Kai is a dog we're holding for the time being and needed to move to a long-term foster. So I picked her up from her current location (along with the massive crate right of her travel crate) and we would be on the road, headed to meet her foster mama.
When I picked Kai up she was nervous. She came from a larger pack and wasn't sure what to do without their comfort. In the car she was quiet and just panted and panted, unsure what was happening. We drove for over an hour and met her foster mama at a field behind a restaurant off the highway.
We were very careful when getting her out of the car, mainly because a scared dog can be a major flight risk, and she doesn't know where she is. She'd probably try to run "home" but we don't know which location that would be. That being said, we doubled protection so she was never without a leash on.
Kai stunned me when she got out of the car. She transformed from being a scared and shaking dog, to a dog wagging from tip to tail. Her foster mom took her out into the field to try to go potty but Kai was too busy giving kisses to even care about having to go potty.
We all exchanged hugs and thank you's but as Kai's foster began to walk her away, Kai turned and dragged her back to me.
I knelt and petted her head. Kai kissed me smack in the face and then sat down an wagged. I've seen this before and I knew the message she was sending me, "Hey, thanks for the ride!" I patted her on the head, gave her a kiss and quietly replied (while holding back tears from the sweet gesture) "You're welcome honey."
Kai then stood and followed her foster back to the truck and hopped in. We headed out, the cars following each other up until the interstate where one went east and the other west. Kai had every reason to try to bolt, or to tuck her tail and cower, but she was brave and kind. She said her thank you and seemed to understand that we didn't want to have to split up the pack, or transport her so often, but we did it because we want the best in the long run for her. I think she knows that.