Sunday, March 23, 2008

Transport #9: Holly

From a possible three transports, I went down to zero...and then I got the call Saturday morning that the transport for Holly, a lovely chocolate lab, was on. Someone volunteered to take the three missing legs and so she was able to head off to the rescue who had agreed to take her in.

Now Holly was a special case of a sort. Her profile had the following to say:

Holly was hit by a car at least a week ago. The farmer who owned her let her lay in a barn for 3 days before a concerned neighbor called asking for help. She is now under our care and we need your help. She has no outward signs of being hit by a car but she appears to be in pain. She lays around a lot and yelps when we touch her back end. She needs to be seen by a vet or sent to a rescue where she can get the proper medical attention she deserves. She has a wonderful temperament. She wagged her tail while watching us take pictures of other shelter animals. And a little girl wanting to pet her was her motivation for getting up.

So this girl really needed to get to rescue. I heard from the woman I was going to meet and they were ahead of schedule, so I rushed out (forgetting my laptop and some other stuff in the process) and met up with her at about 10:45am or so.

My first impression of Holly was that she was much smaller than I had expected. I didn't realize this, but almost every lab I've ever met has been male! I think she was even small for a female lab...I'd guess she weighed less than 50 lbs. My second impression was that despite being hit, she was doing great! I noticed a little bit of weakness in her back legs. They shook when she let all her weight rest on them. So she's not at 100%, but she was doing pretty well.

After walking her a bit, letting her do her business and getting her a little water, we were off. She was pretty relaxed for most of the trip, though she did shift positions and awful lot. I wonder if it bothered her to lay down. She was very inquisitive and stuck her head up to see me a bit, and then sniffed around the umbrellas in the back of the car. Then she did the unthinkable! I saw her try to get my Erik doll down. Now, for those who don't know what my Erik doll is and why it was so worrying for her to go after him, he's a Phantom of the Opera doll (hence Erik) that I got at CVS on Halloween 1999. I still remember bringing him out to the car and holding him; it was right around the time the show would have ended, closed forever, in Toronto. Erik has guarded by car ever since -- and I haven't been in one accident since then! There have been some times where I was sure someone would hit me, but somehow we didn't collide. Yeah so it's a bit superstitious...but darnit all, Erik protects my car! So...Holly tried to get him. I called her off...twice. And then saw her settle down. I thought that was the end of it, but then I glanced in the rear view mirror and saw he was gone! And Holly had settled chew...something. I could only imagine what it was! I ended up, in a moment of insanity, stopping on the side of the road (yes....the side of the NYS thruway!) to rescue him from her clutches. Luckily, she had only drooled all over him and had ripped his cap off. So, Erik was a bit worse for the wear, but he's still guarding my car!

Holly and I stopped for a short breather a little while afterward and then continued on our way.

We arrived far ahead of schedule and lucky me, no one had called ahead, so I got to spend time with Holly. First we just kind of walked/ran around willy-nilly, but then I decided I could spend a little time working with her to get better walking on her leash. Despite my love of dogs, I've never been totally responsible for training one and I was amazed at how quickly and easily she responded to me. I got her to walk slowly by my side and got her to return to my side when she got over-excited and charged away (especially after leafs!). I would just tug lightly on the leash and she'd rush back to my side and stand there. I'd lavish her with praise and we would walk slowly around. She was great, very responsive, and very smart!

Finally, the next person showed up and it was a quick transfer to get her on her way. The funny thing was that Holly seemed confused and kept trying to come back to me. It took a little while to coax her into the next woman's car. Actually, I guess that isn't really that odd. I seem to have an odd affinity with dogs. Many of them have tried to stay with me. It always makes me smile!

As always, there are plenty of pics. You can find them all here. Here are a few favourites:





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