It’s the end of November, and Thanksgiving was just a week back. So of course, it’s time for the yearly cataloging of what we are thankful for. But that is not so easy this year. It’s been a rough time for everyone, and many of the standard things we would be talking about during this time of year, such as time with friends and family, have been hard to come by. But if there’s one thing working with dogs and cats teaches you (other than to keep your hands out of harm’s way) it’s that every challenge is an opportunity to grow and improve. That has certainly been the case this year at the sanctuary. So let’s take a look at what we are grateful for in this year of trials and tribulations.
As I always like to emphasize, the only way to help animals is with good people. And we have added lots of great people to our team this year.
In February, just in time to get in before the pandemic, we added out first Facilities Caretaker, Tom. Tom is a retired plumber with a big love for dogs and cats. Since taking on the care of our buildings, yards, and trails, Tom has made lots of big improvements throughout the sanctuary and is keeping things in great shape. And wait until you see what he has done with the Christmas decorations this year!
And then there are all of the new caregiver staff: Katie, Alyssa, Montana, and Rosemary with the dogs, Kelsie with the cats, and Courtney with the dogs and the cats. Their smiling faces and eagerness to learn have made a big impact on the team, as we wrestle with the needs of the pandemic and the needs of our operations.
Of course the thing that we are always the most grateful for is our volunteers, and this year is no different. Their hard work and support are what keep this place afloat year after year. But what really impressed us this year was the level of flexibility, caring, and camaraderie that we saw. We, like most other organizations, have stumbled our way through the challenges of this year. But no matter what solutions we came up with or what we asked of them, our volunteers were always supportive, cheerful, and helpful. It was a huge burden off of our minds to know that we could make our best guess at what to do, and our volunteers would be behind us all the way.
That support, along with the ingenuity and optimism of the staff, even allowed to make some operational improvements, in spite of the circumstances working against us. The volunteer sign ups and calendars are now neater and more organized. And we have moved into the digital age with online survey reports for the dog and cat volunteers to complete after their shifts. It’s been an amazingly productive year, and it’s all thanks to our volunteers and staff
One last thing I’d like to express is some gratitude over is the amazing pets we have had the opportunity to care for this year. Every dog and cat leads us tonew challenges and learning experiences, and this year has been no exception. With the cats, we had Noodles and her kittens brighten our world, and Ziti’s injured leg gave us the challenge of caring for and socializing a baby kitten who couldn’t play. And Niles, with his eyelid condition, is a whole new area of care to learn about. In the dogs, Ragan is not only another blind dog to care for, but her thyroid and liver issues required some quick education, though luckily both have been managed and not resulted in any serious health concerns. Then there’s our newest medical tornado, Gifford, who is teaching us lots about ear care, skin care, and digestive care. Our team of self-proclaimed dog and cat “nerds” love these kinds of challenges and love the opportunity to help these special pets. Even with our long term residents, like Brooke, Tucker, and Gidget, we’ve tried new activities, like the treat coolers, snufflemats, and 30 foot leashes, in an effort to grow and learn as caretakers. These dogs are cats provide us so many gifts to be grateful for.
And of Course…Adoptions!!
November was, again, a slower month on the adoption side. Our only guests going home were the canine dynamic duo of Whiskey and Ari. That gave us room to bring two new cuties, Molly and Wizard. In the cats, we welcomed in two more under socialized kittens, Olive and Felix, to add to Lucky’s makeshift family in Jane’s Place.
Thank you all so much for whatever way you support us and our mission. We couldn’t do it without you.