The (almost) great escape | atlanta portrait photographer
A few months ago I decided I wanted to volunteer at the Dekalb County Animal Shelter that is being run by Lifeline Animal Project. If you are not familiar with this organization, you can click here for more information. It is a wonderful organization and all of their locations are no-kill shelters. If you're an animal lover then this is the place for you. There are three locations. One in Avondale, one in Chamblee and the other is Fulton County. Anyway, I've only gone a few times to volunteer. I didn't do much this month, unfortunately. Tropical storm Irma messed up my schedule and then other things got on my schedule and interfered with my volunteerism. But, at least I can say that I did volunteer.
My first experience after the orientation, I decided to start off easy so I worked in the laundry room. There were piles and piles of towels, blankets, soft toys, and rugs that needed to be washed. It was pretty easy. I just put the dirty items in the washer, hit the button twice and that was it. The dryer was just as easy. When those items finished washing I just put them in the dryer and pressed the button once and that was it. Of course, I had to fold the items, but towels and blankets are the easiest things to fold. While the loads were washing and drying, I would put the dog and cat bowls in the washer. Pretty simple and listening to music on my phone made it go by a little faster.
The second time I went I decided to volunteer in the kitten nursery. The first kitten I wanted to take out was very friendly when the door was closed. He would rub up against the bars and let me pet him through the bars. But when I opened the crate and tried to take him out, he would move to the back of the crate. Talking about playing hard to get. After we played this game two or three times I gave up. After I closed the door that's when he started meowing trying to get my attention. Then I tried the next cat. He or she was friendly until I opened the door. Let's just say I didn't even attempt to take that one out. I finally made my way to a couple of kittens that were being housed together. One was a little shy, light-colored kitty and the other was a black and white, inquisitive kitty. I took the black and white one first, as he was not shy at all. They have these bonding rooms you can take the kittens. I let him run around and explore. There are even little cat toys in there for them to play with, as well as a little cat hotel. Here's a short video of him playing. I tried to take a still image of him, but he was a bit too frisky for that.
We finished playing, so while he rode on my shoulder I took him back to his crate and grabbed his crate mate. Same thing...we played and she explored until some people interested in adopting a cat came into the room. They had an older cat that didn't seem to like the kitten. At that point, I thought it best that I take the kitty and leave. Well, as I was putting her back in the crate the little black one I had previously decided to make a break for it. I mean he was fast. Luckily all of the places where the animals are kept have closed doors. There is no way for them to escape without the help of a human. After chasing him under benches and along the wall, I was able to corner him and pick him up and put him back. As far as I know, no one actually saw that.
The last time I went to visit, I decided to walk some dogs. There was this adorable pitbull with the sweetest face and temperament that I thought about taking out. That had to be one of the largest pitbulls I have ever seen and it was nothing but muscle. Even though he looked very sweet, I had to pass that day. Next time when I go I'll take him out, but I hope he won't be there. That will mean that he got adopted. Anyway, we settled on my walking some puppies. As long as they weren't fresh from surgery, about to go to surgery or younger than 6 months old, I could walk them. The first puppy was a year old male. He was the sweetest thing ever! He actually liked to give hugs. He would gently jump up and put his paws on me so that I could pet him. If I stooped down, he would lay across my lap and sometimes put his paws around my neck as if he was giving me a hug. He was soooooo sweet. Here's a video of him.
I made sure that I walked and played with him well so that he'd be willing to go back into his crate. It was rather warm outside that day so when I saw him panting I figured he was ready to go in. As soon as I opened his crate door, he hopped in and started drinking his water. I thought, "That went smoothly. Let's try another." So I selected this sweet looking 2 year old female. She looked like she had recently had pups herself. Here's a video of her. I really wanted to take some still shots of both puppies or even a selfie with them, but they wouldn't be still. Imagine that.
So as I opened her crate to put the leash over her head, she jumped out as quick as lightning! I could not believe this. She ran around the little puppy area, sniffing dogs and all of the dogs were barking and jumping up and down. It reminded me of a prison riot. You know, when there's a fight between the guard and an inmate or someone's trying to escape and all of the other inmates are cheering them on. I mean there were barking, yelping, puppies knocking their water bowls over in their excitement. I finally cornered her, but she was fighting trying to get away the entire time. All I wanted to do was take her for a walk! Finally I picked her up and was about to put her back in her crate when I decided to continue to hold her with my left arm and use my right hand to put the leash over her head. Success! Maaaaaan! I was sweating like I just finished Zumba and I don't really sweat. Luckily she was only about 15 pounds or so. But 15 pounds of wriggly flesh is hard to contain. To top it all off I managed to lock myself out of the facility. Right as the door was closing my mind said, "Remember to prop the door open so you don't lock yourself out." Well, since we were out there I figured we should play. I wanted to make sure she was tired before we tried to go back in because I really didn't feel like fighting or chasing her again. A nice man, whom I had met there before, was mopping the floor so I knocked on the window and he let me back in. Once I opened her crate, she jumped in and happily began drinking her water. After that, I was done.
I was so tired that no matter how cute the other dogs were, I was not taking another one for a walk that day. Don't worry, I'll be going back. I do enjoy doing something good and playing with the animals. I've been warned that I might end up taking one home, but I doubt that seriously. I have one husband, one child and one dog, I don't need two of anything else. Please check out Lifeline and the animal shelters here in Georgia. There are so many wonderful cats and dogs who need great homes. They even have a fostering program if you'd like to do that instead. Donations are accepted as well. Thank so much for reading and feel free to share!
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