Monday, May 4, 2009

Dog Town

Few people have ever had the interesting job experience that my little sister Keeley has had. She has worked at two different jobs that were currently filming two pretty different reality shows. And they both involve dogs.

The first one was when she lived in Seattle and worked at the Downtown Dog Lounge. While working there they filmed a show called Adventures in Doggie Daycare (I put the link up to Kee's bio from the show. I love the picture of her, that her home town is Pason, and that they mixed up Nev. and Idaho). It was a kind of behind the scenes look at life of the pampered pet. It was really cool to see Keeley on tv. It was also fun to talk to her about things that happened on the show and find out the truth behind "reality tv" and all the times they re-set a shot and things like that. It was also fun to watch the show and then find out more info about the people and dogs on the show. Sort of your own behind the scenes.

Last year Keeley decided that she wanted to work for Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanab, Utah. So she moved down to Kanab and applied for a job. Now that right there is something I could never do and admire about Keeley. She moved there because she wanted to work there, and then applied not knowing for sure how the future was going to play out. I have a hard time picking where to eat lunch. By myself.

Well it happens that National Geographic was filming the second season of Dog Town. If you get National Geographic and have never watched this show, and like animals at all, you should watch it. There has yet to be an episode where I didn't think, I want that doggie, for at least one of the animals. And several episodes have produced tears. I might have a hard time working there and not becoming crazy animal lady. The only bad thing about the series is that they only focus on a few staff members, so Keeley hasn't been on tv, but it's still fun to talk to her about the dogs and find out what's going on with them now.

I had never heard of Best Friends before my sister started working there, so I'm gonna assume some of you may not have either. Best Friends is the country's largest No Kill animal shelter. A lot of the animals they house would have been put to sleep at other shelters because they were considered "unadoptable". Best Friends works very hard to rehabilitate all the animals so that they can be adopted, but those that can't be rehabilitated will live out a happy life being cared for and comforted.

These animals don't just stay locked up in cages and thrown food. The dogs in my sisters care get daily visits that include play time, walks and attention. Best Friends does a lot of work going into disaster areas, such as Hurricane Katrina and rescuing animals that were left behind. They also had an episode this season where they went to countries in the Middle East to rescue animals left behind in war zones. I cannot express how impressed I am by this organization and proud to say that my sister works there.

Of course I'm getting around to posting this just as the season is ending, but the shows do get replayed. The first episode of the first season focused on the Michael Vick pit bulls. 22 of the dogs were sent to Best Friends. These were dogs that even the Human Society told the courts that they needed to be put to sleep. And yet Best Friends was able to rehabilitate most of them into loving pets. Keeley's first week included hand feeding one of the Vick dogs. I love watching this show and seeing the care and patience that the staff show to these animals.

The show Dog Town focuses just on the area of the sanctuary with, you guessed it, pigs. Well actually just dogs. But Best Friends houses everything from rabbits to horses (where Keeley hopes to someday work.) When ever I watch the show I'm reminded of the quote by Gandhi "The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the ways its animals are treated." I think there will be a special place in heaven for the people who have dedicated their lives to making the lives of those below them just a little bit better. And I have a feeling there will be lots of puppy kisses to go around.


Wade The Rascal said...

That is awesome and extremely admirable of your sister. Good job Keeley.

Maiken said...

Keeley is a die hard. She's so cute, too!

Susie said...

Go Kee!