Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Dog Day Afternoon

Kim and the girls are off to the pound.

Lauren loves dogs. Lauren wishes we had dogs, plural, to play with. Lauren, unfortunately, is allergic to dogs, so this wish is unlikely to be fulfilled. She's also allergic to cats, but we already had liberated the cats from the Humane Society and invested heavily in their medical care when we found this out. We discussed giving the cats away and at one point actually had someone lined up to take them, but for various reasons this never came to pass. She's been pretty good with the cats, though. But we're not getting dogs.

This spring Lauren decided that volunteering down at the Humane Society would be a good way to get her dog fix. Tabitha immediately saw the opportunities in such a thing for satisfying her own love of cats, and also asked to volunteer. And the Humane Society, being like every other nonprofit organization in the known universe, was eager to have more volunteers.


It took a while to get all the ducks in a row (wait - ducks? how'd we get from dogs and cats to ducks?), but last month we finally went in for training. The Humane Society requires that all volunteers under 18 be accompanied by an adult, but other than that they are fine with kids helping out to socialize the animals. A lot of those animals were sorely mistreated, and they need help figuring out that not all human beings deserve to be bitten. Some do - oh my yes, it is a hard, hard thing not to turn some people into teething biscuits, yes indeed it is - but not all.

They've been going over for a couple of weeks now - working with the kitties on Tuesday afternoons and the dogs on Wednesday afternoons. Usually Kim goes with them, since she's better at this sort of thing than I am and she likes dogs. Me, I like cats - they're soft, they're content to sit on or near you without demanding too much, and they can use their litter boxes on their own. Really, they're just one step removed from pillows. Dogs require work.

I went over yesterday on kitty day, since Kim had to go to a meeting. It's a pretty low-stress gig, really - if there is a room open, you go to the cages and pick out a cat that hasn't been played with yet that day, and then you take it back to the room and play with it for a while. If the rooms are full, you go to the big room that has many cats in it and play with them there.

Tabitha and Lauren just love doing this. They are both very good with the cats, and it helps out the Humane Society - an organization that definitely deserves to be helped out. I'm glad they think that volunteering to help others is a good way for them to spend their time.

I'm not sure how much they're going to get to do with the dogs today, since it is raining somewhat, but usually all you do is let them run around in the enclosed area, play with them once their "toxic energy" has drained out a bit, and pick up the emissions that invariably follow. It's that last part that separates those who understand the idea of responsibility from those who don't.

The only rule is that they can't come home with anything they didn't bring there.

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