Most of my posts have had a specific theme, maybe even all of them. Well, today is not one of those days. I just felt like spewing some various thoughts about my current life status with no clear direction; let’s give it a shot.
If you know me at all over the past, let’s say 5 years, you know that I’m a serial job changer. It’s not on purpose or by design. Trust me, looking for new work every 6 months (or less in many cases) is not exactly desirable for me or my ever-tolerant and amazingly supportive wife. Similar to first impressions with people, I’m generally good at judging a new job within a short amount of time. If I’m unhappy after a month, and I don’t mean just the expected difficulties of learning a new computer system or job specific duties, then chances are it’s not for me.
I’m also not one to publicly bash my previous employers because I understand the importance of not burning bridges and at least attempting to maintain good relationships after I’m gone, so I will (almost) always go out of my way to end of good terms. For example, I left my last job after 5 months and still maintain contact with my former supervisor and a handful of my former colleagues. I do my best to be up front and honest when I have another opportunity that seems like a better fit and will always give at least a 2-week notice. I don’t want to intentionally create extra work for my peers beyond the void I leave behind, that’s just not my style. I’ve been on the other side of picking up the slack when people leave, so I know how much it can suck having to do double work until another person comes along.
I’ve been at my current job for a little over a month now, and it’s been great so far. Did I really just type that? I think the last time I enjoyed, or at least tolerated, a job was in 2011-12. Some of the similarities that allow me to take some pleasure in work are definitely the people I work with and level of autonomy I’m given. I am given tasks to complete with an idea of how to reach the conclusion, but it’s ultimately on my shoulders to figure it out, which I like. It’s a small office, so my opinion actually carries some weight, and it’s close to home so I can go home for lunch and not have to fight a ton of traffic to/from work.
Moving on from work, we (Kylee and I) are still spending a good bit of time at the animal shelter or at various events for the shelter. We’ve seen several dogs and cats come and go this year, which is good and bad. Selfishly, I’m always sad when I see a dog I particularly bond with get adopted, but obviously that is the reason I spend as much time with CCA as I do. It’s even better when we get an update a month or two later from the adoptive parents telling us how happy the animal has made them. Whenever we get a new animal, it’s always heartbreaking. One of our most recent arrivals was a dog who had been left in a crate for several weeks while his drugged up owner neglected him and barely fed or watered him. You would think that a dog like this would be at least skeptical of humans, but he couldn’t have been more loving and affectionate. I always say I like dogs better than people and this ability to forgive (and/or forget) and move on is remarkable to me.
A dog named Gage, now re-named Finn, is probably my most recent bittersweet adoption. I’m terrible at remembering dog ages, but I think he’s around 5 years old, and he is a shepherd mix of some kind. He was always a dog I looked forward to spending time with at the shelter. Call me petty, but whenever I saw him and he would get up and wag his tail it put a smile on my face. We’d go on our walk, he’d get his treat, and then I’d try to stop back by after everyone else had their walk and brush his fur. Either before we started or right around the time we started, he had been adopted and returned (did I mention people suck?). The couple that had adopted him was getting separated or something, so they decided he was expendable or something, who knows what was going through their minds. Just last year, he had met with another family, we did the home visit and everything looked great. Fast forward about 3 days when we were in Indiana visiting family and we get a call from the adopters and they said they wanted to return him. Thankfully, Kylee was the one who got these types of calls because she was much more patient with these scumbags than I would have been. We told them that it would take time for him to get re-acclimated to a home environment because it had been a long time since he heard a refrigerator close or the air conditioning kick on. Of course, they told us at the time of the home visit that they understood. They also said that he wasn’t aggressive enough for them and that he didn’t bark when someone knocked on the door…seriously, they said that.
So, Gage came back to the shelter. On the one hand, I was thrilled to see him. On the other hand, I felt so bad for him because he had done nothing wrong and was kicked to the curb after 3 days in a new, unfamiliar environment. After seeing him returned twice, I was even more conscious (and skeptical) of people with an interest in him. Just a few months back, we had another inquiry on him. The girl came out to meet him, she fell in love. She wanted him as a surprise for her boyfriend/fiance because he had always had dogs and she knew that he wanted another (they had none at the time). A couple of days later, she brought her boyfriend (for consistency he’ll just be the boyfriend) out to meet him…and he had no idea where he was going at the time, mind you. We brought Gage out to meet them and it was an immediate connection. Cautiously, we were optimistic. They filled out the application and we scheduled the home visit. They have 2 cats, so we wanted to be careful around them since he (Gage) had never actually spent time with cats. To our satisfaction, Gage was a champ around them. They sniffed each other and went about their business. We left him off of his leash and let him explore the house, and next thing we know he’s up on the couch (with the potential adopters’ approval) laying down. Needless to say, everyone was thrilled with the home visit and Gage was officially home. Kylee got a wonderful email just a few weeks back telling us that Finn was doing great and they invited us down to come see him, which we have not yet had an opportunity to do so yet but are definitely looking forward to!
These are the stories and results that make it so rewarding to dedicate my the animals at CCA. The dogs and cats that get adopted and returned deserve better. I could very easily rant about this, but I’ll leave that for another day and another post. Seriously, I have to move on because I’m getting angry just thinking about that topic.
Well, I was at least able to stay on one topic at a time without drifting off, so I’m willing to call this experiment a success. Hope everyone has a nice, long Memorial Day/Derek’s birthday weekend. That reminds me, one more random thought…when I was a kid, I used to think that Memorial Day was somehow tied to my birthday because it sometimes falls on the same day, like this year.
Anywho, thanks for reading!