Week of December 9-13, 2015

Categories: On the Road with Marlin

It’s been a tiring week!  My wife was sick all week and I’ve been fighting off whatever it is that she has had.  As I’m sitting here typing this up, I have a suspicion that I’m fighting a losing battle!  On Wednesday, Dec. 9, Petfinder.com was here at PHS filming most of the day.  What did that have to do with me?  Absolutely nothing!  I spent much of the day working in my office or going down to check out different dogs.  But, I thought I’d mention it as a point of interest in the things that go on around here!  I also spent some time inside the Mobile Unit installing LED lights and wiring it into an unused switch.  I was so frustrated because the light system didn’t come with enough wiring, so I had a really hard time getting everything attached.  But, I succeeded and we now have a light system that doesn’t drain the batteries!  As I began to clean up and was going to throw the packaging away, extra wire fell out of the package . . . now I was really frustrated!  But not enough to take apart and redo what I had already done.  So, I’ll just hold onto the wiring until, if ever, a need comes up for it.

Thursday and Friday of this week found me going to a couple of meetings and appointments, picking up supplies for the Mobile Unit, and watching the dogs I had been interested in taking out on Mobile get adopted or placed on adoption hold.  So, by Friday afternoon, I was down to just six dogs which left enough for my five volunteers on Saturday!  Arriving at PHS on Saturday, I found that one of the dogs had just been spayed, so I needed to give that one a few days to relax.  Five dogs exactly!

For Saturday, December 12, we headed over to PetSmart in Monrovia.  Volunteers Mary Ann and Betsy had the senior sister Dachshund mixes “Susie Stubs” and “Baby.”  Volunteer Bill had out “Luke,” a Pit Bull/Weimaraner Puppy mix with a lot of lovable energy. Volunteer Ron had white fluffy Norfolk Terrier/Poodle mix “Scotty.”   Volunteer Kelly had white fluffy Maltese mix “Coco.”  Wait a minute, you may be thinking, didn’t “Coco” get adopted last weekend?  Yep!  And three days later he was brought back to us as “not suitable for apartment life.”  Really?  Three days?  “Coco” much prefers being on a walk or in a lap.  If he’s not in an empty lap, he will bark at you to pick him up.  Sheesh, give a dog time to adjust to a new environment!  It sometimes takes a couple of months!  But Kelly is a talented volunteer and we began to see “Coco” responding to correction to his barking.  Even older dogs can learn new things. We did pull into the PetSmart parking lot and they had forgotten we were coming.  Employees had parked in our area.  All but one employee came out to move their cars and for whatever reason, one lady did not move her car until she was off work.  So, we ended up setting up our area all around her car.  After a couple of hours she did come out, but never made any eye contact with any of us.  Oh well, some people.  So, Ron is a volunteer who likes to sit a lot and “Scotty” is a dog that likes to walk a lot.  Ron was pretty tired by the end of the day. “Luke” also pretty much tired Bill out!  Someone did show up interested in adopting “Luke,” but when they brought their dog over to meet him, she would have nothing to do with “Luke.”  She liked all our other Mobile dogs because they were more her size.  I think “Luke” was just too big for her and her parents were disappointed, but I saw them back at the shelter later looking over other dogs!  “Susie” and “Baby” were extremely energetic (for older dogs) and were on the move all day long.  “Coco” wore out and slept much of the afternoon in Kelly’s lap.  Arriving back at PHS, a family was waiting to meet “Scotty,” it all worked out and he got into his fur-ever home in time for the holidays!

On Sunday, we headed over to PetSmart in Hastings Ranch.  They too forgot we were coming and large trash bins were in our way.  I got them moved, we pulled into our area and got set up.   Volunteers Eva, Rita, and Andres, had “Luke,” “Coco,” and “Obi” who was the same age and breed as “Luke,” but mostly black and more energetic.  Volunteers Rita and Cheryl had “Susie” and “Baby.”  Our first order of business was to get “Obi” under control with some more manners.  He was doing a lot of mouthing of Andres’ arm and playing tug-of-war with the leash.  Both Andres and I had to go on a walk with “Obi” and slowly we began to get a sweet and well behaved dog out of him!  He showed us later that he loved to be in a lap and would give out kisses to everyone. “Susie” and “Baby” actually barked once today . . . I had never heard them bark before.  It was at a passerby dog who gave off some unfriendly signals.  Otherwise they were mellow and quiet all day.  One family stopped by and the youngest boy, maybe about age 7, was terrified of dogs.  With “Susie” and “Baby’s” mellowness, and the patient teaching of the volunteers, we saw a transformation so startling, that his uncle had to take a picture of him petting both dogs since he knew the rest of the family would never believe it!!  Later in the day, a lady stopped by who was interested in “Luke,” and shortly thereafter another couple stopped by also interested in him.  After a while I walked over to the lady and spoke a bit with her, but she just didn’t seem interested so I walked over to the couple who asked me for an application because they wanted to adopt “Luke.”  They filled it out and I placed a hold on him!  The lady suddenly realized that “Luke” was no longer available, that she wanted to adopt him and she created a bit of a scene and all I could do was stand there and listen until she finally left.  We wait until Tuesday to see if the couple carries through on the hold!  As the saying goes, “He who hesitates is lost.”  Don’t spend too much time trying to decide . . . the good dogs will get snatched up if you wait too long!  And besides, if you get a new dog home, and he isn’t what you thought, by working with him, you can shape that dog into what you want!  It just takes patience.  Anyway, the day came to an end and I was a bit drained.  We headed back to PHS, just as rain was threatening. By the way, Rita is moving to Arizona and has already signed up to volunteer at the Humane Society there and today was her last day with us!  We wish her luck and she will be missed! I drove over to a good-bye party for Rita and afterwards headed home in the driving rain.  I needed to get dressed up for the PHS Staff Christmas Party and drive back to Pasadena.  But first, let me rest a bit in my recliner.  An hour and a half later, I woke up and the staff party had already been on for a couple of hours.  I decided to call it a day and stay home.

You might remember that last weekend we had two families interested in Pit Bull “Shebee.”  In this case, even as both couples filled out applications at the same time, one at PCC with me and the other with the couple at PHS, the couple at PHS was about one minute ahead and got dibs on “Shebee.”  The PCC couple was gracious and said they would wait to see how the adoption panned out.  I explained that sometimes things don’t work and dogs get returned.  I also wasn’t too sure that the PHS couple’s old dog would get along with “Shebee” and all her playful energy.  So, the following Tuesday, the adoption was approved for the PHS couple, but after getting her home, within two hours realized their older dog wasn’t handling it well, and brought “Shebee” back (even though both dogs had done okay when they first met at PHS.)  I made sure the PCC couple was notified and they showed up right away to finalize the adoption.  So, it goes to prove, even if you’re second in line, patience and calmness is a virtue!

Coming up this weekend:  On Saturday, December 19, we will be at Pasadena Petco from 10:00am to 2:00pm, located at 845 S. Arroyo Pkwy and on Sunday December 20 we will be at San Gabriel Petco also from 10:00am-2:00pm, located at 7262 Rosemead Blvd., in San Gabriel.  Hopefully I’ll see you somewhere “On The Road.”