Monday, July 6, 2015

Lessons Learned

When you walk into the Aurora Animal Shelter the first thing you will likely see is a large ball of orange fluff named Angus. (Which Yukari and I quickly renamed "Beef" - get it?) J

"Beef" is super friendly, knows no fear. He doesn't flinch at the big dogs who burst thru the front door full of energy ~ he basically owns the place. His buddy, Merlin, another big ball of fluff only he's white and grey patrol the lobby and make sure everything is in it's place and everyone is doing their job. It's their job.

On our visit to the Shelter last Friday we checked the kennels for familiar faces (there were a few) and new faces (there were a few); checked on their names and made sure everyone who was eligible had been assigned a name and it was duly noted on their information sheets. Even if adopters change a pet's name it does make them more adoptable to at least have a name to begin with.

We chatted with some fellow volunteers, I held kittens while they cleaned their kennels. This little guy with the unlikely name of Franklin injured his tail somehow hence the cone of shame. He's on the mend and doing better each time we see him!  What a love...

He was ready for his close-up.  *wink*

The kittens are adorable, of course, so we decided to take a couple of them into the play room.  Rufus is about 8 weeks old, friendly and playful and super cute. As you can see. Available for adoption at the Aurora Animal Shelter. 
Ask for #A173428

We tried to introduce him to this little one (I don't recall his name)~ also about 8 weeks old ~ but he was a bit timid. He eventually came out to play and is just a love. Available for adoption at the Aurora Animal Shelter - ask for #A173552

In the two hours we were there two kittens were adopted! Yay! This little guy was one of them and was certainly ready to go. J

From the kittens we graduated to the one year olds and enjoyed them immensely. Creamy Calico here was full of energy, super playful and sweet as honey. And beautiful to boot. Yukari fell for her but [as far as we know] she's still looking for her forever home. Contact the Aurora Animal Shelter and ask for #A173664

And then I fell in love. This sweetie, Babi, reminds me so much of one of the most amazing cats I have ever had in my life ~ Amigo. This sweet little one was a little shy in the beginning, curious, but cautious. Turns out he was a real cuddle bug ~ a lap cat. You know one of those who just loves to rub up against you and purr... Babi is available for adoption at the Aurora Animal Shelter - aks for #A172221

Had I acted on emotion only he would have come home with me that very day. Practicality kicked in when I discussed with Yukari what would be involved in introducing a cat like this to my two dogs ~ one who has lived with cats before (in our home) and one who would probably have some difficulty sharing my time and attention. As hard as it was to walk away from him I know it was for the best. He is adorable and will have no trouble finding a loving home. I did what I should have done ~ I made my dogs my priority. They are new to our home within the last 18 months so they deserve to be the priority. They are both rescues adopted at age 6 ~ they deserve a calm and happy home.

When I see photos of Babi, though, I have to admit... I wish I could.

As I reflected on my visit later that day I was reminded of two things.  (1) Seeing how quickly kittens were adopted I vowed to return my focus to the older cats. And by older I mean - one year old and up! A couple of weeks ago Yukari and I did our best Vanna White/Price is Right girl impressions waving our hands in front of a beautiful 1 year old cat as a couple walked thru looking to adopt. "How about Sunny?" we asked. The gentleman quickly responded, "No we want a young one." Yukari and I looked at each other and said, "But he's only a year old..."

Like most people I got sucked in by the cute kittens last week. All it took was the creamy calico and Babi to remind me ~ one year olds are just bigger kittens. I am passionate about finding homes for older cats and dogs so time to refocus my mission.

(2) If I'm going to volunteer in a shelter I can't fall in love with every cat or dog I encounter. Until my little family of dogs is ready to welcome another creature, they are my priority. I can spend a few hours a week giving a homeless cat or dog some love and hugs and attention and do all I can to promote them to help them find the loving homes they deserve.

This is all part of the process as I navigate my way thru shelter volunteerism. Lessons learned ~ and still learning.

These two concur. "Thanks, Mom," love Koko and Kizzie

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