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.