This transport started out as being one for a deaf Australian Shepherd named Whisper. Her owner was giving her up because she lost her job and found a job as a long-distance trucker. She felt that life would be unfair to her dog. But in the end, she just couldn't do it and decided to give it a chance first. If she needs to give the dog to a rescue, we'll help transport her later. So instead, we picked up and transported a beautiful red merle Aussie from a shelter in Ohio. Little was known about this girl. She had no name (hence "Nonami" -- the name some of us call dogs with no name, pronounced "No-NOM-ee") and no one knew her age. All we knew was that she had a flea bite allergy and "wasn't the prettiest site."
I got the message around 10:50am that the transport was 45 minutes ahead. In a panic, I rushed out the door and off to Rochester. I was most pleased that the roads were completely clear all the way out. I arrived in good time and ended up relaxing for a little while at the meeting place. It turned out that the person meant to write 15 minutes, not 45, but by that time it was too late. I was long gone and had no internet access!
The person finally showed up and the most amusing thing was that she thought I would be later, since they were running a bit ahead, and she walked the dog at a different location (why, I don't know). So it was a quick handoff.
My first impression of this girl, Nonami, was that she was not in any sort of bad shape. She was gorgeous! Too thin, that's for sure (her head looked too big for her skinny body), but otherwise she was absolutely stunning. We only had her out of the car for a few minutes when someone came over to meet her because she was so pretty. She was also just a really nice dog. She leaned against me as a I petted her, easily got into the car, and settled right down in the back after a little exploring.
Like Dahlia, she slept most of the way.
Also like Dahlia, I would have adopted her in a heartbeat! Ah, another one gone and on her way to a new place.
The ride back was fairly uneventful. Nonami slept. I listened to the radio. The roads were dry and clear until I got north of Syracuse. They were wet for most of the way and then as I got near Pulaski (ah, the Tug Hill Plateau) I hit some snow and the roads were covered with a light dusting of snow.
I got into Pulaski and couldn't find the meeting place at first (it was one just picked at random off the internet). I finally found it, got Nonami out of the car and then was greatly disappointed when the next folks showed up right away. Bah! I wanted to spend some time snuggling with that poor girl in the car. And taking pictures. She was really striking and ever so gentle.
She was off to Ontario before I could even blink. I missed her presence in the car on the way home.
I agreed to help out the Brittany folks yet again. They seem to be the ones most interested in my services and the ones who keep the number of dogs on a transport to a reasonable level. Several of those who have come through my area recently have had 4, 5, or even more dogs. Far too many for my little vehicle. It would be nice to have a large vehicle for transporting, but that won't ever happen. So I limit myself to no more than 3 medium sized dogs, 2 large dogs, one giant dog, or a handful of puppies/little dogs.
So this time it was for three Brittanies. Nesbit was 6 years old, an orange and white boy who was heading. Abby and Speckle were two 10 year old Brittanies (one liver and white, the other black and white) who were going to a forever home in Vermont. It always warms my heart to see these older dogs getting a home.
I arrived in Rochester a little bit after the folks I was going to meet. I misjudged the time a bit this time. I thought I needed to arrive by 2:20pm and it was really 2:10pm and the other folks were moving pretty quickly. I got there about 2:05pm, but they still beat me by about 10-15 minutes. They had already walked the dogs and were waiting in their car for my arrival. I met Nesbit first and I was amazed at his size! He was incredibly tall and much bigger and stronger than most Brittanies. We all looked at him and thought he was the size of a Springer Spaniel, but clearly looked like a Brittany. He was a bit more exuberant than I expected a dog of his age to be. The other Brittanies I've met who were over 3 were much calmer than he was. I got him into the car and wasn't surprised to see him immediately hop up into the front of the car.
Then I met Abby and Speckle. Amusingly, we all had them reversed as to their names. I was sure that Speckles was the little liver and white one was she was quite speckled. But her name tag said Abby on it, so I guess they were reversed. Much like Nesbit, I was amazed at how active they were. Wendy and Pepper, who I had transported before, were much calmer than these two. I got them into the car, got all the paperwork, and then returned to the car to find Abby on the floor of the driver's side seat with her head stuck under the seat. I guess I missed a couple french fries when cleaning and she managed to find them. Amusing. In order to get her into the back seat, I had to drag her out of the car and get her to go to the back seat. Nesbit, who was now on the front driver side had to be physically forced backward onto the passenger seat.
I got in. Shut the door. And though "how on earth am I going to keep them all under control?"
I started up the car and started driving, and as if by magic, they all suddenly settled down, curled up, and slept! I looked in the rearview mirror a few times and saw that Abby and Speckle (who have been together since they were pups, I believe), were curled up together. Everyone say "awww!"
The ride was uneventful from there on out, except for the lake effect snow and wind.
Oh and the next driver calling to tell me he'd be late because he locked his keys in the car. Well, that was unexpected! It turned out that the battery in his car had died. When they jumped it, all the doors immediately locked (I hate those automatically locking doors!) and his keys were in the car at the time. Just great. I didn't have any major plans, but I wanted to get home to my dog!
I arrived at Syracuse and the folks who were there for Nesbit arrived shortly thereafter. It was easy to get him out and on his way.
I decided that, since I had to hang around a bit, I might as well sit in the back seat with Abby and Speckle. I could give them some attention and take some pictures. Well, I found out one thing. Those poor girls were starving for attention. They were all over me as soon as I got in the back with them. I don't know where they came from originally (they were owner turn-ins), but it seems that their emotional needs were a bit neglected. Speckle was also ITCHY. Seriously itchy. She kept itching her ear for a few minutes at a time (when I checked on it, it was clear that she had a hot spot behind it from all the scratching) and then she would roll around on the back seat trying to get some relief. I'm not sure what was causing it. I didn't see any fleas, so maybe it's the food she's eating or some sort of allergies. Either way, I felt bad for the poor girl. Both she and Speckle seemed to have some issues. Their ears were turned funny (matts or just bad breeding, I'm not sure) and both were really tiny for Brittanies. They were nice dogs, but they need some help to get healthier and happier.
The next driver called me and was on his way only about 10 minutes late. We did a quick transfer of the dogs and then he was off.
A few pictures:
Nesbit (click for a larger image -- whole image did not fit here)