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July 30, 2013

In: Uncategorized


Day at ATSo we know sometimes our suppawters wonder why we have been quiet for a while, and we know our fans who follow our stories and achievements so avidly wait for every story, good or bad. So we thought we would let you follow our paw-prints for one day…..

Okay, here’s a typical day as an African Tailer. We all leave home early (in …the dark and cold – around 6 am) to make sure that we are at the office to collect and prep all the dogs and cats for sterilisation that starts just after 8 am. But we’ve taken two emergency calls before 7 am. One is about a dog that has been stabbed. So we immediately send the field worker out to Du Noon to collect the poor brak, and at the same time collect a poor soul who is no longer wanted. The next call comes in about a pregnant dog laying about in Eerste River. No problem, our drivers are going to collect more dogs for sterilisation in Langa, so we will collect the dog in Eerste River as well.
By this time things are quite hectic.
The vets are arriving and unpacking their steri equipment, the “Cat Lady” has just stopped with a load of 10 feral cats to be tested for FIV and Leukemia, and be sterilised. Charlie, one of our adopted African Tails Rescues has also just arrived, as today he will be getting the big snip as well.

Ok, so now we have about 18 dogs, 12 cats, and Charlie howling his lungs out because he is not happy to be here….. A cup of coffee would have been great, but no time right now for such a luxury! Charl the vet gets into his usual routine, switching on his CD player with Celine Dion spreading a bit of calm across the house. The dogs are being given a pre-med to sedate them before the anaesthetic. The field worker has just arrived with the stabbed dog and the mutt not wanted.
Andrea immediately gets them into the vehicle and rushes off to the vet. By 9 am clock the first dog is carried through to the recovery area, and after that it is like clockwork. But now we have to make sure they get their Frontline, tick collar, and watch carefully that they are breathing and not bleeding from the steri cut. We all panic a bit as we see blood oozing from one girl, but the vet is quick to place the ice pack on the wound, and we place pressure on it to make sure it settles. And it settles.

It is now around 10 am and the field workers draw in with our truck with another 10 animals. This is the time when our hearts all drop, because there are quite a few unwanted and extremely sick amongst them. The sickly and unwanted get loaded off one side, and the tough decisions need to be made.
Is he/she healthy enough, or would it be kinder to put to sleep? How old is she? Will anyone out there be prepared to take her? And this one, not the most beautiful, but look at those eyes and the tail wagging… Great personality… But how many foster homes do we have that will be prepared to take the in the state they are in. (I can only imagine the criticism right now … but there are only so many fosters, and not so many homes).
At this stage, Celine Dion’s tunes have faded in the background, the last one we heard was the lovely Titanic song, My Heart Will Go On, bringing a sense of sadness to all of us. The difficult decisions have been made. The young pups with mommy who are no longer wanted, have a foster home. They can eat already, so their chance of survival is good. Mommy however, is checked by the vet, and we are advised that it is better to put her to sleep, as she has a viral infection which has damaged her internal organs. We say good bye to the sweetheart, but make sure we stand by her during her last few moments.
She looks so peaceful as she goes off to a better place….RIP angel.

In the office, phones and doorbells are ringing, people are walking in with sick animals, unwanted animals, people are asking for food, vaccinations, de-worming etc. As the animals come out of surgery, they lay recovering, we treat them for ticks and fleas and then put flea collars on them. As they start waking up, they get carried to their box where they can recover properly without hurting themselves. People start collecting their animals and so the day goes on. We now have some people interested in fostering the first lot of unwanted puppies, what a relief!
The puppies have finally settled down and await their foster parents. We still have the other litter of 8 puppies from Browns Farm that we just couldn’t have put to sleep because those little faces are just tooo cute and they nice and fat and healthy.
The vet with his vet nurse, has now finished sterilising the 28 animals, they start packing up and leave with the words, successful day, all went well?. We carry on with our daily activities and cleaning up. It’s about 3 pm and most of the animals have now been collected by their owners as well as taken back to Browns Farm.
We feeling tired at this point but no time for rest, not until we check up on our emails and other odds and dogs. It’s now after 4 pm and everything has been cleaned and the puppies have been collected.

PHEW what a day!

But oops we still haven?t found fosters for these 8 woofingtins, so guess where they going to go…. home with Veronica and Andrea of course! Just before 6, we rush around to get all the food and blankets together for this weekend of puppy day care!

Monday is another day and hopefully by then, there will be some furry godmothers coming their way. So when we seem a bit quiet, sniff this out to remember a typical day at African Tails.