Well, It was Friday night, Valentines, and I got a message: "Transport Tomorrow, Can you do it? They changed it from March to tomorrow!" (This is what I am talking about when I say transporters need to be ready to be flexible). After double checking a few things i confirmed that I could, and we then thought this would be a great opportunity to provide some "replacement training" to a prospective transporter who had volunteered to help out. I contacted him and after a few emails we agreed to meet at the airport around 1 in the afternoon.
The next morning I woke up, finished prepping for the transport: Jug of water, dish, blankets, leashes, crate (freshly Cloroxed), gloves (just in case) etc etc... Good to go! And then around 11 I got a text: Flight delayed, possibly canceled. Crud! I notified Jarret, (the new transporter) and let him know we were now on "wobble time" which meant we had no clue what was going on.
Waiting and waiting... and checking and soon news came down that the flight would be there at 4. At 2:30 Jarret checked to make sure we were still on for the same time and I double checked. NOPE! Flight might be early. I replied that he needed to roll, now. Especially since it would take him an hour to get here, and we had less than an hour. Oops!
I made it to the airport just in time. The plane landed and we were called to the tarmac. I called Jarret and told him to come straight to the tarmac and we'd be unloading. Jarret arrived just as I was handed the tiny crate. Inside lay a tiny white ball, Lamb Chop.
I quickly gave him the most basic version of transport. Holding up Lamb Chop I stated "This is the most important thing you pick up on transport, make sure you get the right one." I then held up her papers, "This is the second most important thing to get on transport. Don't forget their papers." He smiled and We quickly snapped some pictures.
We then collected ourselves and rolled off the Tarmac. We had paused out front to set the game plan for getting to G's and suddenly a man who worked for the airport came sprinting out. He stated "you forgot a dog!" Jarret looked at me and I shook my head "no, we only have the one puppy." He stated there was a dog and asked me to come back out, so I left Jarret with Lamb Chop and walked back out to the tarmac. They showed me to a little old mixed breed girl who was in a crate, clinging to the ground. I confirmed she wasn't ours and we crossed our fingers that her rescue or adopter would be there soon.... I still don't know what her outcome was but I hope she is now in her forever home.
We got on the road and little Lamb Chop got vocal about her feelings about traveling again and then in true puppy style, quickly passed out and quietly snored. When we got to G's everyone had to love on the puppy. We sat on the couch with her, cuddled Lamb Chop, and talked about what it takes to transport. Knowing what sicknesses like Parvo look like. Being prepared for anything like having gloves in the car, ready if a pup has mange. How to deal with flight risks etc etc... It was a great time, awesome to meet a new transporter, and a pleasure to get to love on little Lamb Chop and deliver her to her future.
Saturday, February 15, 2014
Wednesday, February 5, 2014
Today I knew I was meeting a transport, I knew where, but I didn't know when. As the day went on I knew I'd hear when they were in route to the meeting location, what I didn't know was that I would find this out 20 minutes before they got there. After 3 I got a text letting me know they'd be there in 20 minutes, at which time I jumped up and ran like a made woman, because I was over 20 minutes away from the location... oops!
So I hopped in the car and floored it. I am pretty sure I made record time. First I was passed this adorable little fellow, Pepito, and promptly fell in love. He is soft as silk, loving and did pretty well on a leash. He also makes the most adorable puppy sounds when you pick him up! I loaded him in the car after a minor wrestling match to get him in the crate. He was NOT a fan of getting off a multi-hour transport only to be put right back in a crate. Sorry little guy!
From what we know of his past, his family moved, and left him chained with no food... he starved until he was picked up. How a dog who had been so betrayed by people could meet me, a stranger, and wag his tail is still beyond me. What love. He is a total love and happily walked around in the grass. Every interaction, whether talking to him or petting him, seemed to make him happy. As his transporter so perfectly said, "he is a great boy, just needs groceries." I loaded him up in the car, which was far to easy for how big he is, and he quietly settled down into the comfy blanket.
Then "our third dog" was brought out... I looked at the dog before me, and suddenly i knew there was a problem... I'd never seen this dog before in my life... but I had seen the dogs who were supposed to be on transport to us... First two matched up, but the sweet hound-like dog in front of me was not the dog I was supposed to be getting. I called Gisele and told her that I only had 2 out of 3. She stated that I should have a 3rd dog, a German shepherd pup named Heidi. I told her that Heidi was not here, which meant... uh oh- she was going to tampa! CRUD!
Both Gisele and I began dialing trying to find Heidi. We discovered that she and one other pup were both in Tampa and would need to come back up in the morning, but she was safe and had a temp foster for the night so we relaxed a little. We'd have to figure this out, but right now it was okay for the transport to roll out.
When the car got moving the pup stopped screaming and promptly fell asleep, demonstrating a wide variety of what I think must be the most uncomfortable sleeping positions for a puppy. Paws spread, one paw on the cage door and one on the roof of the cage, head twisted upside down and backwards, and he chose to sleep this way.
Meanwhile just behind me Perry Como peaked out of the crate. Occasionally he would stand to see out the window. He is the only dog I have ever had in the car who clunked when he lay down, even with the fluffy blankie. I begged him to just lay down and promised we wouldn't be on the road long.
We got to Gisele's without a hitch and passed Pepito to his awesome foster mama who fell in love with him in an instant (who wouldn't?) and put Perry in his crate with a nice big bowl of food after a brief photoshoot.
We then discussed Heidi and with the help of some texts, phone calls, and emails it was decided that in the morning I'd be getting up (very early) to meet the transporter in Wildwood. The Transporter, who I discovered was also named Sara, volunteered to drive the two dogs who had been lost on transport back up to meet me. I mean she had already driven from Alabama in a day, and was driving back the next morning, (what a superhero!) so she figured what was one more stop?
Now, notice I said 2 dogs. Another rescue was in the same position we were and they needed a way to get their dog back to the vet we originally met the transport at. SO the plan was that I would get them both (my first dog from another rescue) take Heidi to Gisele, and drop of this golden dog at the vet on the way home.
Both dogs were quiet in the car but we did have just one more stop before Gisele's. We dropped off a crate and some medication to one of our fosters. She loved getting to see the pups on transport and admired how stunning Heidi was. After brief hellos and goodbyes we were back on the road.
At Gisele's all the pups were given a chance to stretch their legs, G and I had a brief bite, and we got some pictures of Heidi, who puts on quite a show for the camera. We looked her over and determined that she was a little skinny but nothing few bowls of puppy food wouldn't fix.
Two long days, 4 lives starting over. Sounds fair to me.
Tuesday, February 4, 2014
→ The Transport That Became Two - Pepito, Perry Como, and ... Where's Heidi!?