Archive for August, 2012

Extreme Sleepover: Shelter Edition – COMPLETE!

 I am happy to report that the Extreme Sleepover was a smashing success and I have reached my fundraising goal of $5000….

…..and then some! Donations are still coming in, but as of this evening our fundraising total is $9,855. We were so close to our $5000 goal yesterday, and then I got a phone call offering a $5000 donation, to which I responded in an oh so elegant manner; “holy crap!” followed by many “thank yous”.

I am overwhelmed by the support that this fundraiser has received! It started off as a silly idea in my mind and grew into this wonderful experience!  Every single one of you who donated, I cannot thank you enough. Every bit made such a difference. When I was in the bank dumping a donated jar of change into the coin counter, I watched the total climb with a smile, each cent getting us closer to having a Dog Park.

The dream of an Off Leash Dog Park in Meadow Lake is close to becoming a reality. With the Extreme Sleepover, plus donations received during Jesse’s Anniversary day on Center Street, our total is just over $10,000! We’re 2/3 of the way there and we couldn’t have done it without the generosity of our dedicated supporters!

I have learned a lot from this experience. I was given the opportunity to see another side of the shelter that no one has ever seen before. I say goodnight to the animals after an evening shift when I turn out the lights, and good morning to them when I come in for a morning shift (and sometimes they get the pleasure of me singing “good morning, good MORning, it’s great to stay up late, good morning, good morning to YOU!”) but the night life in between goodnight and good morning was always a mystery to me. I was also able to spend some quality time with the animals and get to know them better. It may have been a little hairy, a little messy, not so peaceful, not so quiet, and a little flea infested, but I loved every minute of my sleepover.

I know how hard our volunteers work to make sure our shelter animals are happy and comfortable, but I had a greater appreciation for the little things after spending 12 nights at the shelter. No dog has to sleep on the floor because of Kuranda beds. No cat is without a soft bed. A radio softly playing and the night lights throughout the building provided a sense of comfort. Even the blankets and pillows I used during my stay were all donated to the shelter. A lot of love goes into this shelter, and it shows.

Every one of the animals in the shelter has a history: Whether they were given up due to allergies, abandoned, left tied to a chain and ignored, or found living at a dump, they all have a story to tell. Some people don’t want to adopt a shelter animal because of their “baggage”, but I have learned that animals are so resilient, and at the end of the day they just want to be loved. And don’t worry about baggage, I carry that for them!  A little piece of every animals story has been left with me.

During my sleepover I was able to experience what some of the animals would be like as pets, and I was able to give them a little preview of what it would be like to be in a home; sprawled out on a future owners bed, hogging the blankets, attacking wiggling toes, giving lots of sloppy kisses, loud content purrs, and most important of all, being loved. We have a shelter full of amazing animals, and like I always say, there is a forever home out there for every one of them, their future owners just haven’t found them yet.

Last night as I nestled down into my bed after 12 nights away from home, with my dogs and cats clinging to me like I had been gone for years, I was happy, but part of me was thinking of the animals I left behind in the shelter. I was sad for a moment, but then reminded myself; they are warm, they are safe, they are happy, and they are loved by our devoted volunteers.

…and I can always see them in the morning.

If you’d like to donate to the Off Leash Dog Park Fund, OR to donate to the Meadow Lake & District Humane Society to help us help the animals in our care, here’s how!

Donate by Mail Box 944 Meadow Lake, SK S9X 1Y7

In Person at Meadow Lake Innovation Credit Union

Or Online http://www.canadahelps.org/CharityProfilePage.aspx?charityID=s83533

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Night #12 – Extreme Sleepover: Shelter Edition

Fundraising total is $4220!

Recap of night #12.

9:15pm I arrive at shelter with Nula who’s back from her foster home. Riel also came back while his foster home is on holidays so I let the two out to play.

9:25pm I set up my bed

9:30pm Nula and Riel discover fly paper!

9:40pm I feed dogs and cats

9:45pm I leave to go visit Paula and retrieve valuable supplies.

11:10pm Back at the shelter with supplies.

11:15pm I set up my fortress of fly paper.

11:20pm Turn out all the lights. Riel and Nula will be my sleeping buddies tonight! What better way to integrate back into the shelter! Puppy Party!

11:30pm They have no interest in sleeping, just playing.

12:00am and playing

12:30am and playing

1:00am and playing some more.

1:30am Nala stops to chew a bone in my face.

1:50am ..and then the playing resumes.

2:00am. Ok, that’s enough playing. I put them in a kennel together and bring Ziggy out to sleep.

2:15am He settles right in! Off to sleep!

5:00am Bathroom break. Ziggy whimpers so I let him outside.

5:15am Back to bed.

7:20am I wake up and take a picture of Ziggy snoozing.

7:22am And go to lay back down and notice this beauty on my pillow. *shudder*

7:30am Someone knocks at the door. A gentleman says he has a predicament, and explains he picked up a dog past Green Lake area that was sitting on the highway next to an eagle. He grabbed it before it became breakfast. I told him to bring it in.

7:35am Meet eagle food!

7:40am I let dogs outside. Shih Tzu checks out Buster.

7:45am Shih Tzu thinks she can fly. Been hanging out with eagles too long.

7:50pm Scan her for microchip. Nothing.

7:55am I put the Shih Tzu in Spike’s cage while he’s outside. We are now overfull again with 15 dogs.

8:00am Night #12 Complete!

If you’d like to donate to help me reach my fundraising goal of $5000 and so I can get back to my warm bed, here’s how!

Donate by Mail Box 944 Meadow Lake, SK S9X 1Y7

In Person at Meadow Lake Innovation Credit Union

Or Online http://www.canadahelps.org/CharityProfilePage.aspx?charityID=s83533

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Night #11 – Extreme Sleepover: Shelter Edition

Fundraising total still at $4050. No new donations since my last count. Uh oh! We still have $950 left to raise until we reach $5000!

I’ll break it down in attainable terms.

If 950 people donated $1

or 190 people donated $5

or 95 people donated $10

or 47.5 people donated $20 (anyone know of half a person?)

See what I’m getting at? Every little bit helps!

Recap of night #11.

9:30pm Arrive at shelter. Let dogs outside. Ziggy gets into a fight with McD and has him pinned down by the neck. After yelling, trying to pry apart with brooms, squeegees, and whatever else I could find in the dark (Note to self: replace light bulbs outside), I did what I KNOW I’m not supposed to do and grabbed for Ziggy’s collar. Let this be a teaching moment! McD chomped down on my finger. Thankfully it’s just bruised and swollen. McD sounded like he was dying and I was desperate to save the day so my sleep deprived brain went against my better judgment and I got bit. Stupid me.
What did we learn today class? Don’t grab for collars in a dog fight!

9.35pm I put the rest of the dogs outside and wrap my finger in cold face cloth to stop the swelling.

9:45pm Jeff arrives. We have the shift tonight so we get to work. He feeds dogs and cleans cages. I clean litter boxes and vacuum cat cages. I let cats out to stretch their legs.

9:50pm Paula arrives.

10:oopm She prepares vaccine, which by the look on her face, is VERY serious business.


10:05pm Do you know what else is serious business? Vacuuming my face…yep. Lack of sleep has made me officially insane.


10:10pm Cats first.


10:45pm Then dogs.


11:00pm Put cats and dogs away. We put a coat on Kaya so she’s not so chilly. She’s very stylish! Jeff says she looks like Superman’s dog Krypto.


Woah, it’s like looking into a mirror!

11:15pm One of the cats is still in the office. She knocked over my pile of bedding and made herself comfortable. I decide to let her stay the night. I can never get her name right..Dutchess? No. Princess? No. Jeff reminds me that it’s Buttercup.  This happens several times.


11:25pm Paula and I shave Mudflap. Isn’t this what normal people do on a saturday night?

11:40pm. I make my bed. Kaya and Mudflap refused to move so I made the bed with them in it.

11:45pm Kaya comes out from under the covers and settles in to sleep.

11:47pm Buttercup wants nothing more than to snuggle with Kaya. Kay Kay wants nothing to do with Buttercup.

11:50pm Buttercup gets closer…


11:55pm….And closer….

11:57pm…And even closer still…


12:00am Buttercup wins! Kaya sighs and goes to sleep. No point in resisting a cat on a mission.


Jeff, Paula and I visit for a bit. Paula let’s Leela out to join my sleepover.

Paula sets up fly paper next to my bed. I can’t get them open without ripping them!


12:31pm My furry companions and I are all tucked in! Jeff and Paula leave.


1:00am Cats are having another Ninja battle in the outdoor enclosure.

5:00am Wake up for bathroom break. Leela follows.

5:05am Back to bed. Buttercup snuggles in.


6:00am There is a fly buzzing around my head and periodically landing on my face.

6:05am I try to hit the fly and slap myself in the face.

6:10am *slap*

6:25am *slap*

6:30am *slap*

6:45am *slap*

7:00am *slap* SERIOUSLY!?!

8:45am Dogs wake up and start barking. I am slow moving as my lower back and hips hurt from the cement floor. I grab the counter and pull myself off the floor and hobble like a 90 year old and go let them outside.

8:50am I’ve got the cleaning/feeding shift this morning so I get to work. If anyone’s ever wondered what’s involved in a shelter shift, today is your lucky day!

Feeding Dogs & Cats

Sweeping or Vacuuming Floors (and your face, if the mood strikes you), and mopping.


Scooping Litter Boxes


And everyone’s favorite, Scooping poop!


Turns out I don’t have the shift after all….maybe I should learn to read! I’ve got the shift tonight. Oops!


9:30am Night #11 complete! (I’m going cross-eyed!)

If you’d like to donate to help me reach my fundraising goal of $5000 and so I can get back to my warm bed, here’s how!

Donate by Mail Box 944 Meadow Lake, SK S9X 1Y7

In Person at Meadow Lake Innovation Credit Union

Or Online http://www.canadahelps.org/CharityProfilePage.aspx?charityID=s83533

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Night #10 – Extreme Sleepover: Shelter Edition

Fundraising total is $4050! $950 more to go! *happy dance*

Recap of Night #10!

10:00pm Arrive at the shelter. The dogs are eerily quiet. Their nerves are probably shot from the all day thunder showers!

10:10pm Go and let flea dog out of her kennel. She was groomed today and looks so much better than the fur massacre I did!  Her name is now Kayi, Inuit for “drifting snow”.

10:20pm Let BK the kitten out to join us in the office. Dogs start barking a bit. Ziggy lost his voice! His bark has been reduced to a raspy squeak. Hooray!

10:30pm Go through the cat vaccination book, cross off who’s been adopted and make a list for who’s due for shots.


10:35pm Same with the dog vaccination book.


10:40pm BK thinks he’s helping.


10:40pm Decide to tackle the mess that is the computer cabinet, where paperwork goes to pile up and be forgotten about.

10:45pm My pile of papers to sort through.


11:00pm Kayi is very patient as I pile papers on top of her. Reminiscing over animals long adopted as I see copies of their adoption contracts. I can’t remember where I park my car some days, but I can remember all of these animals!


11:15pm Look at it! I can see the desk top! It’s almost sad how excited this makes me!


11:30pm I continue tidying in the office. BK observes.


11:45pm I give in and turn on the heat. The rain has cooled things down a lot! Off to bed! Kayi will be joining me again, as she’s pretty chilly and in need of some cuddles.

12:00am Bedtime snuggles with BK.


3:00am Why am I all wet?! I wake up and discover BK knocked a vase and flowers on me. I really should get up and ..zzzzzzzzzz

5:00am …Dry off. Put my blankets in the dryer. It looks like I wet the bed!


5:10am While I wait, BK attacks my leg.


5:20am Fresh from the dryer and OH SO TOASTY!


5:25am Grab an extra blanket from my kitten cage bed and pop it in the dryer.

5:30am Yeah…That’s the stuff…


5:35am Curl up in my toasty cocoon. Turn on the baseboard heater by my head. Must try not to catch my pillow on fire.

5:40am I hear a fly buzzing in the fly paper again…oh the guilt.

6:00am Dogs start barking a bit. Kayi won’t come to bed. She’s standing and staring at Buster. I assure her he is not a real dog.


6:15am She finally lays down. I share my blankets with her.


8:00am ACK! Fly in my ear! The guilt is gone! I hope you get stuck on the fly paper!

8:15am Lay in bed listening to the rain..why won’t it stop!?

8:45am Fold up my bedding. The shelter is leaking from all the rain!


8:50am Kayi sees a great opportunity for a drink!


9:00am Looks like there was a flower party in here!


9:10am I put BK and K back in their kennels.

9:15am Night #10 complete!

(don’t they do this in prison?)

If you’d like to donate to help me reach my fundraising goal of $5000 and so I can get back to my warm bed, here’s how!

Donate by Mail Box 944 Meadow Lake, SK S9X 1Y7

In Person at Meadow Lake Innovation Credit Union

Or Online http://www.canadahelps.org/CharityProfilePage.aspx?charityID=s83533

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Night #9 – Extreme Sleepover: Shelter Edition

Fundrasing total is up to $3535!

Recap of night #9!

10:00pm Arrive at the shelter. Check out Jeff’s rig ups for fly paper. They are very complex!

10:05pm Look at who made the front page of the paper! So exciting!

10:10pm I bring last night’s flea dog (FD) outside to pee, but she doesn’t do anything. We come back in.

10:15pm Let the dogs in. Ziggy is back from his foster home. He is quiet and well mannered in a home setting, but the shelter is a different story! I don’t expect much sleep tonight!

10:20pm While filming Ziggy, Casey leaves a present for me.

10:25pm I let some cats out to wander around. Sit down and snuggle with BK.

10:30pm Revenge is a dish best served sticky!


10:35pm Kittens are calling for me to come sleep over. No way, kids!


10:40pm Give FD some canned food for bed lunch.

11:00pm Take her for a walk and watch a lightning storm in the distance.

11:10pm Back inside as it starts to rain. Sit on the floor with FD. She’s a lot nicer to me when I’m not giving her baths and shaving her! We got off on the wrong foot!

11:20pm Do some laundry and set up my bed in the office. FD stakes her claim.

11:25pm My sleeping buddy for the night. I figured I already had fleas, they’re like chicken pox right? RIGHT?!

11:30pm Settle in to bed. Here comes the thunder! I close the window as I start to get rained on.

11:35pm FD is scared of thunder. She’s panting and shaking. I snuggle with her to calm her down.

3:00am Ziggy barks…and barks..

3:30am Another storm rolls in.

3:40am Power goes out.

3:45am Hear a fly buzzing trying to get off the fly tape above my head…now I just feel bad!

3:50am I get up and make my way to the bathroom, arms stretched in front of me, as I try to navigate the pitch black office. I look like a zombie on the hunt for brains, but instead of moaning “BRAINS” I’m moaning “TOILET”. FD whimpers, I call out to her and she follows me to the bathroom.

4:00am Back into bed. FD paces the office and then settles back down beside me. She’s shaking and panting from the storm again. At least she’s not out in it like last night!

6:30am At some point the power came back on. I wake up and put my bedding into the washer and fold dry laundry.

6:45am Take FD out side for a walk. She would much rather walk in puddles than on grass. No wonder she was a mess!

7:00am Night #9 compelte!

If you’d like to donate to help me reach my fundraising goal of $5000 and so I can get back to my warm bed, here’s how!

Donate by Mail Box 944 Meadow Lake, SK S9X 1Y7

In Person at Meadow Lake Innovation Credit Union

Or Online http://www.canadahelps.org/CharityProfilePage.aspx?charityID=s83533

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Night #8 – Extreme Sleepover: Shelter Edition

Fundraising total is up to $3020! Thank you all for your generosity! And hopefully after this recap, if you haven’t donated, you will just out of sheer sympathy!

Recap of Night #8!

10:00pm On my way to shelter after spending a nice quiet evening at home with my animals.

10:10pm I get a phone call from a friend that there is a matted dog they’re trying to catch but having no luck. I go to assist.

10:30pm I caught the dog and brought it to shelter. It is an Eskimo cross, very dirty and matted and soaking wet from the storm we had this evening.

10:35pm I dry off the dog and try brushing out some mats and remove a big twig from it’s tail that it was dragging around.

10:40pm I see something move…is that….oh no…it can’t be…oh…there’s another…oh no….FLEAS!

10:45pm I put the dog in the tub and give it a flea bath.

10:50pm I vacuum the office where the dog was. Remove everything from the back seat of my car that the dog laid on.

10:55pm I feel crawly so I vacuum myself.

10:58pm I make the horrifying discovery of a flea on the back of my neck and proceed to scream and dance around the office.

11:00pm I pick off two more fleas. I put them on the desk and try to smush them between my fingers to no avail, so I bang my fist against the desk screaming “WHY WON’T YOU DIE?!?!”

11:05pm The fleas are all moving to higher ground.

11:10pm This dog is absolutely infested with fleas so I decide to shave it. Sorry dog.

11:10pm I am losing my mind and on verge of mental collapse so Paula comes to the shelter. Who knew tiny fleas could send me into a tizzy?

11:30pm The dog is full of scabs underneath all of its fur. It looks like an older dog, as teeth are quite stained and eyes are foggy.

11:35pm Paula turns the heat on in my car because she read heat kills fleas. We’re gonna smoke ’em out of their hole!

11:45pm The shaving went well but the dog decided it’s had enough and starts to bite. I try to get a muzzle on, but they’re both too big, So I put on big gloves for handing wild cats and eagles and continue shaving while the dog bites me.

11:50pm I give up and Paula gets a kennel in office ready for the dog, so it doesn’t go near the other dogs and spread fleas.

11:55pm Put the dog in a kennel with food and water.

12:00am Jeff arrives with some clean PJs.

12:10am Paula leaves, thanks for the emotional support while I dealt with fleas! I wash my hair and change PJs and throw everything into the washer.

12:20am Jeff checks my head for fleas…now I REALLY know how it feels like to be a monkey!

12:35am Since the flea dog was in my sleeping corner I opt for my second bed in the kitten cage. I’ve had enough creepy crawlies for one night. I am barely under the covers before the kittens are climbing all over me. Jeff snaps this picture and then goes home to our wonderful flea free house. Lucky.


12:40am The orange kittens start purring and nuzzling in my ear. This is cute until I realize they are trying to nurse. I remove them and my ear and neck are full of kitten spit.

12:50am I cover my head with blanket and tuck it in underneath my arms and legs. I am hiding. The kittens are nudging and biting and clawing at the blanket attempting to get to me. This is like some ridiculously cute horror movie!

12:55am Kittens are still trying to penetrate my blanket fortress.

1:00am It’s hot under here…I wonder if I can suffocate?

1:05am I come up for air. The kittens are distracted with a toy.

1:15am Cat fight in the male cage. They sound like Ninjas.

1:20am Jill attempts sleep: Take 1.

1:30am They’re baaaack!

2:00am Jill attempts sleep: Take 2.

2:54am Kittens are trying to nurse again. They sound their battle cry “purrrrrr purrrrr purrrrr slobber slobber slobber”.

3:00am I am freezing. Need more blankets. Don’t want to wake dogs. I opt for more warmth.

3:10am I make a cocoon and go back to sleep.

6:00am I wake up. One of the orange kittens comes to nurse. I give up. Have at it.

6:10am Watch the kittens play. I don’t think any of them actually slept the whole night…neither did I!

6:30am Another kitten starts slobbering and biting my ear. That’s it! I’m out of here!

6:35am Put my clean flea laundry in the dryer.

6:45am Night 8 complete. I actually had to think about how many fingers to hold up…

If you’d like to donate to help me reach my fundraising goal of $5000 and so I can get back to my warm bed, here’s how!

Donate by Mail
Box 944 Meadow Lake, SK S9X 1Y7

In Person at Meadow Lake Innovation Credit Union

Or Online
http://www.canadahelps.org/CharityProfilePage.aspx?charityID=s83533

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Night #7 ONE WEEK! – Extreme Sleepover: Shelter Edition

Well, a week later and I’m still at the shelter! Donations are coming along and we’re up to $2565! Over half way!  Check out the Northern Pride for an article about the Extreme Sleepover!

Recap of night #7 at the shelter.

10:45pm Arrive at shelter.  Snap a picture with my camera and then it dies. Note to self, buy more batteries.

10:50pm Do some laundry, pick sleeping buddies for the night. Casey will be joining me again along with her dump-buddy Morgan.

Morgan was rescued along with Casey from a landfill.

10:55pm Morgan seems super itchy…

11:00pm So I inspect her for lice, fleas, other creepy crawlies….She’s all clear! Once she’s healed up from her spay she’ll get an oatmeal bath to sooth her itchy skin.

Now I know what a monkey feels like…although I draw the line at eating whatever bugs I find. That’s what separates man from beast….eating lice.

11:05pm Casey rips off her foot bandage from her dew claw removal. Bah!

11:10pm I am armed and dangerous for close encounters of the fly kind. Hopefully I don’t whack myself in the face!

11:15pm Goodnight kisses from the girls, now off to sleep.

12:00am Buttercup is meowing away. Casey and Morgan are sleeping soundly.

2:00am I wake up. For no reason really. Must be force of habit! Apparently my foot makes a great pillow!

5:00am Bathroom break! Casey and Morgan get up to follow me around, and then go back to sleep.

7:45am Woah….I….I….slept? For longer than 2 hours? What?! Throw in another load of laundry and let the girls outside for a pee.

Kick the pee, kick the pee, kick the pee!

7:55am Give the Morgan and Casey a milkbone and put them back in their kennels.

8:00am Night #7 Complete! See what I did there? Haha, One week down!

If you’d like to donate to help me reach my fundraising goal of $5000 and so I can get back to my warm bed, here’s how!

Donate by Mail
Box 944 Meadow Lake, SK S9X 1Y7

In Person at Meadow Lake Innovation Credit Union

Or Online
http://www.canadahelps.org/CharityProfilePage.aspx?charityID=s83533

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