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A weekend at the shelter… | July 24, 2011

So, yesterday began my working at the shelter on Saturdays, and since I volunteer a day about 2-3 Sundays each month, this was the first weekend I’ve been at the shelter… in a couple weeks. (A few weeks ago, my co-worker wasn’t feeling well and I picked up 2 extra paid days, Sat/Sun.) But, in my 7 years at the shelter (almost 8 if you go back to my volunteering on Sundays at PetSmart doing offsite adoptions), I’ve rarely done a Sat/Sun, much less on a regular basis. The boss always had me on a Sat/Tues, until 2009, when she switched it to Sun/Mon off.

Anywhatsit. So, yesterday I got up at 7:15isham, got to work a few minutes after 8am (8:07am, to be exact), right behind my coworker, and began the day with five unwelcome words, “Terry, we have no power.” We checked all the buildings, no power. Critters were all okay. (There was a sizeable storm Friday late afternoon, so that was the likely culprit. That the power wasn’t back up yet was a bit odd, but whattayagonnado?)

The biggest issue with there being no power was water – we have a well and the pump needs electricity to run. Sure, there’s water pressure in the pipes so we had water, but not enough to clean the dog kennels and run for cleaning the cattery and office and all the daily cleaning.

The boss was called, and our fix-it man (her husband) would be out once he fixed their refrigerator. I went ahead and used enough water to mix up the puppers’ breakfast (and they had water in their bowls, so they were good), then we ran a sink full of water so the cattery could be done.

Mr Fix-It showed up after a bit (in the mean time I’d scooped out the kennels and was about to mix up a couple buckets of bleach water to do some spot cleaning of the kennels), and discerned that our generator wasn’t working. However, a young guy doing community service hours said we could borrow his generator, so he ran home to get it, and we went on a gas and breakfast run.

We got back, he got back, they set up the generator, I had water to soap, scrub, spray and squeegee the kennels. Got that done and did an hour of weeding and then some other work. Ate my chicken breast luncheonmeat sammiches and drank two quarts of Kool-Aid and a 20oz Diet Pepsi during the day.

The afternoon was uncomfortable, with no A/C or fans running. Kept waiting for power to come back on, no such luck. We couldn’t open to the public (it’s a safety hazard when you can’t hardly see in the building.) The kid left about 3pm, but left his generator with us in case we needed it Sunday morning. I turned it off and put it in a secure location and we left at 4:20pm.

It was a very tiring, uncomfortable day – I don’t mind busting ass and getting soaked, but it’s a lot easier to do that when you can go indoors and chill out in the A/C every 30 minutes.

Last night, I called the shelter to see if the answering machine would pick up, denoting that the power was back on. It didn’t.

When I woke up today, I called again. The answering machine picked up, which meant, yay, power! I brought a Lean Pocket for lunch, accordingly. Packed 3 bottles (96oz) of Kool-Aid (well, generic Kool-Aid), two fruit cups and poured my coffee and went to work. (Got dressed, too, for those who are about to say something.)

Today was much better. Just as hot out, but we had that safety zone to retreat to to cool off. Mr Fix-it brought out a mower and me and another community service worker did a butt load of mowing after the morning cleaning was all done. Being Sunday, we didn’t have to worry about opening to the public, so I took some extra time on detail cleaning of the drain gutters. (So need a pressure washer.)

Got a lot of sun from both days, mostly my face and arms. In addition to making money, working at the shelter again is a benefit by keeping me more active.

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