OK team, confession time:
1) Just made the connection between living in the Volunteer State and doing Volunteer Odyssey (oy vey)
2) I am a sucker for any and all animals
3) This post is going to have a lot of gratuitous animal photos like…
Thank you, Memphis Humane Society, for giving me the quality animal time I needed.
I was very blessed as a kid to have pets. Though the random turtle or fish made an occasional appearance our family is very much a dog and cat family. The dogs are referred to as grandchildren and are given birthday parties. Is that excessive? Probably. Have you ever snuggled with a dog? Have you ever felt the warmth of a cat as they twirl between your legs showing you that they actually care? OK, I get it, I’m a sucker but at least I can recognize it.
Anyways, back to the start of my day. Memphis Humane Society just celebrated their 80th anniversary!
They provide a range of services for the community such as spaying/neutering programs, adoption, investigating neglect and providing sanctuary for numerous animals that need foster care. Needless to say I was pumped to be a part of the team for the day.
Upon meeting Katie Pemberton, PR/marketing specialist, I was introduced to the facilities, the volunteer training program and some of the volunteers. Everyday there are a number of volunteers that help with the various tasks. Most importantly, for the pups, they come in to take the dogs out for walks. There was some fierce competition for those jobs. I met a number of ladies that have specific days that they come in. One volunteer is coming close to her ten year anniversary! The volunteers aren’t the only ones that get to cash in on the animal time. Almost every office I walked into had an animal counterpart to the human within. Some of the animals were pets and others were just adopted for the day. My heart is melting.
My first task was to “interview” the pups that were out on their walks. Each pup has a small bio up online and on the premises to let the potential adopters know more about them. I would go in to area where to dog was, talk to the person with them and observe and/or play with them trying to get an idea about them. It was amazing how much you could gather just from spending 10 minutes with them. Each pup definitely has their own personality and character traits. It’s amazing how they’ve evolved over time. I heard numerous stories from the different walkers about each dog and their transformation during their time at the Humane Society. In total I interviewed 11 pups including Othello, Bandit, Mandalay and iPhone. Yes, iPhone the dog.
The picture wasn’t always this pretty for the pups. Many of them were victims of abuse and neglect, like my boy Kaiju (left). He is missing his right eye and is still the happiest pup you’ve ever seen. He loves people and chasing balls. A number of the dogs also have serious burns. Apparently there is a trend of using motor oil on dogs to prevent or kill ticks and other ailments dogs may pick up. The volunteers and employees of the Humane Society have done such a great job working with and rehabilitating both the dogs and cats that you quickly forget your sadness once you get kisses from the furry ones.
After my time in heaven outside with the pups I went inside to help with the labeling and stuffing of thank you notes to donors. The Humane Society operates solely on donations. The generosity of so many is amazing. It is so important to thank those donors, and so I feel like I’ve done a little bit of my part by helping.
Being at the Humane Society was great. I absolutely loved my time with the animals and humans alike. It is a small miracle that I did not come home with one pup in particular, Mandalay. I will definitely be making my way back to the Humane Society soon.
Stay tuned for more updates from the 901.