Friday, March 26, 2010

Stick of Butter

"Maggie, there's water coming up through the floor in the ladies' bathroom!" That's how it started - the day from hell at the greyhound track that reminded me of this past week.

We had just started weigh-in for the greyhounds, and as paddock judge, I had to field any problems, and this was a problem. I called maintenance, the state racing officials, security and a list of others, including the director of racing and the general manager. To protect the dogs, we sent them back to their respective kennels while the maintenance crew tried to find the source of the seeping grey water. About an hour later, there was still no definite cause, but the water had stopped seeping in, the mess had been cleaned up, and the state veterinarian and director of racing gave their okay to bring the greyhounds back for weigh-in.

The paddock consisted of my office, a laundry room, a holding room for the 96 dogs that would race in that matinee, a "pee room" where the dogs would be identified, specimens collected, and racing blankets put on. There were rest rooms for the male and female leadouts, and a huge room to hold all 96 dogs, their trainers and helpers that we used for weigh-in.

We had no more than weighed in all the dogs and secured them in the holding room when we saw grey water seeping out the bathroom door and onto the paddock floor. More phone calls, and this time the water just kept coming faster than before. It was also starting to seep into the holding room and the pee room - and no one knew why or where.

The race card was cancelled and I was told to have the paddock cleaned for inspection by the state officials by the next morning or face a hefty fine, and the general manager added that my job would also be on the line if it didn't meet muster. The track superintendent, the clerk of scales, the kennel master, and three of my most dependable leadouts helped me clean methodically and thoroughly for the next 9 1/2 hours. Meanwhile, maintenance had called in a super duper sewer rooter. We also requested that the kitchen help and laundry stop washing dishes or doing laundry to give us a chance to find the problem, as the grey water from the grandstand building went through the building we were in before going out the main sewer system.

The problem was a 12 foot long, 18 inch in diameter chunk of grease caused by improper disposal of grease in the kitchen. Thanks to my help, we passed inspection, did not get fined, did not lose my job, and was more conscious of what greasy food could do to my coronary arteries than ever before!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Four Years Later

The weather on March 7, 2010 was much the same as it was four years ago - they day we moved here from Iowa to remodel the old hog confinement into kennels for rescued dogs - sunny morning, then clouds, mist and rain, cold wind, yukky mud.

It took us twice as long as it should have because of a construction area and a nail in a tire on the horse trailer. We had two horses, one of which was in foal, and five dogs - Rounder (see Rounder, part 1, 3/19/09) and Daisy May (see Daisy May's Story, 3/22/09), Abner, Gandy (see Gandy, 5/6/09), and Jessi.

No fences, water wasn't turned on, buildings had housed hogs and quite frankly they stunk. Wind was whipping the torn curtains - almost like a Halloween scary movie.

It's been a challenge, us two old fogeys and all this work. We hauled 10 tons of steel gestation crates out of the buildng we now use for dog kennels. If you had purchased stock in companies that sell bleach, you would have done well.

However, the investment that funds this rescue kennel is not doing very well right now because of the economy. Since we work here, we have been told that its future is up in the air. Whatever happens, happens, but it is surely the most rewarding job I have ever had.

Friday, March 5, 2010

We're Patiently Waiting

Dolly Momma looks like a miniature Airedale and was at a local animal control. She had been there for a couple of weeks, and I noticed an "Urgent" tag was added, so we went to see what kind of personality she had. She's a calm, quiet, housebroken young lady of just over a year old.

However, the lady at animal control said that over the weekend she had "blossomed" with what they thought was a pregnancy. One look told us she was correct. My maternity ward was empty, so we loaded her up, along with Pollyann, a mocha colored dachshund/?cocker spaniel mix that is also housebroken and a real sweetheart.

We took them to the vet and Dolly M. is also heartworm positive. The vet said it is probably her second litter, given her age. Between the pregnancy and the positive heartworm, that's probably why she was dumped. She was found as a stray.

It won't be long now - Dolly M. looks like a football - large in the middle and narrow on both ends!

They're Everywhere!!!

Puppies, puppies, and more puppies! It isn't even officially spring yet, and there are many litters being dumped at local animal controls and shelters. We have a litter of dachshund/shih tzu (we think) puppies and at 9 weeks, they are healthy, happy, and ready to go to new homes.

We have two litters that were at a local animal control, fostered, and returned. The "G" names litter have two pups in it that resemble black westies - two adorable fuzzy puppies. The other two in that litter are short coated and also cute. We have wormed them and got their bellies full, and they are learning to "follow Grandma".

The "H" names litter are larger pups and will be bigger dogs - a lab mixed with probably aussie. One male is a tri-color and unusually marked. They also are wormed, and with full bellies are learning to follow.

Then we have Dasher, a lab mix pup that was adopted out, but the family is in the process of moving out of state and just didn't feel it was fair to him as they aren't home much. He is neutered, crate trained, and looking for a new home.

Then there's Mickey - my pet name for him is "the Fonz". Mickey was brought to us via an animal control we work with via a group of volunteers who are trying to save animals in a kill shelter in another state. He is obviously a lab, maybe purebred, and has had a rough go. When the volunteer got him, he was covered with lice, so she had him treated and brought him to us. On the day she delivered him, she was notified that, while he wasn't in direct contact or even in the same room, another puppy at the kennel had developed parvo. We put him in quarantine and prayed a lot, and he is just as healthy as can be!!!

All of the puppies are working on crate training and doing very well.

Hopefully with the weather becoming warmer and the snow melting away, people will get out and about and adopt these great babies at the on-site adoption this weekend, or come out to the farm and meet some of the other dogs that are available.

Oh yes, Dolly Momma hasn't had her litter yet.