Monday, August 25, 2008

Transport #18: Lacy

I had vowed not to do any transports this weekend. We really needed to concentrate on getting our apartment set up and so I swore that I would leave the weekend for that. I looked past several transports. But then Friday afternoon rolled around and there was no one for the Syracuse to Herkimer leg of a trip to help one St. Bernard get from a high-kill shelter to a rescue in Vermont. I couldn't say no and so I volunteered with the stipulation that if someone else volunteered, they have him/her do it. Well, Sunday morning rolled around and no one had volunteered.

So I headed out to exit 37 to pick up Lacy, a 100-pound St. Bernard. Luckily, Lacy was a pretty calm dog and easy to work with. The woman who met me talked to me for a moment, gave me her stuff, and then left me with a dog that didn't want to get into my car. Apparently Lacy got sick of traveling and people were having to force her into their cars. Nice. I was real thrilled with being left with 100 lbs of stubborn dog! The woman before me just lifted her in. Well, sorry, but I don't have the strength to lift even a PART of a 100-lb dog! So instead, I decided to crawl into the back seat and see if Lacy would follow. Luckily for me, she liked me enough to do exactly that. I got the doors shot and we were on our way.

She was an incredibly easy passenger. She settled right down in the back, laid down and relaxed for the entire trip out there. They had mentioned her wanting to get into the front seat, but I saw none of that on our trip. I had tethered her in the back just in case, but she didn't really move from the place she first lay down in.

We arrived in Herkimer in decent time and I got her out of the car to drink (a lot!) and pee (also a lot!). And then began the wait. Everyone was warned that things might run early and they sure did...about 30-45 minutes early. The woman before me took two legs of the trip, which meant no 15 minute change over, and apparently both she and I must drive at a good clip. I ended up sitting around in the heat with this giant dog for quite some time. Not that I entirely minded -- Lacy was very sweet. She walked great on a leash (thank god because I couldn't control a lunging 100-lb dog!), gave me big kisses, rolled over for a belly rub. The poor thing was an owner surrender. She and her sister Maggie were owned by an elderly person who ended up going into a nursing home. It was clear they were well socialized, but not entirely taken good care of. She had evidence of flea problems (fur missing in spots from where she had no doubt licked or bit too much) and had never been spayed (just spayed before the trip -- still with stitches in). She was a good girl though and we had fun together until the next person showed up.

Because I spent a lot of time with Lacy, I got some really good pictures of her. Here are a few of my favourites. The rest can be found here.





Monday, August 18, 2008

Transport #17: Sophie and Lily

The transport for this weekend began with my volunteering to help out with one dog heading from Syracuse to Rochester. I had worked for this coordinator before transporting our favourite deaf Aussies and jumped on the chance to transport, yet again, a deaf dog. This time, it was to transport a Louisiana Catahoula Leopard dog named Sophie. This isn't a breed many are familiar with and I had never met one in person before, so I was excited to not only help out another deaf dog, but also to meet a dog of a breed I hadn't met before.

Of course, things always seem to change on these transports. One thing I'm learning quickly is to always expect the unexpected. Toward the end of the week, I heard from the transporter and she wondered if I or another woman could switch legs and do the Binghamton to Syracuse route. I volunteered to switch and so suddenly I was transporting two dogs. The deaf Sophie and the hearing Lily, both Catahoulas.

The trip down the transport was a bit rushed as I couldn't find the entrance to I-81S. I went a different direction at David's instruction and it turned out they were missing an important sign, so I couldn't find the entrance. I had to backtrack to a different entrance, thus wasting about 25 minutes of time. So I booked it down to Binghamton and arrived at just about the same time as the other woman.

I found out that apparently Sophie was having some issues with Lily. They said that she had attacked Lily, though there was no bite marks, "just slobber." On the previous segment of the trip, Sophie had suddenly started growling and barking at Lily. They suggested keeping them tethered and separated, which we succeeded at for the most part.

Sophie road up front and boy was she an active little kid! I spent most of the trip making sure she didn't turn around to see Lily and making sure she didn't eat my entire car. She managed to get distracted by trying to get at a candy wrapper underneath the mats (which, mind you, she never got) and eating the water dish. At one point she tried to grab the water bottle and I was afraid she's puncture it with her teeth, thus leading to an entire liter of water getting dumped on the floor of my car, drenching not only my purse, but my book and the info for the transport. *smacks forehead* I managed to shove it out of her range and she went back to chewing on the bowl.

Sophie did eventually start to bark a bit (not really growling, but more barking). First she barked at ME, probably in frustration because I wouldn't let her get in the back with Lily and I wouldn't let her eat things in my car. Then she barked at the windshield wipers when I had to put them going. She was fairly close to them as she had stood up and was trying to reach the water droplets that were hitting my car. I guess they startled her. And then she did finally start barking at Lily. But I saw no aggressiveness in her -- just her being startled. I think I might feel a little off if I couldn't hear too!

Now, all that aside, Sophie was a VERY good girl. She was really sweet and affectionate, walked well on a leash, and would be a total cuddlebug if given the chance.

Lily, on the other hand, was a dream -- she's a WONDERFUL dog and the type I adore. She settled down in the back and slept most of the trip. When Sophie started barking at her, she just kind of turned her head away and didn't really respond. When we got her out of the car at the handoff, she was just so wonderful. She would give you big kisses all over your face and just wanted to be close to you. She's a fantastic dog. From what I understand, she has potential adopters meeting her today and I'm sure they're going to fall totally in love with her.

This transport was definitely one of my more challenging (along the lines of the Morey transport), but they're both wonderful dogs and will make someone very happy someday soon!

I did manage to get a lot of pictures this time, so here are a few. The rest can be found here.



(with one of the other transporters)







Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Transport #16: Seymour, Ruby, and Jerry

On Sunday I opted to help out with the Brittany transports again. I haven't gotten to meet any new Brittanies since the crazy Bindi transport back in April. This transport started off with one dog planned (Seymour) and a possibility of two others joining in. When I found out all three were coming along, I was a little worried about fitting them all in.

I met up with the transport at a Chili's in Victor, NY. The woman who was meeting there is well-known as a bit of a lead foot, so it was no surprise that, even though I was 10 minutes early, she was already there waiting for me. To her credit, she didn't try to call me and see where I was.

We first got little Seymour out of the car (at 35lbs fully grown, he's small for a Brittany). He was a terribly nervous dog and kept skirting behind Kathy a bit when I bent down to approach. They believe the poor guy had been abused or mistreated in some way, maybe treated harshly. We managed to get him into my car easily enough, though he was still a bit skittish.

I got out Ruby, the old gal. She's somewhere around 8 or 9 years old and incredibly sweet. She's a special needs gal -- on some sort of medication for a heart murmur that occasionally causes her to pass out. I saw none of that on the transport, but it's still a concern for a future adopter. For an old gal who was a bit on the thin side, she did really well climbing in and out of cars.

Jerry was the third one out and he was the bigger boy. Boy was he friendly! We're pretty sure that Jerry was indeed NOT all Brittany. I'm not sure what else might have been in there (perhaps English springer), but Brittany was not the first word that came to mind. He was bigger and his ears were set differently. At any rate, he was a sweetheart and so incredibly soft!

We got all three dogs into the car and the amusing thing was they ALL wanted to be in the back. So all three of them curled up together and were absolutely calm during the drive. I loved transporting them! Compared to poor Bindi, who kept trying to get into my lap the entire trip, they were an absolute dream. I would occasionally stick my hand in the back to see if I could get poor little scared Seymour to sniff my hand and each time I did, Ruby put her head underneath my hand. So instead I started to reach back to scratch her head a bit. She's a bit of an attention hog, that one!

When I arrived in Syracuse, I took each dog out one at a time. I spent the most time with Seymour and he very quickly warmed up to me. The next thing I knew, he was licking my hand and leaning up against me as a petted him. Winning him over wasn't tough at all! I just needed a little quiet time with him.

The next driver showed up and we got Jerry and Ruby into his car easily enough. Now poor Seymour? He was scared to DEATH. We're all pretty sure that he was abused by a man at this point. He first kept hiding behind my legs and then made a beeline for my car. Every time I tried to reach in to get him, he would run to the other side of the car. Eventually I managed to catch him on one side, picked him up, and carried him to the next driver's car. Once inside the car he was settled pretty well, so hopefully he warmed up to the poor guy who was driving him.

I took a handful of pictures but unfortunately didn't have my good camera on me and the camera I borrowed from a friend had batteries that were on their way out.

These first two of Seymour are from the overnight stay (taken by someone else):


(Yes, he's peeing -- it was the only moment I could catch a picture of him and I didn't realize what he was doing when I held up the camera!)