To date, this was probably one of the most fun, but most challenging transports I have done. I'm finding that each transport is a sort of "live and learn" experience and this time I definitely learned some things NOT to do. The drive out to Rochester was easy. I stopped to grab lunch at Tim Horton's along the way and had a lovely conversation with the janitor at the rest stop. It started when I got napkins to clean off my table and he said "Looking for a job?" It turned out that he had a rescued cockapoo and his sister had a rescued lab that had some one on of the transports like I do. Neat guy and it was nice to chat for a few minutes. I arrived at the site right at 12:45pm and the other people were already there with the dogs. Getting them into my car was a bit of a pain and took a lot longer than it should have. She was insistent on tying them to the so-called "oh shit" handles. She said it worked well for her, but I had some issues with it. My first issue was she wanted to tie them on such a short lead that they couldn't even lay down. No no...that wouldn't work. I got her to tie them at a longer distance to allow them some freedom.
We finally took off, pretty much on time. But immediately there were problems. Eli, who had been tied into the front seat crawled into the back. And then Bindi, who had been tied in the back, wanted to be up front. She ended up getting herself into such a position where she was almost hanging herself. I tried to undo her from the lead, but couldn't with one hand, so I ended up pulling over on the side of the thruway in order to do it. I got her loose, Eli settled down in the back, and Bindi curled up on the front seat, free to move about the car as she pleased.
We started off again. This was when I discovered that the one place Bindi really wanted to be was in my lap. She would crawl into my lap and roll over, legs splayed, in order to get a belly rub. All well and good in normal circumstances, but I was driving. She was leaning into the steering will sometimes, and then at other times she's stretch her legs out and they'd come to rest on the steering will (or even hanging over part of it). Eek. I started to get a little worried that she might move suddenly and jerk the wheel! A couple times I was able to get the strength to pull her away from me and push her back onto her seat, but she always came back. She was what people describe as a "velcro dog" -- she really just wanted a belly rub and to lick your face (a lot!). It finally got to a point at which I was very nervous about continuing to drive with a 40 lb dog crawling around my lap. So, once again we stopped, this time at a rest area. I got Bindi fixed up in the car so she could get only over to my lap but not lay across it. It left us in a much better position than we were in before.
We started off yet again. The trip seemed to be going ok at this point, until Eli decided he wanted to get up front. First he tried to go underneath Bindi and she growled at him -- she definitely did NOT like having him underneath her. I got him into the back and he ended up getting into a strange position he couldn't get out of, again nearly hanging himself in the process. Like before, I couldn't undo his the lead from his collar with one hand, so for a third time, I stopped. Like the first time, I stopped on the side of the thruway. I managed to unhitch him, remove the lead from the "oh shit" handle and tie him around the back of my seat, which gave him a bit more room to move (it also, unfortunately, gave him the room to get to the plastic bag I had sitting down there -- which I managed to remove from him, leaving my purse to the effects of his teeth...alas, now my purse has a strap that is chewed in half *smacks forehead*).
Yet again, we started off. The remainder of the trip wasn't too difficult. Despite three stops on the way through, we made it to our meet up spot just 2 minutes after we were supposed to be there! I handed off the dogs to the next woman (who had a crate large enough to put Bindi in, which I'm sure was a great help!) and who agreed that tying them to the handles is definitely not a good idea (like I said, "live and learn"). And then they were off on the next leg of the trip.
Now, I know this all probably sounds like they drove me nuts. But really, I adored both of these dogs, and especially Bindi who clung to me the whole time. They were incredibly sweet and silly and their new families will be very lucky!
Here are a few of my favourite pictures. The rest can be found here. I didn't get nearly as many pictures as other trips since I had Bindi in my lap most of the time and needed one hand on the wheel and one hand to keep her away from the wheeel!