Friday, July 25, 2014

Volunteering at the Animal Shelter

As part of my penance for re-homing my cats, I started volunteering at an animal shelter...

Just kidding. But it did take a little while for me to stop feeling guilty for doing what was best for our family and my kitties, who needed way more attention than I was able to give them. They are in a better place and finding them a new home was one of the many things I did to overhaul my life and alleviate some stress the last few months. It's a conflicted feeling, but I'm so glad to be pet-free for a change. No litter boxes. No cat hair on ALL of our clothes. The cats were always a source of contention with me & Zay as well, so it was better for all of us when they found a new home.

I'm not doing it for penance. The timing is just coincidental. :) But I really am volunteering at an animal shelter a few hours a week! I'm exploring a completely different avenue for my future career goals. I love animals. They're much easier to deal with than people, I think. I always wondered if that was the direction I should've went career-wise anyway, so I'm giving it a shot and trying to see if it's something I really do enjoy. And I've gotta figure out what I wanna be when I grow up sooner rather than later!

Yes, I'm considering finding a job and going back to work full-time! Eek! For two reasons - for Kal & for me.

Part of me wants to go back to work because Kal is so ready for pre-school. He is super social. Waaaay more social than me. And really needs that constant interaction with other kids. He loves Church because of Nursery. He loves all the playdates we do. He loves our neighbors and will follow them around all over the orchard. He cries big wailing tears whenever we have to leave his friends. What I wish he had was siblings, I really do. Built-in best friends. But while that isn't happening, I'm realizing I can't keep him home with me until he's in Kindergarten. I'm not ready to let him leave me yet, but I know him and he needs to be in school earlier than I had planned. It's just his personality. And I'll need to get outta the house if he's gonna be outta the house, so as soon as I get him in pre-school I'm headed back to work.

The other part of me wants to go back to working outside the house because being a work-at-home mom can drive you cRaZy a little bit. It's definitely been fun and flexible. And I get to be the boss and that's fun! Ha ha. But my career/business-minded self is starting to roar and trying to get out. I love the routine of getting ready for work and leaving the house and working and coming home. Staying at home I've had to create my own routine and it can be frustrating to get everything done. If Kal's at school and I'm at work, at least the house stays clean while we're gone, right? Ha ha.

As crazy as it makes me sometimes, I do love being at home with Kal right now. I go back and forth about it. I think the only thing that could throw a wrench in my plan to go back to work full-time is if I get pregnant or we adopt, of course. Kal has had one of us home with him his whole little life and I really think that's ideal. So if another baby came to our family (miraculously), I would re-consider EVERYthing. I would want them to have the same thing - that constant one-on-one attention for the first few years. But for now, I think exploring this working-with-animals thing will help me adjust back into the world of work and give me some idea of what kind of work environment I'd like to get into in the not-so-distant future.

So far, volunteering at the animal shelter has been wonderful. Right now I go in once a week for a few hours. They are always swamped. They have so many animals come in every day, and so many animals who have been there for awhile and no one has claimed them and they need to find a new home. Part of me really wants to advocate for some of the animals, so I'm thinking I might post pics and a little blurb about some every once in awhile. We'll see. :)

Mostly what I get to do is I show people around if they're looking for their lost pet or want to adopt one. I get to brush some of the animals who look like they haven't been touched for years. That's messy, but fun because they get SO happy. And I clean. They have to clean so often, they always need help sanitizing everything. It's nice to dedicate myself for a few hours and then go home and not have to take care of our own animals. Ha ha.

Cuuuuute. I have a friend who is looking to get a small dog, so I send her pictures every time I go in.

Isn't this the cutest/ugliest thing you've ever seen?? These dogs have already found new homes.

This sucker's a 31-pound cat named Winston. :) HUGE! He almost knocked me over when he rubbed against my leg!

If you've ever thought about volunteering at an animal shelter, it's easy peasy. Just look one up and give them a call. They always need help with taking care of the animals and cleaning and helping with cat/dog adoption drives. They'd love to have you! I had to get a background check and go through some training at this particular shelter because they also have inmates volunteering on the premises as well (you have to know how to work with inmates safely and appropriately). But after that I can come in as often as I'd like and help with whatever needs to be done. I'm trying to learn everything I can about working with animals in general and how a shelter runs vs. being a vet tech. I've learned a lot and the ladies working there always make me feel appreciated and are willing to teach me everything they know, so it's been a great experience so far. We'll see where this takes me. :)

"Like" my shelter's FB page HERE.

I do have to fight the urge to take home all the itty bitty kitties. A room full of kittens is pretty much how I imagine heaven to be. They're so cute and squeaky and rambunctious, ha ha. But I think we'll hold out on getting any pets until we buy a house with a big fenced in backyard. Then we'll probably get a dog. An outside dog. And call it Zay's dog, so he'll have to take care of it. Ha ha.

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