Welcome (back) to the Jungle

So, some of you might know that I (Hi its T, I survived!) was out sick the majority of this week, leaving Lisa to fend for herself mostly and tend to the fort.

Well, today was my first day back since.....mid Saturday of last week (OK, it feels so much longer than that) and what a day it was.

Every morning, when we (OK, I. Lisa has usually already been there for far too long, getting the morning routine started and feeding the "kids") walk through that door it is a "hit the ground running and don't stop now" sort of sensation, with dogs all chasing you and the birds starting to wake up and call to everyone. It is that jolt of caffeine that us not coffee fiends need to start moving. And it makes my day, every time, no matter the insanity about to ensue.

This morning was no different, the dogs all came rushing over to greet us and the birds were all calling in their room. It was like coming to your favorite coffee stop, the one that knows your order without looking up. New faces were there, of course. Our bunch of 'Bama babies, playing and tumbling over each other in their enthusiasm. Oreo and the Ladies were there, wandering through the puppy piles and watching the kids play.

It was time to hit the ground running, cleaning out the Chinchillas cage and feeding and watering the birds while Lisa cleaned and fed the pups.

The Bird room is one that is wholly without explanation. There's no way to describe the feeling of seeing familiar feathers in their beds, each one with their own personality waiting to say Hello.

Its in knowing them that you can really see an animals personality shine. Knowing, to the best that we humans can anyway, how they seem to act, which one only pretends to be a "scary" bird and fake out bites you. Which one is the noise maker, the class clown and the sweet kid in the corner. It always makes my morning, wandering from cage to cage asking each inhabitant how their night was and what they wanted to watch. (Its fun with the lizards too. You should see Aggie's eye roll when I ask about her salad)

Once they've all been fed and cleaned the day really starts to kick off. Customers coming in with a wonky computer system and lots of puppies making lots of puppy messes. Donated bedding to rip down into smaller pieces for more bedding, cages to clean as they empty, birds to swap around while cages are borrowed and more messes to clean.

Its a sort of whirlwind that leaves you winded at the end, wondering how its already time to put them all to bed for the night and wondering how it was that you again forgot to eat. But its worth the whirlwind, to see their faces everyday and make those connections and see those personalities shine through whatever brought them to us. Every day (or every week when you've been out sick) you see little improvements from the day before. A dog that wouldn't play yesterday is now out running the store and causing mayhem, a bird that missed you lights up when you walk through to turn on their TV.

Little moments that make the messes worth their weight in paper towels and Lysol.

So go on, and let that personality SHINE (and maybe don't get sick)


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