Category Archives: Pets

Animal Welfare Inspector

If you haven’t been following my sober journey you would of missed that since I have given up drinking after 20+ years I have realized that I was not living life at all in fact I was simply turning up. Now what was normal and acceptable for me is no longer that way and one of the big parts of this was my job. Before I thought it was challenging and I wasn’t bored. Now that I am sober, not working with a hangover, not thinking about getting home to start drinking, not worrying how much booze I had at home so I could go home and drink etc, etc, etc I realize that I could do my job with my eyes closed and it is slowly killing my soul. Never before have I had goals and things to aim for and now I do and my career is one of them. I have decided that I don’t just want a job to get by in life I want a career that feeds my soul as well. I want a career that is making a difference in this world and that is helping those that can’t help nor speak for themselves, the animals. As part of pursuing that dream I am spending any days I can with the local SPCA inspectors and traveling with them for the day attending jobs and learning like a sponge.

The last two days were so great I really don’t know how I’m going to settle back into my boring arse job next week but have to find away as I need to pay my bills including vet bills and get me debt down if possible before I start studying next year. Included in the two days was a lot of traveling which was great and if I’m lucky enough to become a warden I will be doing a lot of driving and I love driving so that’s a bonus. First we went to check up on a case were the dogs ears had been cropped which is now illegal in NZ. Next came dropping off a dog that had been looked after by the SPCA after it got attacked by other dogs and the owner couldn’t afford to get it treated so contacted the SPCA to help it. This is a side of the SPCA I did not know about, I don’t know why but I thought that if you couldn’t afford to get the required vet care for your pet you would surrender it to them but nope they will help you out if the inspector decides to take it in. Then onto a case of a dog that had been reported as coming to their property and that it was badly under feed. Part of the problem with very rural towns and rural regions is a lot of the houses don’t have street numbers so figuring out which house can be bloody difficult. It does freak me out a bit being so rural and going onto peoples properties when you have no idea what sort of people you are going to find on there. It might not sound a lot but there was a whole lot of driving going on to reach these cases. On the second day we traveled over two hours just to get to the first case which was to follow up on a report of dogs on a property that the owner leaves for a week or more on their own without any care. This was followed up by going to a town to check up on a dog that was reported as starving and with no shelter. In the same town we then went and did an interview with a vet for a case that they had been involved in which was going to court for neglect. On the way home we called into an address of a report of two starving dogs that live their life on chains. By the time we had done all of those and then driven home for another two hours we finally got back to base.

**Warning this paragraph is graphic about a puppy that was suffering due to neglect** I can’t go into details obviously but I can say what a sad end we had to our day. We got back to base just in time to see the chief inspector furious because she had just brought in a puppy that was in such a sad state the decision was being made that it would be kinder to put her to sleep to end her suffering. The poor thing was probably around 10 weeks old and it had mange so bad that its skin was raw and bleeding and coated in flaky scabs. It’s legs and toes where all swollen so fat. Her skin felt like it was on fire because it was burning with infections. She has entropian (when the eyelids are inverted or folded in and the eyelashes rub the eye balls) and they were swollen. She was a mess and she weighed a ton but that was because she was so full of worms, she would of been starving because those worms would of been eating any and everything inside her. I don’t think I will ever forget the look she gave me when I patted the only part of her body that I thought would hurt her the least. You are probably thinking why not save her and had people reported her earlier and they had got to her before she got that bad they would of been able to but there had been to much damage done to her little body. I stayed in the room as she was put to sleep and I can tell you that she left being hugged by the ladies and quietly talked to in soothing words. Sadly we don’t know if the people responsible for this will ever be found but the team will work bloody hard to try to find them.

You might think that what happened in the last paragraph would make me not want to pursue being and Animal Inspector, hell no it doesn’t. It saddens me of cause, it angers me of cause BUT we were able to stop her suffering without us she would of still been there and it would of been a terrible slow and painful ending. It just makes me want to help these animals even more and whether it be through educating the people or prosecuting them I don’t care as long as I can help as many of the pets as I can and reduce that neglect and abuse out there for them.

Living life sober, raw and real has opened up this world of being able to dream and work towards earning my qualifications to be able to do this career and it is freakin awesome. I want this, I want it so bad because every hour I am doing it just makes sense. I am not happy working in a corporate job now making money for others I want to be and do the difference that I know I am meant to be doing.

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Loving + Caring = Beautiful

I don’t know why but I always love this picture. All I see from her is the pure love and joy she has for him?? I think it’s a him but again I don’t know why. But he is looking as if he is thinking she has so much to learn…………….

This is so true, I used to judge people to much on how the looked but now it’s on who they are and thank goodness for that as I have meet some amazing people. Just to be clear I am including some really beautiful inside and out that I would of thought well they are right out of my league. Shit they are amazing beautiful souls, never judge by looks as they are often wrong.

Sorry cheating a bit tonight have been trying to keep myself busy as I still struggle to face the news of my little dogs illness. I will do a post at some stage of just how much this little girl means to me and the fact that she is why I am still here today. Had one of you comment today (thanks Kate) that had I been drinking still I might not of even noticed that something was wrong with my little girl. That is so very true I believe that her kidneys would of deteriorated a lot more before being picked up if I hadn’t been living sober and actually noticing the little things that together added up to having me worried enough to ask my vet about it. I am so glad I am living sober because it has brought me more time with my girl and any minute, hour, day, week, month and year I can grasp I bloody well will.

Living life sober, raw & real is all I am interested in today.

And The Fight Begins

Damn it the results are in and we have the start of kidney failure with my little dog. At this stage we are not sure how advanced it is nor how rapidly it is happening and until we do another round of blood and urine tests in a months time we won’t know. After those tests we will be able to gauge the difference in that month. Sadly you can’t do dialysis on dogs and a kidney is not something that can rejuvenate itself. I asked my vet today, “we are in trouble aren’t we”? And sadly her reply was “yes”. My heart dropped but I am not ready to just accept and we will be fighting this one for as long as we can. Following many emails between her skin specialist (who is a qualified vet as well) who has been treating her for bad allergies and my vet we are going to try slowly changing her diet to one based to help her kidneys. Once that is sorted there is a gravy that can be added to it that is jam packed with vitamins and minerals that her little body needs. This little girl might only weigh just over 3kg but she is a fighter just like her Mum and we aren’t going to give it everything we have got.

That’s my little girl she is tiny but her heart is bigger than a Lions for it’s love and her inner strength.

Tonight I am sad because my dogs are my world and one of them is in trouble. One of my Soul Sisters has just moved away and I’m missing her. I feel down and scared at the moment but I can’t help but wonder how badly would I be coping with all of this had I still been drinking. Would I of had a clear enough head to see that it’s better to focus on giving all my time and energy doing anything I can to help my baby stay as healthy and happy as I can. My friend will be back eventually next year so it’s not forever. Previously I would of spiraled into so a dark depression I would be a danger to myself right about now.

Living life sober, raw & real is my life now and I’m happy about that.

Feeling Blue Today

Been sitting here staring at the screen trying to figure out what to type tonight and coming up blank. I am feeling sad and blue because one of my fur babies could be in trouble. She has had to be on medications for years now and it might of started to take a toll on her kidneys. I keep trying to tell myself not to worry and to wait for the test results but today we got the blood tests back and they are confirming it. Now we have to provide more samples for further testing. It really brings it home that she is 12 years old now and we are looking after a little old lady.

This little girl is the reason that I am still here, on the times that I really was so sick and tired of being depressed and just couldn’t find my way out of the blackness it was the knowledge that if I died she would probably die as well. We are so linked it is only my mother who can get her to eat sometimes when I’m away otherwise she just won’t until I get back home. I call my dogs my little heart beats and this one really is as our hearts are intertwined. Waiting for results and hoping like hell there is something we can do.

It’s times like these when living life sober raw and real, feeling every single emotion and thought is the hardest. Previously I could of drunk myself numb until we got the results and knew what was happening. Now I am trying to stay calm all while my mind is over working and thinking up crazy shit.

Living life sober, raw and real is the only life for me now.

Therapy Session 4.1

Yesterdays therapy session went like this –

So what have you been up to since we last saw each other? “I’ve been very busy with work, Animal Welfare Inspector and my FB page that helps pets.” Oh that’s good lets talk about the Animal Welfare side because you mentioned your concern about how you would cope or feel in some of the situations you could find yourself in. “Well there was one part that quite surprised me and that is the places and people they call on that would normally be on their own. I have learnt that there is only up to a certain time of the day that they will call on some places because after that the owners are too drunk or stoned from what they have been taking. If they are drunk you only have up to X time before they get all mouthy and if your much later than that you will strike them when they are all argumentative. If you are talking to a guy and his girlfriend is around always try to include her as well otherwise she will think you are trying to hit up her man. Generally the guys won’t assault you because they know that in court they will get hit harder for male assaults female but the females will no hesitate and will stab you as quick as look at you. Another reason to bring them in closer when talking to the guy is so you can see what she is up too.” Oh wow that is all stuff that I had never thought of and actually makes perfect sense. What about your thinking in what you might see towards suffering with the animals? “Yeah I saw some of that but to be honest you are too busy watching your arse making sure you are safe and taking everything in that you don’t really get time to think about that side of it it’s not really until after that it can hit you. But I have developed a way of thinking about that now. I am there to help the animals and to help end any suffering but I am not the person that they are in that situation in the first place. There will be some we can safe and some we can’t but I will give each and every one my absolute best shot. I will also have too do everything that I do while following the law and all the rules and procedures. I have no doubt that some times that will fuck me off but I have no choice. If I don’t I would risk losing my job and then I can’t help any of the pets. I will need to make the call on which ones get PTS and which ones get treated but no matter how bad it feels to have to help them to Rainbow Bridge I did not put them in the position that resulted in this ended and I am still helping them by ending the suffering.” Well you certainly have thought about it a lot and have a great way of thinking about it I feel that you have mentally prepared yourself and are very wise in your way of thinking. Are you confident this will work for you? “Well I know that no matter what I do there will be times when the animals will get to me as there is always those ones that you just can’t help but have feelings for and a feeling of bonding. But once again I am not the one that has caused the harm or neglect to them in the first place. I will how ever be able to make the call to end their suffering or in conjunction with the SPCA vet come up with a plan to help them recover. My main job with all of them will be to first help and aid them and second make sure I do it while following all the rules and completing all of the ridiculous paperwork (of which their is a mountain) to the high standard that will mean it will never be thrown out of court. If I have ones that really get too me I will be back for a session or you can refer me to someone that will be able to help and talk it over.” Well I don’t think there is much further I can do for you there then for now. “No I don’t think so either I think the more I go out on jobs the more I will learn and I will develop my own style including coping mechanisms.”

I hate it when my posts get too long so…..Part 2 tomorrow……….

I’m living life sober, raw and real and it really is the only way I can see my future. Without living sober I would never of been able to dream and now reach for my goal of becoming an Animal Welfare Inspector.

Animal Welfare Inspector

As discussed with sobriety has come a clearness of thinking and the ability to dream and set goals. It has also made me aware that the life I was living wasn’t really living it was just turning out and I’d be hungover, at work, drinking, sleeping and repeat (talk about groundhog day). Anyway one of the things is that I realized how much my job doesn’t feed my soul AT ALL. It provides me with an income which I am extremely grateful for but I need to be doing something to improve the world we live in and because my passion is animals preferably to improve the world they live in. So I am at present taking steps towards becoming an Animal Welfare Inspector and part of that involves going and spending as much time as I can with the Chief Animal Welfare Inspector so today I did just that and it never fails to be an eye opener (here is my post from the first day I went with her – https://functioningguzzler.wordpress.com/2019/02/02/even-the-bad-felt-good/ )

Today our jobs took us out of the city and to a couple of country towns. I am rapidly learning that the majority of the people that you visit are very wary of your visit and a lot of them don’t want you there and the welcome mat is very rarely out. Our first call was to two dogs that were just chained to a tree and this had been reported by people who were concerned. Sure enough they were chained to a tree which provided them with shade but there was nothing but dirt for them to sit on, they were in good condition which was great and they were lovely friendly dogs, there were empty bowls around but no water at all (I’ll put what is the legal requirement at the bottom for those that are interested). A friendly talk was had with the owner explaining what needed to be changed and we helped her to set them up with a basic kennel and shelter. While we were doing this the male dog kept trying to mount the female dog and when we told the owner that they will have puppies next she said nah they won’t do anything because they are brother and sister (sadly it is surprising the amount of people who think their dogs won’t breed because they are related). We gave her beds and blankets, flea treatment a bag of food for her dog. By the time we gave her all of this and helped her with the kennel her attitude changed a lot because she could see we were there to try to help. A follow up visit will be made because she needs to get the kennel situation sorted so that during storms it is stable and a way of doing this was discussed along with the offer to get her dogs desexed and come back and help provide a run for them.

Next visit was not as friendly because it was to a young guys house who thinks its tough to have tough dogs and he is very abusive and threatening. Like all small towns the word had spread that we were there and he had bolted from the house. We sighted two dogs on the property and one was chained to a clothes line, skinny, no water, no food and she was vicious. Some biscuits were chucked at her and you could see that she wanted them but she would not move from her spot. Apparently it’s quite common for them to get smart and not show you how long their chains are so you go closer and then they can launch at you. There was also a male dog on the other side of the house and it was chained to the deck and had shelter by going under the deck. He did have water but it was green, no food and he was not friendly either but as soon as biscuits got chucked at him he forgot all about guarding. There is no way we would go in there with him but he would of been a bit easier to pole if needed. Legal paperwork was left were the owner will be able to find it and he has a week to correct things for them both.

We then went back to the city and had to call on another regular because there had been reports that he had over 10 dogs and that they were injured and in bad condition. It turns out that he is good intending but sadly takes in dogs or picks up dumped dogs or puppies and tries to look after them himself. He did have seven dogs and they were actually in okay condition probably the saddest part was that a couple were so over weight that they couldn’t walk properly. There were 2 males that weren’t desexed and naturally one was wanted to be a alpha dog and had 3 fights while we were there. One of the females wasn’t desexed but the guy thought she was too old for that to matter. The offer was made to get the two males and one female desexed, he said he couldn’t afford it and was told that didn’t matter they would be done for free. Sadly he still wasn’t keen but the seed was planted and hopefully he takes it up.

Back at the office there had been a call taken from a lady saying that he dog was unwell and demanding that they provide medicine for him as she couldn’t afford it. She was told to bring the dog in so that they could see it. They thought it had a flea allergy and had an infected tail. On inspection it actually had bite wounds on it’s neck and after unwrapping the insulation tape off its tail underneath it was infected and possibly from bites as well. He wasn’t desexed and had been jumping over to the neighbors dog who had attacked him. The husband was the one that brought him in and I noticed that he was driving a new wagon (yep sure it could be a company one but I don’t think so) and he was well dressed in label clothing. Why they couldn’t go to the vet I have no idea. It was advised to keep the tape off the tail as all that would be doing is driving the infection in instead of having it come out. He was given stuff to treat the wounds and told that if it hadn’t improved at all in a couple of days to come back and see the vet onsite.

The rest of the day involved treating sick cats that are in quarantine at the center. The inspector will be doing the paperwork while watching the rugby tonight at home. It really is a career that is also a lifestyle as she will also be taking care of her own dogs (the one’s she has adopted because they were deemed unadoptable for various reasons) her cats and can’t remember what else she has. Oh and the foster mumma cat and kittens, orphan kittens etc as well. She is an incredible person and her job is also her life, just the sort of person you want looking after the animals.

Living life sober, raw and real is a blessing and is allowing me to have experiences like today. I can’t help but think how different these dogs would be with different owners and in loving pet homes but sadly I am learning that it’s not as common as I thought it was.

Animal Welfare Regulations in New Zealand – Shelter – You’ll be OK if your dog’s shelter and living area meets these needs –

  • Your dog can access their sheltered area at any time. It is clean, dry, shaded and ventilated – but not draughty – and protects them from the extremes of heat and cold.
  • It is big enough for them to stand up, turn around and lie down in a natural position.
  • They have constant access to water.
  • Their droppings and urine do not accumulate

Otherwise you can be fined $300

Alcohol Didn’t Even Enter My Mind

I was struggling to figure out what to write today because I have been a bit upset. I am pretty sure most of you would of figured out that I love dogs and I absolutely love and would die for my own dogs. My dogs are the reason I am still here today, when I was at my lowest point it was actually the thought that one of my dogs would honestly probably fret to death as she will not eat for anyone else etc. Well yesterday morning we were out having our morning walk and one of my worst nightmares happened and we got attacked by another dog. We are fine and thankfully the only physical damage was a bite on my boys tail, mentally it is going to take a lot longer to heal for us all. I am not even going to go into what breed or size it was because to me that does not matter sadly with this one it is all about it’s shit owner. This guy actually laughs as his dog growls, barks and snaps at other dogs as owners walk them past on the footpath. The owner is a Jackarse and this would of been totally avoidable if it wasn’t for him. I have reported the attack to Animal Control and the dogs owner will now be getting fined and his dog classified as a dangerous dog. I have been scared, angry, mad and upset about it. I have taken the dogs for a walk again since and honestly myself and my dogs were so nervous and on edge it wasn’t all that relaxing.

Now while I was drinking this sort of thing would of driven me to drink to cope with all the emotions but this time I am so happy to say that I have not even thought about needing a drink to cope. To me that is some silver lining out of all of this. There has been more goodness out of it with my beautiful friends all sowing their support with love, messages and even offers to cover any vet bills. I have been blown away and more than a little bit emotional about it. God I love the friends I have been blessed with.

Living life sober, raw and real is so worth it. Some days will still be shit but face it that is life and your going to have that living sober or drunk. I am glad that I have gone through this totally sober allowing myself to feel it and not numb out all feelings while sitting there over thinking and probably getting even more angry and upset. I didn’t wake up this morning all hungover and disappointed with myself on top of feeling like I did. I woke up and went and reported it so hopefully no one ever has to go through the same thing with that man and dog. Then on my way home I stopped and got the help my dog needs for his injury (they needed to take photos first).