Week of August 10-14

Categories: On the Road with Marlin

Another three day event weekend for the PHS Mobile Unit . . . and me. And it’s been busy! On Friday, August 12, we were at the Arboretum where the band Cuñao was performing. The weather was perfect, the breezes were relaxing, and the music was soft and enjoyable! The volunteers and their dogs were: Mike and “Dakota,” our American bulldog mix; Chris and “Eddie,” a Parson Russell terrier mix; Therese and “Cherry,” our cherry-eyed Chihuahua/mystery mix; Eva and “Sadie,” the Labrador/pit bull mix; and Kelly and “Chiquita,” a tiny Chihuahua. I had planned on Kelly taking out “Greta,” a tiny black poodle mix, but she was adopted just minutes before we left for the event . . . that is, “Greta” was, not Kelly!

It couldn’t have been a better evening! The people in the crowd were welcoming and friendly and we had gotten to know some of them after being there for a few weeks in a row. The kids this evening were respectful and well behaved . . . and that’s always a big plus! And our dogs were all getting along with each other. When the music began, “Eddie” wasn’t sure he was liking it and began to shiver a bit, so Chris walked him out of the area. As soon as “Eddie” started to leave, “Chiquita” and “Cherry” both had to go along!

aug12aThe last time we had “Dakota” at this event, she did not like the music nor the crowds and became a bit unnerved. But this evening, she was an old hand at concerts and nothing seemed to bother her. “Dakota” kept walking back and forth between Mike and me giving us kisses and leaning in for petting. As for “Sadie,” she latched onto the toy basket and began pulling out toys to play with. Eventually “Eddie” and his entourage returned and he seemed calmer and more relaxed. “Cherry” threw herself into the toys and played non-stop. “Chiquita” was quite the energetic runner, almost dragging Kelly across the grass field, but then spent the rest of the evening sleeping in her lap . . . just to be clear, “Chiquita” slept in Kelly’s lap, not the other way around!

After the intermission ended, we were all getting a bit tired and I decided that it was a good time to pack up and leave. I ended up spending another hour or so in my office typing up all the information we learned about the dogs this evening and getting things organized for the next day. I finally arrived at home a bit after 9:30.

The next day, Saturday, August 13, saw us heading over to Petco in San Gabriel. I squeezed the Mobile Unit into covered parking next to the store and we got set up. Volunteers and their dogs were: Betsy and “Chiquita”; Mary Ann and “Cherry”; Kevin and “Dakota”; Terry and “Sadie”; with Greg and “Kenneth,” our three-legged pit bull mix. We quickly learned that as sweet as “Kenneth” was with people and on walks with “Cherry,” he just didn’t like the big dogs . . . they seemed to make him nervous. He was rather dusty and Petco offered a free bath and “Kenneth” came out sleek, clean and whiter than ever. “Sadie” started chewing on toys and a two year old girl came up to pull the toy out of her mouth. It’s never the best idea to attempt to take a treat or toy away from a dog you don’t know and I explained that to her mother. She got the idea and thanked me as she picked up her daughter.

A couple showed up and walked over to our area carrying a tiny black poodle mix. It was “Greta”! She was there for some grooming and the new parents couldn’t have been prouder of their new little girl. It was great to see another happy family!

aug12c“Dakota” was even more relaxed and seemed to really be enjoying herself today and was very affectionate to everyone who stopped in to see her. “Chiquita” attracted a lot of attention with her cuteness and we had a few people somewhat interested in adopting her, but all wanting to think it over. So, “Chiquita” climbed into Betsy’s lap and went to sleep. “Cherry” plowed into toys and we watched as she and “Sadie” kept stealing toys from each other! Mike, the Petco manager, brought out a couple of boxes of supplies and donated it to PHS and I happily loaded it all on the Mobile Unit.

As the day went on, the heat began to build and beads of sweat began to show on several brows, so I decided it was time to pack it up. Five minutes early. Okay, so maybe not so early after all, but I am a stickler for watching the time! We headed back to PHS and once again, I sat down in the office for all the paperwork and planning for Sunday. As I came out of my office at one point I ran into the new parents of “Harry” that we had adopted out from Centinela last weekend. They were so happy with their new family member and couldn’t thank me enough for introducing them to “Harry.” I also discovered that an adoption hold had been placed on “Dakota,” so this was a good ending to the day for me!

Sunday, August 14, arrived earlier than I intended as my dogs decided I needed to get up half an hour before the alarm went off. Oh well, it gave me a bit more time to get ready for the day. We were scheduled to arrive at Petco in Pasadena and I sent volunteer floater Ron over there an hour early in case they forgot we were coming. I wanted to make sure the parking was reserved for the Mobile Unit. We later pulled up to our reserved spot as Ron guided me in. Because of the expected high temperatures for the day, I decided that we would set up inside the store. This always poses logistical issues which included a stack of cat food on display toppling over.

aug12dVolunteers and dogs for this day were Cheryl and “Eddie”; Carol and “Sadie”; Louise and “Chiquita”; Kelly and “Tulip,” a sweet and mellow Chihuahua; and Lissa with “Katie,” a super playful toy fox terrier/Jack Russell terrier mix. “Eddie” spent much of his time stretched out on a soft towel relaxing. “Sadie” enjoyed shopping up and down the aisles trying to con Carol into buying things for her. “Chiquita” climbed into Louise’s lap and snoozed most of the day. “Tulip” was a bit shy, but enjoyed going for walks and snuggling up a bit with the other dogs. And “Katie” took over the training area and spent most of the day chasing after toys and balls that Lissa kept tossing and “Katie” would retrieve. I suspect that Lissa was pretty tired by the end of the day . . . while “Katie” still had plenty of energy left over! “Sadie” had a chance to get into the training area off-leash and we learned that she was good at catching a tennis ball! And to be fair, we later got “Tulip,” “Eddie,” and “Chiquita” all in the training area together, but they mostly meandered about taking in all the interesting smells.

It was a rather slow day overall at Petco, but a steady stream of people came through . . . including one little girl whose family had just come from PHS after having adopted a little white fluffy dog named “Angel.” The little girl . . . and let’s face it, “Angel” too . . . couldn’t stop smiling.

We finally called it a day at 2:00 and headed back to PHS. I was disappointed to find that the adoption hold for “Dakota” had expired and no one had shown up for her. I spent a little time in her kennel just sitting with her before going into the office to finish off my work.

There are a few other Mobile dogs to mention: “Louis,” the senior miniature pinscher that has been with us a few months, will be going to one of our transfer partners. “Simone,” the playful puppy from last weekend, was adopted! “Gabriel,” the gray pit bull we had out on Clear the Shelters Day a few weeks ago, was adopted! And “Pepper,” the sleepy senior Lhasa Apso, was also adopted!

Coming up this weekend: On Saturday, August 20, we will be at the Arboretum for the pre-concert activities of Pasadena POPS from 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Then on Sunday, August 21, we will be at PetSmart in Monrovia from 11:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. located at 745 W. Huntington Dr. in Monrovia. Until then, I’ll be somewhere “On The Road”.

About Marlin Miller

After my first entry, people have been asking, "Who's Marlin?" Briefly, I am the Mobile Outreach Coordinator for PHS. I drive the 33-foot long Mobile Unit and squeeze it into impossible spaces at a variety of community events. Inside, we have kennels for adoptable dogs and seats for enthusiastic mobile volunteers. We happily motor off to events every Saturday and Sunday and a day or two during the week as well. At these events, we display around 40 informational sheets or flyers and showcase our adoptable dogs while representing PHS. We are in such demand that our event calendar is booked several months in advance!