Bud’s new puppy, “Hickory”

Well, at least I THINK his name is going to be Hickory. “Country Dream Hickory” probably, as a registered name.

I’m looking forward to getting my 2-Minute sport foundation packets out for his breakfast, lunch and dinner. As with any dog, we begin with attention to name (or re-name) and recall.

I’m curious as to how he’ll relate to the other dogs, who he’ll choose to torment, whether he’ll have respect for the oldsters.

Today I worked with my mother’s day gift to myself, a little string trimmer that runs off a battery. Convenience = 5 stars. Charge time = 1 star. I guess it runs about as long as I like to string trim, so I’ll be doing trimming in little bits.

Bud left this morning for his yearly Altoona (PA) seminar. He took Hazard and Blue — these girls are becoming great travelers though I’m not sure he’ll be able to handle them AND a puppy while traveling. If he wants to, I’m sure he will.

This morning I arrived at the YMCA pool about 10 minutes early, so swam for about 80 minutes, followed by an hour of aerobics. My goal is to build to 90 minutes by summer, either swimming alone or a combination of swimming and water aerobics.

About 45 minutes into the swim I felt so hungry I thought I’d be sick. I rested and brought my heart rate down a touch, then started again and got over the feeling. I’m very pleased with the results I’m seeing from the exercise in the pool.

After swimming I swung through McDonalds for 2 chicken sandwiches and a diet coke. I ate one sandwich and saved one for dog treats at the shelter. I’ve had no luck getting shelter dogs to each hot dogs, ham, treats, nothing. I figured they would eat chicken from McDonalds.

When I got to the shelter half the dogs were in outdoor pens. The smell was overwhelming. HSOV is using a new cleanser which deoderizes but the staff must be diluting it too much because it isn’t working very well. Or perhaps I arrived before the night’s smell had a chance to clear.

I strolled around the outdoor pens, drawn to a white GSD bitch who looked quite bedraggled. I tore off a piece of chicken and she sniffed it but refused to move from her sit, and refused to take the chicken. I tossed it onto the floor near her and turned away. She sniffed at it, but looked back up at me.

I walked 20 feet away and she leaned over, picked up the chicken, and ate it. I walked back and tore off another piece. By the time we finished our interaction she was taking little bits of chicken out of my hand and eating it. If I did nothing else today I’d be pleased that I connected — on one level at least — with this poor girl.

I worked with a couple of dogs, including a black lab mix with something wrong with his rear legs. He also had a fully engorged tick on his face so I took him into the guts of the shelter, found a worker, and got the tick removed.

We spent half an hour together in the hallway outside of the large adoption room. He decided the kittens in the towers weren’t as interesting as he thought they might be at first.

Most of the dogs at the shelter are too big and too boisterous for my trick knee, but I was able to spend a little time with a couple of them. There’s a purebred Sheltie going to rescue tomorrow so I left her alone and focused on dogs up for adoption.

The smell remained overwhelming and, after 90 minutes, I had to leave. By comparison, the Parkersburg shelter is kept clean and neat, is well-run, and is about as long a drive. Whether it was the smell today, or the 5-camps-in-6-weeks schedule coming up, I’m wondering how focused I’ll stay on shelter activities.

I don’t want to stop helping them but I question whether my contribution is worthwhile. I’ll keep restocking the 2-Min. D.T. brochures, keep talking with adopters, keep helping with dog training, and I’ll re-evaluate my committment every couple of weeks or so.

Is it really possible that the smell could drive me away?

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