Week of June 8-12

Categories: On the Road with Marlin

This was a shorter weekend on Mobile, but then again, not really. So, I’ll try to explain. Saturday, June 11, we went to the Garfield Heights Block Party. It’s not huge, but it’s a nice, friendly block party that includes people from the local area. The volunteers and dogs for the day were: Therese and “Louis,” the senior but active miniature Pinscher; Pamala and “Bailey,” a small, super sweet pit bull mix; Cheryl and “Bobby Z,” our black Lab/pit mix; Kelly and “Toby,” the Chihuahua/mystery mix; and Diana with “Annie,” the little white Jack Russell/fox terrier mix with the hanging tongue! All of our dogs instantly got along with each other, with the exception of “Toby” just not liking bigger dogs. Otherwise, it was a day of dogs playing with each other, with toys, or begging for the delicious hot dogs that fell from the barbecue! “Annie,” who has some missing teeth, had no problem grinding up an entire tasty hot dog!

IMG_0352The people in the neighborhood were very friendly and welcoming! We were right next to the hula-hoop competition, which got us to discussing how, when we were young we could hula hoop without a problem, but as we got older, we lost the ability! Something about our hips that just can’t keep them going. There was a drizzly rain most of the day, but that didn’t stop anyone from having a great time. But, we had to leave early since I had to get the Mobile Unit over to Lacy Park for the following day’s activities. We got the dogs back to PHS and I then drove the Mobile Unit over to Lacy Park, got myself installed into the right spot, and met up with volunteer Mary Ann who drove me back to PHS.

Back at PHS, I sat down at my desk to work on the dogs for Sunday’s event and found that four of the dogs I had earmarked for the day were either already adopted or on adoption hold. As I looked over the available dogs, it looked like I’d be taking out some of the same dogs from the Block Party . . . with one exception: “Jayda.” This pit bull has been at PHS for several months now recuperating from ACL surgery. Everyone has been working with her to keep this playful and energetic dog calm so as to allow the leg to properly heal. There were a lot of staff anxious and excited about “Jayda’s” first upcoming trip on Mobile! I spent some time with her to acclimate to behaviors that the public might use in greeting her to make sure she was ready. This meant hugging her, putting my face in hers, lifting up her paws, pulling on her tail . . . it’s all the things you should never dog when first meeting a strange dog for the first time! And look at me doing all of them! She passed the test and I was ready to head home.

Sunday, June 12, 5:00am came much sooner than I would have liked. I got up and took my dogs into the backyard . . . no time to walk them this morning. And it was raining! The event today was the San Marino Motor Classic which involves hundreds of classic cars worth thousands of dollars! I drove into Pasadena and drove out of the rain! It was dry as the volunteers and I loaded our dogs for the day into our two education vans with each dog going in his own crate. Volunteers and their dogs were: Mary Ann and “Toby”; Judy and “Louis”; Morgan and “Bailey”; Betsy and “Annie”; Cheryl and “Bobby Z”; Tyra and “Jayda”; and from last weekend, Bill and “Shadow,” the super mellow Anatolian/German shepherd mix. It took a bit of time to get each dog into his own crate and load up the volunteers. A thank-you goes to Bruce, our head maintenance staff member, who agreed to drive one of the vans over. A caravan of vans headed over to Lacy Park, we got into the small commercial parking lot, unloaded our dogs, and walked them over to the Mobile Unit where they had breakfast!

The day got off to a wonderful start with comfortable weather, no rain, and plenty of friendly and welcoming people. Of course, I warned my Mobile volunteers to make sure their dogs maintained a healthy distance from all of the wonderful cars! The three Pit Bull mixes, that we labeled the Three Musketeers (“Bobby Z,” “Jayda,” and “Bailey”) immediately became BFFs and went off on several walks attracting crowds of people wherever they went. These three dogs played with each other, greeted all kinds of people, and yes, “Jayda” did wonderfully on her first day out of the shelter! “Shadow” was mellowing out in the grass and waiting for a line-up of visitors to pet him, rub his belly, or simply give him the love he enjoys so much. Our three smaller dogs, “Annie,” “Louis,” and “Toby” spent much of the day trying to charm treats out of anyone. “Annie” was good with her prairie dog sit, “Louis” was great with his clamoring up your leg, or jumping up on the nearest chair to get closer to treats, and “Toby” would sit politely in front you showing off how good of a “sit” he could do. If you turned away just a bit, he would bounce back over in front of you and “sit” once again trying for treats.

IMG_0352The USC Marching Band played at several stops around the event and lastly stopped at our area to greet all the dogs! Then they played a song just for us, and while some of the dogs cocked their heads in that cute way they have, others continued begging for treats!

It was a long day, and towards the mid-afternoon, most of the dogs began to snooze in a comfortable lap somewhere. All except “Louis” who kept himself on the never-ending search for treats! “Jayda” began to tire out, but never stopped playing with at least one toy. The toy-master “Bobby Z” simply fell asleep. Once most of the cars had moved out of the area, we loaded up and headed back to PHS, tired but happy!

Other Mobile dogs to mention: “Sebastian,” the tan Cairn terrier mix was adopted! Finally, finally, finally, “Lucky” the senior white Fox Terrier mix was taken in by one of our transfer partners! “Elliot,” the initially barky white Bichon Frise, has also been taken in by a Bichon Frise transfer partner. And, finally, finally, finally, finally, “Sarah,” our super mellow and friendly pit bull mix, has been adopted!!!!

Coming up this week: On Wednesday, June 15, I will be driving the behavior staff, their volunteers and shelter dogs to drop them off in Old Town Pasadena for their social walk over to Euro Pane Bakery. Then on Friday, June 17, we will be going to Golden Road Brewery located at 5410 W. San Fernando Road just outside of Glendale. We will be there from 11:00-2:00. Then, on Saturday, June 18, we will be going to the Arboretum on Baldwin Ave for the first Pasadena POPS Concert of the season! We will be there from 5:00-7:00. After that, I will be taking a couple of weeks off . . . and looking forward to it! I’m sure there will still be more time “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!