Monday, June 14, 2010

Peggy Sue at the pound

Pictured above is Peggy Sue, a pit bull mix. They get a lot of pit bull mixes at the animal shelter but you find full breed dogs there too and puppies are the first to get adopted. Every Monday, I volunteer two hours of my time walking the dogs (and hopefully I will squeeze another couple hours here and there). I try to walk each animal for thirty minutes which translates to four dogs during my time. Fortunately, they adopt several dogs a month and manage not to hold onto them. (Unfortunately, Peggy Sue has been in the shelter for over a month. You need to be a special person to adopt Peggy Sue.)

As a volunteer, you go through a training for five hours and the staff preps you on the routine and all the rules. You receive a badge, a key to the cages and a leash. You can walk the dogs anywhere around the grounds, but they must be on the leash at all times and cannot come in contact with other dogs. On the papers listed outside their cages, you can see how old they are and how they came to the shelter. Many are termed strays and others are titled owner surrendered. Some notes are mentioned what needs to be done to the animal, if their teeth need to be cleaned or if they have other health issues. Some don't get along with children or other dogs.

This morning, I did my small service and I walked this mixed breed named Case. Case had such strength for a small slender dog and he went wild when I brought him outside as he pulled me all over the place. I walked across the street to an abandoned large ball field and observed that it was completely fenced in. I hesitated and wondered what would happen if I let Case go. I took the risk, and let Case rip into the field. He ran like a race animal and bolted here and there, so happy to be free. Case came back to me and as I bent down to greet him and he put his head on my shoulder. It was a hug.

The dogs are very appreciative of the walks and the affection you give them. Most of them are so nervous and excited to be out that you wouldn't know this, but after they calm down, you see the their sweetness and gratitude. They correspond and let you know this by their pleading eyes.

This is Tabu, a senior citizen of 11 years old. She was a kind dog who didn't pull me and seem so laid back. Usually, the dogs are freaked out and need to run; are afraid and skittish. The seniors know what's going on......Tabu wasn't at the shelter when I returned the following week.

Pictured above is Scout. He was a super kind gent and walked nicely on the leash. There was little pulling. Scout has since found a family.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

wind mosaic

This morning is a breezy and balmy day experiencing changes from massive sun the past few days if you live in Alaska is not the norm and expect the weather to turn from day to day. I have been enjoying the heat however and how it fills and radiates throughout my being making me realize how missed a sensation. When I lived in Los Angeles the weather could be very predictable including hot (sometimes smoggy) and sunny days and at times it became monotonous and dizzying. Living in the upper Pacific Northwest you never know what you will wake to. We live across from the inlet and experience more winds and cooler temps. Here is a short experimentation on the winds of Alaska.