shift and had already left the house. this house at pooh corner is a house of cards...everything works if extreme care is taken, it all falls apart in an instant of being too rushed.

the staff here today, were not house staff..they did their best to get thru the day. but there were some possible casualties of today's crappy day..

tina got out somewhere, sometime. no one knew she was gone until at 3;30 pm halfway to abbotsford to meet sheila and leila for an early dinner i got the call from a woman about 3 miles away straight thru the bush who found tina in her front yard.

i immediately turned right around and rushed back to mission to claim our missing dog. the what if's of high speed traffic on back country roads, coyotes and bobcats hunting in the bush, a tiny little dog becoming forever lost...every possible could have been..played thru my head.

i got her and am forever beyond grateful that tina was well and safe. i dropped her off at home, safely closed in my room, did a quick head count and now very late, rushed out to meet my friends for our dinner date without doing a more careful all around the house safety check.
i got home just after 7 pm...gave the classy chick in the cage in the shop some much needed food and water. i made sure frodo was in and fed him too and then headed over to the mp building and did the diabetics, fed everyone there and finally made into the house.

and oh my freaking god! sherlock's gate hadn't been locked properly and sometime between 4pm and 7 pm, he had gotten loose in the kitchen with all of the frail dogs. there was shit and piss covering every corner, the counters had been knocked clean of everything and there was three pounds of cat litter all over the floor. he had gotten into the cupboard under the sink and partially eaten several pairs of rubber gloves. he chewed off the cap of some stain remover bottle and the bottle is empy..i have no idea if he drank any or if the contents are mixed in with the pee. in his absolute frantic joyful frenzy at finally being totally free, he had been using maude and mandy for his living chew toys..both are beyond traumatized, maude especially.

sherlock is a puppy without a mean bone in his body but he has been confined for months now...he exploded in that kitchen like somekind of hyperactive kid at his first birthday party and he wound himself up in to a playing frenzy more and more, totally oblivious to the absolute distress of mandy and maude. i will not be surprized if maude strokes tonight.

over dinner tonight sheila and leila and i talked about a lot of animal related things..we touched briefly on all kinds of interesting stuff...including shelter care.

it is absolutely imperative that anyone working or volunteering in shelters understand not only the individual animals INDIVIDUALLY but be willing and able to connect the dots of how each animal may impact something or someone else.

we know tina is a runner, her dad told us so. we also know she is a new dog and new dogs are unsure here. tina should never have had free and unsupervised access to the back yard..we should have connected the dots and known there was a risk of her getting out.

we know sherlock is a cage bound puppy whose brain has shifted into getting into EVERYTHING and wrecking as much of it as he possibly can, he is now acting like a happy speed freak maniac, and being incredibly stupid, all rolled into one. the only thing separating him from our frailest and most vulnerable dogs is a gate that he already knows how to open..this is why we have a leash lock on he can't get it open and get free.
the what if's for tina thank god didn't happen...i don't know yet if maude or mandy will stroke over being repeatedly good naturedly mauled by an lunatic puppy moron and i don't know if sherlock has poisoned himself with stain remover or not yet.

but there is a ripple effect to all we do or don't do in caring for shelter animals and some of the ripple effects are not very good. it is imperative that each and every one of us take our responsibility to these animals extremely seriously...sometimes it is too late to undue a thoughtless or careless or too rushed thing (like me not doing a more thorough safety check.) is always better to take the time to look around, notice every possible little might be a dangerous thing and prevent the possibilities of terrible things from happening.

today's crappy saints day is a really good reminder for all of us.



OMG!! The Saints angels are watching out...just like last time with our runner Pixie.....thank you!


i babysit a lot for my daughter but i can always bring jude with me. post on the blog if you are shortstaffed and i can come up and help. shit what a horrible day. even email me at k9lady i will always come and help. hope all dogs are okay.


omg Carol, I hope Maudie, Mandy, Sherlock and Tina are ok. Sherlock is so sweet, but he is a big puppy. He started to chew on Maude on the weekend and I immediately put him back in his area- and he certainly knows how to get out of the gate without that special leash-lock on the door. YOU just get no breaks - no one's fault, but just no breaks! I'm so sorry for your awful day.

Ann C

Oh Carol what a horrid day, I hope Maude, Mandy & Sherlock are all ok tonight.