And, twice a year, I volunteer to help process the cats and dogs that come through -- and my friend, Kay, volunteers to work with the vet, scruffing, holding, soothing, or whatever else needs to be done to the highly excited/anxious felines and canines (and their people). It's a great community service, we've all gotten to be a chatty group over the years, and it's a good way for people to license their dogs as well - the Town Clerk is always a volunteer.
We divide the night into first hour: cats and second hour: dogs. This doesn't always work seamlessly - there are stragglers, people seldom pay any attention to the hours posted, and occasionally a cat makes it's escape and there's a general melee as we try to get hold of it. Usually someone has to volunteer their jacket as a net.
And 'jacket' is the key here. The garage is comprised of cement and metal. There is almost no heat, the lighting is gruesome and don't even ask me about the acoustics! Fall or Spring, it's cold and damp. Last night was the fall clinic. And, right on cue, it was raining. The cats and their owners straggled in (there were some amazingly cute kittens!) and there was one escape attempt. Other than that, it went smoothly. We can't see outside, but it's pretty evident when the dogs and their people start lining up. Once we've processed all the cats, we all take a deep breath, syringes are filled, pens are poised, the door is opened and the dogs burst in. From then on, it's complete chaos. We yell questions at the owners, the owners yell back the answers. Dogs hoot and holler, yip and yap, boom and squeak. Some years we have a lot of small dogs (that's hardest on your ears) - this year we had a lot of hounds. I don't think I need to elaborate on their particular vocal patterns.
I had to abandon my tablemates before the end, as there was a Zoning Board meeting that conflicted with the clinic. I actually hated to go. It's fun to see the dogs and meet neighbors. When they've all been run through the gauntlet, the silence is deafening and you can sink back in your wildly uncomfortable metal chair in a state of happy exhaustion, then go home and appreciate the relative sanity of your own menagerie.
The weather forecast for the weekend is brisk but mostly sunny. That's my kind of weather! Top-most on the list/s this weekend is starting the run-in shed and rebuild of the greenhouse enclosure. (You can probably hear me laughing all the way out your way!) Don't forget to leave a comment for the Apron/Apron Book giveaway! Winnah announced on Monday!