it was two full hours in the mp room after work tonight...a hour for wilma to feed, medicate, get her up for a walk around and a pee plus settle the other guys...and then another full hour in the mp room cuz riley was utterly gross again tonight. i did manage to shower her on my own...i just let her lay down in the shower and kept washing and soaking and washing and soaking til i got the old urine smell off of her coat. then i drained the shower out...dried her and turned her and dried her some more before getting her back to her clean bed.
still it was a helluvalot of hard work to do on my own.
but here is the thing...riley can't help that she can't get up on her own and sometimes pees where she lays...but that doesn't mean that we can walk away and leave her like that...she has a right to be clean and dry and comfortable. if the smell of her really bothers me...with her far more sensitive nose, i know it bothers her even more.
and so do i put down this ancient utterly sweet and very alert and interested dog simply because her legs are weak and her bladder leaks? or do i just bite the bullet and make absolutely sure she gets without fail the care that she needs...even if that care needs to be given at the end of a long work day for me?
caring for these old and physically disabled animals really is not easy..it is brutal and constant hard work. this isn't a place to sit on our laurals (or asses) and brag about how great we are. every single day, i see how and where we could do better in some small or large ways for them...sometimes having to think of really big solutions to problems..sometimes as simple as just being willing to give them a really good bedtime bath.
this is what we promised them..myself and every single volunteer and paid staff...that we would do our best for them...not just on some days, not just when we feel like it but as often as we possibly can.
jenn got an email today from someone who just wants to volunteer to pet animals..well... ALL of us would just like to sit around and do that! but ALL of us put much more into here than just that! maggie takes the extra and stinky gawd awful laundry, mo and ko get dirty and soaking wet every weekend out in the barn...tammy chokes herself with bleach to make sure those cat areas are spotlessly clean, derek and jen scrub down and move all of the furniture, helga brings the cats special foods and takes their laundry home to do, penny and marta stripped down the rabbit rooms, ann takes care of our paper shit, curt fixes my computer, brenda, lynn, diane, shawn, erin and dionne scrub the crap out of the house..i could go on and on and list a twenty more folks who clean, fundraise, walk dogs, update petfinder and websites, bring in donations, take pictures, wash windows, build/fix stuff, answer emails, write grants, give tours, foster more senior and special needs saints animals in their homes, and even change my bed that the dogs wrecked! AND we ALL somehow manage to even pet and love the animals too!!!
tonight i am frustrated by how hard and never ending this caring work is...but..i am still going to do it.