Saturday, August 9, 2008

The story of a transport

From River's mom:
River has kindly allowed me to tell the story of the transport today of Hunter the English Setter. His trip started in Georgia and will end at his new furever home in Illinois today.

I thought I would backtrack a little and explain what a transport IS. In short, it's a relay. Volunteer drivers generally drive 60-100 miles and hand a dog or dogs (we've done as many as 30 at a time) to the driver or drivers of the next leg of the relay. Sometimes it's done over days if it's really long but most of the time in one day. Thank dawg for email and cellphones. It's so easy to contact everyone now--not just to arrange the transport but in case of problems along the way. The transport coordinators are people who do nothing but arrange transports. They are almost never located along the route but somewhere in the US or even in Canada arranging US transports. As the dog is handed to the next driver (and you just pray you remember to give them the papers and food and toys that were sent along) the one left behind calls the coordinator. That way, she can contact people further down the route if there's a hold up. That's done with email.

I want to note that fortunately I have NEVER lost a dog although some have been tough to handle nor has anyone else in all the years I've been doing this. I have, however, pulled puppies and a mama off a transport because in my opinion they were in such bad shape they would have died along the way (I fostered until they survived--they had contracted parvo which hit just as they were being transported). And everyone I work with is very passionate about what they do--or you could say crazy like me. It always gives me hope knowing them when you can get so depressed listening to the news and what humans can do to each other and to animals.

So to the transport. I got everyone up at 6am and as River will tell you I'm NOT a morning person. He, however, is as lively and perky at 6am as at noon or midnight. After getting everydog back in and settled in their 'day' places (for instance, Georgia will attack Belle when I'm not supervising so she stays in a crate when I'm gone), I hit the road.

Hunter had been fostered by greyhound rescue just outside Atlanta until he was healthy and ACES (Another Chance for English Setters) had arranged for his adoption. They left home at 7am to meet me at a Cracker Barrel restaurant. I always arrange to meet at Cracker Barrels--lots of grass and I love to eat their food when I'm finished transporting. Yeah, well, it's my favorite junkfood place, too, because it has old time candy like from the 50s & 60s as in last century.

This is a picture of the sky as the sun is coming up. I'm almost at the big highway. It's going to be a sunny day.

Hunter's foster parents were already at the CB and were walking him as I arrived so I got a poop picture (no, I didn't mean to, he did that just as I was pushing the button). We build in 15 minutes at each stop not only to walk the dogs, feed and water as needed but because we all like to visit a little. There are different people driving each time and each weekend there can be as many as 5 or 6 major transports going through our area--all volunteers from the coordinator to the drivers.

And there are also the drivers who do this as a business (not me, maybe when I retire). They charge $125/dog and can take 40 or more dogs at a time in a huge air-conditioned, USDA approved trailer (it's all very regulated). Sometimes we send dogs up north that way if the adopter can afford to pay the fee otherwise, we figure out a free transport. It's great having all these options so as many can go as possible. I'm also darn glad that gas went DOWN 60 cents a gallon this week!
Here is this sweet boy, Hunter. He was the perfect gentleman in the car. He had his tennis balls (almost de-fuzzed) in the back with him and a blanket across the back seat.
See, he immediately settled down in the back. He looked so cute there I had to take a picture.

Here he is sitting up in the back seat. You can see him in the rearview mirror. Most drivers have vans or SUVs with crates. I never could afford one so we do the best we can with my small car. Fortunately, it was very cool, in the 60s, so I had no worries about AC this time.
Here we are zoomzoom heading north to the next stop and the next driver.
Around the curve heading for the mountains.
By then the sun was up and very bright. Here the leash is handed to the next driver who had brought along some of her own dogs in her van. We were both early so we had some time to chat about a local shelter, the horrible conditions, the new county administrator just voted in who was animal friendly so we had hope for positive changes. Then we parted.

Here I am going home to my River just off to the left. And, now that I'm home and it's about noon, I think we're going to go take an AFTERnoon nap lol

16 sniff-Arooos:

Gus, Louie and Callie said...

Your Mom is such a wonderful person to do that relay. We are sure that everyone involved appreciates all the time she puts in. Give mom some big hugs from us..

Big Sloppy Kisses
Gus, Louie and Callie

Jan's Funny Farm said...

River, your mom is a super person! We get the impression she volunteers to do this. What a wonderful gift to the dogs she transports.

Booker the Treeing Walker said...

What a wonderful way to spend a day. River's mom is a "doggie angel." The English Setter is such a handsome boy, we hope he is headed to a wonderful forever home. Someone must have relayed Booker once or more, to get him to us. We owe all of them a "thanks," including the very very nice people at Delta Air Cargo, who sent a "private" little trailer truck to get him off the runway and speed him right to us at the cargo pickup!

Dozer and Coop said...

You rock! Why don't you drive over to Oregon and pick me up and I can have some vacation time with River? He called while you were gone and said you said it was okay if I come for a couple of weeks.

I'll go wait in the driveway,

Love, Dozer

Eduardo said...

My Mommy says people like your Mom make the world a better place, Mom just wonders why there arn't more people like your Mommy? River do you think people can be breed to be nice, like greyhounds are breed for speed, and beagles are breed to hunt? Maybe the scientist need to work on that!
Hugs & Snugs
Eduardo the Snuggle Puggle
P.S. River I'm ready to see that snoopy dance!

Jake of Florida said...

We were going to leave a silly note -- and then we read how your mom spends her time and we just want to give her big sloppy wirey kisses to thank her for all she does for dogs.

Since we're not there, why don't each of you give her one for us (we're two, so that would be two kisses from each of you).

Lots of wirey love,

Jake and Just Harry

Lacy said...

w00f's River and all, to rivers mama, God Bless u Sweet Lady...for all the things u do fur animals..and it tis a good thing gas prices went down...

b safe,
~rocky~

Samantha said...

Thanks for the info on the transporting River's mum. It sounds such a rewarding thing to do.

Hunter is gorgeous and looked so well behaved. What a good boy, i hope he finds a great forever home.

It is sad that there is the need to transport so many dogs but great that there are people like yourself that do go out and do this wonderful thing for them.

Kapp pack said...

Great job! We love helping with transports!

Puppy slurps, Canyo

Lorenza said...

Hi, River's Mom!
You are GREAT! And doing that just for your love to doggies...
My mom told me to tell you she admires you a lot!
Kisses and hugs
Lorenza

Winterdark said...

You must be so proud of your Mom for doing this River. I'm proud of her and I don't know her very well!
Bolo http://peiinthelife.blogspot.com/

Thor said...

River´s Mom!
You are a wonderful person doing that for the doggies.
I hope Hunter finds a great furever home!

woof
Thor

Alasandra said...

River your Mom is pawsome to do the transport and help doggies get to their forever homes.

Hunter is a cutie pie. ~S,S & C

Charlie Daniels said...

River I reckon your Mom is fantastic for what she does!

Cheers

Charlie

Deefor said...

I never knew about that. I'm so glad all these humans-- and especially your mom-- go to all this trouble to help doggies get homes. Me and Arrow were adopted so we know how good it is to get a forever home. Thank you for telling us how it works.

Deefor

oorvi said...

Hi River,

I think your mom is a wonderful human...she goes through so much trouble to keep us out of trouble!

Give her a big, slurpy lick on my behalf...please!

Licks n Wags,
Oorvi