It takes a pretty special person to do what you do for a living, @MSUAlexis.
I do cat enrichment and behavior volunteer work for a local shelter, in the isolation/sick ward. I had to explain what I do to a new volunteer last night, and it wasn’t far from what you said, except I am so much more powerless to heal them. Kudos to you, it’s a very tough job that doesn’t pay nearly well enough. I’m not sure my heart could take it, just volunteering with the sick ones is rough.
Every time someone comes in who just wants to play with puppies and kittens, I tell them “this job comes with poop.” The reaction usually tells me how long they’ll last.
I literally got $#!+ on the other day. Both legs, on and in my shoe, in my hands. Because I was looking at a dog and he decided to alligator roll and spray poop everywhere. Went into the bathroom, hand washed everything, and put it on wet. Went back to the poor guy. Not his fault…we rescued him and eight friends from a breeder who was going to ship them all to other breeders as stock unless someone came and got them. So we came and got them. None have manners, all are terrified. Half are already in their new homes. Hurrah!!
My shoes still smell like poop though. Worth it.
If you want to help doggies (or kitties, or bunnies, or horsies…) but don’t know what you can do, volunteer! Be a foster family! Work transport! Donate time funds goods!! So many ways to help…the rescue community is solely self-sufficient and can always use help. /Shameless begging
You are a good dog mom. <3 Very happy so many are already in homes!
Man, if you don’t have a couple poop stories, you haven’t worlked/volunteered with animals long enough. Animals provide great stories.
I’ll never forget the male cat who was so happy to be off the streets, warm, and fed that he completely relaxed. He rolled over on his back with his crotch up on the glass door of the space, his penis propped up on the glass. I could not stop laughing when I saw it, though some of the older cat ladies were scandalized.
And yes – volunteer! If you have no money, there are other ways to help. Donate your pet’s old toys, we always need more! Got a kiddie pool and your kids are grown? Ask a shelter if they need one. Got way too many paper towels at Costco? We will never have enough paper towels, not ever. Or hand sanitizer, or wet wipes…
Or had pets for long enough. The amount of cat vomit, piss, and more that I’ve cleaned up just from the ones I live with…
Caring for the sick ones is part of long term pet ownership too, though not nearly as up close and personal as @MSUAlexis. I’ve given subcutaneous fluids, wiped baby food onto paws to get them to lick it up, cleaned up after the accidents, drained cysts, trimmed claws, given baths, worked out mats. The advantage of doing those thing with your own pets is, they usually trust you, so they behave better for you than for the vet.
Edited to correct typo
Ive never had my cat puke. But I have cleaned up from my sisters cats. I dealt with my cat doing stress peeing…That suuuuuuucked
Really? That’s amazing. Cats and dogs seem to puke for no other reason than something to do in my experience…
Had to clean up some dog puke Tuesday afternoon, which of course happened right when my work call was starting. It doesn’t help that he’s a low-to-the-ground dog, so tries to eat almost anything he can grab.