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Volunteering at the Austin Humane Shelter: Part 3

Continuing through Part 2 I described the shelter itself, what they do there, and how the volunteer program in fairly abstract terms.  I also tortured you with dog pictures.  I know I said I didn’t want to be a general advocate for what they do but I really do feel that their program is brilliantly set up and run well and I’d thump on about it for that reason alone.

But this is a place where the shelter in general is only part of the picture.  My experience this summer at the Austin Humane Shelter was probably as responsible as anything for my recovery from my depression and it has special meaning to me for that reason. That’s what I’m going to talk about today and tomorrow.  And as I promised in Part 1, I’m going to make you cry at the end of it all.  You can fight it, but I’m going to win. … Keep Reading

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Volunteering at the Austin Humane Shelter: Part 2

In Volunteering at the Austin Humane Shelter: Part 1, I talked about the shelter itself, what it does, how adoptions work and introduced some of the volunteer programs including the BRATT (Behavior Re-homing Assessment Training Team) program I’m involved with.  I also finished by introducing the idea of different color levels for the dogs and that’s where I’ll pick up today since nothing I said yesterday can possibly have made any sense.

Level Up: Part 1

.The Austin Humane Shelter ranks dogs into different color levels ranging from green (lowest level) to blue to bb (think of it as extreme blue) to yellow to orange to red (sick dogs).  Puppies are purple and there are a couple I may be missing because I haven’t encountered them yet.

As dogs move from lower to higher levels (e.g. green to blue to yellow to orange), there tend to be more behavioral issues and they need more training and better qualified people to handle it. … Keep Reading

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Volunteering at the Austin Humane Shelter

Having talked about training in various and sundry forms for a lot of weeks now (people still think of me as a nutrition guy), I actually sort of wanted to either do a research review or talk about fat loss or something (you know, gotta move that product) today.  But it’s the end of the season and I’m weird about cycles and I want to wrap up this weird year (I run on a sports calendar) with a series of posts that you probably never would have expected to see coming from me.  But tough, here it is.

Because, among other things, this series of articles are going to be almost universally positive, something that is rather rare for me.  Most people think of me as nothing but a misanthropic asshole who dislikes everybody and everything (that’s untrue by the way, I simply dislike 97% of everybody and everything) and in certain contexts there is certainly some truth to that.… Keep Reading