january 7, 2011

this poor guy
(taken with my cell phone camera)

i’ve been volunteering at the blue cross animal shelter for just over a week now. most of the time i end up playing with the puppies since there isn’t always something immediate for volunteers to do. each time it’s different: in addition to the work i did on december 30, i’ve cleaned up cow poo, i’ve held a rope to immobilize a cow that was having a broken leg treated, and i’ve helped wash dogs with mange. (they fought being tied to the tree, but they didn’t seem to mind the shampooing itself; and none of them were upset enough to bite, a risk that only struck me after i’d begun the washing.) today i gave water to the puppies and marginally helped clean up the puppy yard. part of the problem is that many of the staff don’t speak english, and my tamil is incredibly limited, so when i’m plunked into a situation the staff eventually decide that it’s easier to do the work themselves than to play charades.

as i moved about the yard, picking up various dogs and playing with them, i kept finding puppies that were so dehydrated – and possibly suffering from other diseases – that they couldn’t move. i’d bring them to the vet where they’d get a shot, and then i’d feed them water and milk through a syringe.  (i also picked up a dead puppy that some other puppies were using as a bolster, so it could be taken away. this is less awful than it sounds, but only by a small amount.)  finally, i decided to do something about this dog, who with a skin disease that i can’t even find on the internet. the vet gave him a shot and then instructed me to put skin cream on him whenever i come to the shelter. this may be his was of saying “quit bothering me, go do it yourself”, or he may just realize that if i’m going to bring him puppies anyway, he might as well put me to work. at any rate, i have to believe the dog is grateful for the medical attention.

Author: cohn17

Photographer and baker of macarons.

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