I had envisioned writing frequently about the exciting events at my favorite animal shelter, where I volunteer once a week. But it turns out you can say only so much about cleaning poop out of cat pens, and I pretty much exhausted that with the first post on the subject. Yesterday, however, was a day quite out of the norm.

“Good morning,” I said to Karla when I arrived. “Puppies!” she replied.  Huh? Turns out in the last week the shelter acquired through various means 22 puppies. To put this in perspective, since the first of the year we’ve had exactly 2 puppies that I know of; they were born at the shelter to a pregnant stray.  Well, is there anything cuter than a puppy?? Kittens are just as cute, and yesterday we had 4 new little kittens with their eyes barely open, tottering around the way kittens do and squeaking their high-pitched mews. But I was so thrilled with the idea of 22 puppies I never even thought to photograph the kittens.

There were small puppies:

puppies-004puppies There were dirty puppies in need of baths and a mani-pedi:

puppies-003puppies-001IMG_8956and there were some larger puppies who were full of puppy curiosity and puppy kisses and puppy yips:

bigger puppies-001bigger puppies-002and then, because who can resist a pair of baby blues, I offer you this gorgeous dog:

pretty blue-eyed dogBut wait! There’s more!!

A few days ago Animal Control brought in a tame parrot (at least I think it’s a parrot – if you can identify it, I’d love to know for sure). At the shelter there is a back room where sick animals are sometimes kept, as well as animals that are awaiting reclamation by their owners. This little fellow was as smart as could be – he knew how to open his cage. Even I have trouble opening these cages, but he figured it out in short order.

When my fellow-volunteer Holly saw the scene below she said, “that’s not good.”

bird on cat cageFortunately no harm came to either bird or cat. Each displayed a modicum of interest in the other, but there was no action. (That cat, by the way, is a big burly tough guy – at least he wants you to think he is. In spite of his cuts and bumps, he is a lover.) Four of us spent about half an hour trying to catch that darn bird to put him in a cat carrier from which we thought he would not be able to escape. He would have none of it. I don’t know who was more exhausted, the bird or the women trying to corral him.

Help came in the form of the bird’s owner, who arrived with the bird’s own cage, a delightful Victorian fantasy in white wire. We set the bird cage on top of the cat cage and stood back – birdy hopped on the outside of his cage, gave us a last knowing look and went inside. He’d had enough, I suspect, and I know we had.

Don’t ever let anyone tell you volunteering at a shelter is all cat poop and dog hair. Sometimes there are puppies and feathers, too.