Volunteer Shift Notes

Again, much to do, so I must be quick.  Also very distracted by Jack Bear.  Anyway, a few notes from my volunteer shift this morning:

– I wasn’t sure how long I’d last because I didn’t get much sleep last night, but I did okay.  Got there on time and managed to do my full usual shift, despite slowing down a lot as I got hungry

– did not change parrot papers for I think the first time ever, which was disappointing, but still talked to most of them as I worked at other things

– spot-cleaned the usual enclosures and managed to not get bit nor pecked at

– one of the skunks had a seizure while I was in with them, which sucked.  She was back on her feet not long after, but I hated the feeling of helplessness because all we can do when that happens is wait.  Bless her little epileptic self.  😕

– I met Edward the micro pig and got to take him out for a walk!!!  So awesome!  He’s super friendly and cute and such a good little guy.  Another volunteer came out with me because she’d been out with him once before and loves him, too, but he was my responsibility today, and I rocked it!  Or rather, Edward rocked it.  He even led us back to the door when he was done and ready to go back in.  So awesome!

Anyway that’s all I feel like saying right now.

More tomorrow, I’m sure

 

A Couple Of Things

So, I think today was my favourite volunteer shift so far.  I got there on time, it was beautiful outside, there were four things on my part of the board’s To Do list, and for the first time ever, I got them all done!  That never happens.  Not until today, at least. One task was even new to me, and another one I generally suck at.

Again, until today.

The first thing I did was spot clean the small animal room.  This is the one I usually don’t do very well at, so I was glad to get it out of the way first.  I talked to everyone while I worked, which I usually do, but today seemed different.  Today  I felt a little more bonded to the critters, and a little more confident.  I even managed to get both ferret pairs locked in the upstairs part of their cages so I could clean the downstairs part without getting bit.  Haha

I was super proud of myself, because I’ve never managed to doc very good job with one pair, let alone both.  First time for everything!

Up next was changing the small parrot papers, which has somehow become my favourite thing.  The first guy had just had a bath, and was still pretty soaked.  I laughed and laughed!  He looked nothing like himself, but when he dried off, he was back to super handsome.

I talked to all of the birds more than usual, too.  I was chatty today, apparently.  They were all actually pretty good today, too.  Even when I was vacuuming, the “murder birds” didn’t try to get at me at all.  Even Blue seemed more like he was just watching me rather than plotting something.  It was cool.

Somehow I like birds now.

The new thing I got to do was to spot clean the lemur shifts.  Well, their shift and two others for their enclosure mates, Lilly and Kinka.  Bigger poo than the birds or small animal room, but not too bad.  Plus, the lemurs were staring at me through the door the whole time.  As they do.

AND, to top off the whole day?  Willow the capybara was taking a bath outside the whole time!!!  The back doors were all open and she was happily rolling around in a tub in the sunshine and looking so cute and content I could hardly stand it!  She kept flipping her little ears like a hippo.  I melted.

Vaccuming the parrot floor was actually the last thing I did, and while I usually like it, this time the vaccum cleaner stopped sucking.  Which is its one and only job.

But *I* fixed it!  By myself.  Didn’t even discuss with Tiffany first, I just fiddled with it, figured out the problem, and carried on.  So I was there a bit longer than usual, but I rocked it so I didn’t even care.

And lemurs.  And capybara bath time.  And no one trying to tear my flesh.

It was good.  I was sore and hungry and exhausted and in desperate need of a shower when I got home, though!

In other news, when someone you love is hurting, and you can do a whole whopping zero to help…it sucks.  And kinda hurts in sympathy, too.

 

Learning

I was going to write better, but now I’m caught up in a movie, so I’m distracted, but whatever.  I’ll keep it short.

I did some new stuff while volunteering today.  Well, new to me, anyway.  I actually started my shift off with it, and then it took me forever, and then I stayed longer than I have thus far.  It was just a simple task – change the food and water dishes in a whack of different enclosures – but each one presented a new challenge, and there was a ton to remember.

Chickens, rabbits, guinea pigs, hedgehogs, opossums…everyone had a different set of things to remember; what they eat, how much they eat and drink, how to avoid getting pecked at by the silky chicken who dislikes women, paying attention to the iguana when you’re bent over to make sure he doesn’t climb on your back.  All kinds of things, but different for each of them.

It was a lot for a lesion-addled brain which hadn’t slept enough due to a certain televised concert celebrating a – some would say – national treasure, keeping me up too late, to take in.

But I did it.

I barely managed to avoid being clipped by that silky chicken, and had to focus very hard to not pick up and snuggle every baby rabbit at my feet, but I did it.  It was stressful, because I put a lot of pressure on myself to do things right, if I can, but it was also cool because it was new and – for me – challenging.  It made my sleepy brain do some actual work.

I did a few other things – spot cleaned the small animal room (and managed not to get bit by ferrets, so that’s an ongoing plus), and washed some dishes and such, and of course took care of changing the small parrot papers, which is kinda my thing.  I don’t know why it’s my thing, or why I want it to be and like it to be my thing, but it is.  I don’t even know everybody’s name yet, but changing the papers at the bottom of all the small bird cages is the one thing I’ve done every shift, and I find myself kinda looking forward to it.  I talked to the birds more today than I have other times, and while I’m sure I’m just tired, I felt like they kind of recognized me this time.  Regardless, I am definitely getting better at it.  Still just as messy but I am faster and more confident now, too, which is probably why I felt like the sense of familiarity was returned.  I even got the sense that the little red bird who dislikes everyone, disliked me a little less than usual today.

At one point it even got sort of quiet in there; just two of us working away on our own tasks, a little music playing and a variety of calm animal sounds here and there.  It was peaceful, on occasion.

I stayed nearly an hour longer than usual, and was so freaking hungry by the time I got  home that I was stumbling around a bit while I put groceries away.  Then I took Brody out for a loo break, made a bad life choice that resulted in SO MANY BURRS, got them mostly all out, then finally ate something.

I can’t even remember  what specifically I wanted to say, including how I felt about my volunteer experience today, so I’ll just cut this ramble off now.

Is it just me, or did Gord seem to get stronger as he went along last night?  He seemed to me to be more…Gordie…by the end of the show than he was at the beginning.  Either way – what a show to remember.

#inGordwetrust