Today’s “tail” comes from Joyce Moore-Short, a volunteer at the Kent shelter. She has taken home not one, not two, but THREE dogs from the shelter! We are so lucky to have great volunteers like Joyce.
Back in April of 2009, we lost our beautiful one-year-old terrier mix Angel to a tragic accident. After waiting a couple of months, we decided to find a new friend for our canine companion Luckie, an Australian Cattle Dog mix. At the time I worked just a few blocks from the shelter, and one afternoon in late June I was almost home when something kept telling me to go back to the shelter. Upon arriving, I asked to see the adoptable dogs, and there he was. Sitting quietly at the back of his kennel, I spotted the most beautiful Australian Cattle Dog I’d ever seen. The name on the card was “Bandit.” I knelt down and quietly said his name, but he didn’t even look up. I could feel he was very depressed, so I just sat on the floor and waited a few moments. Eventually, he did look at me, and then moved up to the front of the kennel. When I reached out to touch him, he began to rub his whole body along the kennel door, sort of the way a cat would! Needless to say, I was hooked. I really think it was love at first sight for me. My husband brought our boy Luckie down so the two could meet, and they got along great, playing together in the outdoor run. We happily paid the adoption fee, I think it was $75 then, and Bandit became a permanent member of our family. He is still with us today. We kept the name Bandit (it fits, he has the traditional mask over both eyes) and has made amazing progress from the once shy, reserved shelter dog to the happy, playful and extremely loving guy he is today. I am so happy we chose to adopt!!
In February of 2011, I decided to volunteer at RASKC. I am studying for my Humane Religion Animal Chaplain Ordination and thought service work with animals would fit in with my studies. I began taking one day a week at the feline adoption room inside Federal Way PetSmart. I really enjoy my time with the kitties there, and talking to all the people. I have since added a morning of dog walking on the shelter grounds, and enjoy it equally as much. There has always been a special place in my heart for dogs.
In late March or early April, I saw that this big, gangly, white and tan pit bull had come in. He had the most beautiful blue eyes, and such amazing puppy energy! The card said he might be partially deaf and had some vision issues. I knew he had fostered with Officer Vicki, and he did well with her pets and family. Each Saturday I would come in to walk dogs, and there was “Parker,” still at the shelter. He was adopted and returned twice by different families. I was not able to find out exactly why he kept coming back, but I made it my mission to find him a suitable home. After contacting several special needs rescues, including a couple that work with deaf dogs, and hearing “sorry, we’re full up and have a waiting list,” I asked my husband to come down and meet him. He brought our other two companion dogs, Luckie and Bandit, so they could all meet. It was such a successful meeting that we decided we had found Parker’s new home after all, and that it would be here with us. He is thriving at our place! He has gained about five pounds in a month, and his true personality is really shining now. I never thought I would adopt a pit bull, but he is just the sweetest, most loving, playful boy ever. His hearing and vision issues don’t slow him down one bit; he’s just a little more cautious about where he steps after dark.
I have watched the shelter go through many changes over the past few years, all for the better, in my honest opinion. I would not have volunteered back in 2009, when we found Bandit, the euthanasia rate was so high and the culture around the shelter was, frankly, depressing. Having gotten to know many of the officers, staff, and other volunteers I can say I am truly proud to be a small part of it today. The people at the shelter really care; you can feel it and see it in their faces. Everyone works so hard for all the dogs, cats, goats, bunnies, and others that come through the doors. It is my hope that when I have obtained my ordination, the shelter will allow me to become their on-call chaplain. Overall my experiences with RASKC and the people there have all been overwhelmingly positive. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to say so in writing.