Being the owner of a formerly unwanted black dog myself, I couldn't possibly resist doing a transport for 3 lab mix puppies. Like my girl, they were headed from a high kill shelter to a rescue in Vermont for a chance at a new life. This transport was slightly different than the other ones I've done to date. The puppies only had their first shots and so we weren't supposed to allow them on the ground. Parvo, you see. It's a deadly disease and a horrible puppy killer, especially shelter puppies. It's possible they could contract it in the shelter, but if they come out of there parvo-free, we want to make sure they're not going to get it on the transport. It's not 100%, but with parvo "better safe than sorry" is a good rule of thumb.
So the trio of puppies, who came with no names but were given various names during the transport, were crated and allowed out only onto towels, tarps, and blankets that were clean and parvo-free.
I met up with the transport here in Syracuse and got my first glimpse of the puppies when the person I was meeting opened up the back of her SUV. The two fluffier puppies reminded me a lot of my dog, except for having darker eyes and radically different ears. Looking at the pictures later I realized exactly how much my girl's eyes stand out. It's not that often you see a black dog with such intense amber eyes!
Ok enough about my dog. Back to PUPPY BREATH! And not just puppy breath, but puppy breath times three.
We first got Max out. Nicknamed Max for "Maximum," he was the least shy and likely to be the most troublesome of the trio. We had been told they were shy and nervous, but little Max was none of the above. He immediately crawled to the edge of the SUV and we brought him down onto the towel. He wanted to run off to explore, but obviously couldn't, so instead, tried to crawl into our laps and eventually ended up on his back getting a big belly rub. Max was one happy puppy.
The second one we got out of the car was the only girl, Chloe. She was a bit shyer than her brother, but very sweet. She gave me kisses immediately upon meeting me and when let down onto the towel, opted to crawl back into the crate sitting next to it. She sat near the front of it and grinned at us, was happy to receive petting, but she definitely seemed to view the crate as a safe space.
The third one, who was alternately called Special or Eddie (of the two, I prefer the name Eddie, though I wouldn't name a dog either!), was the shyest of the bunch. Little Eddie (the only smooth-coated puppy of the three), immediately crawled to furthest side of the SUV he would and didn't want to come out. We opted to not stress him out too much (he was showing a lot of whale-eyed looks, tail tucked between his legs), so we put the crate in my car, put the other two pups in, and decided to just bring Eddie right from one vehicle to the other. I lifted the little guy in my arms and he immediately snuggled into me, putting his little head on my shoulder. It was incredibly sweet, but I'm sure he was quite happy to be put back into the crate with his siblings.
For the trip, I left the crate door open to allow them to wander out of it and onto the pillow next to it if they wanted to. No one did until the very end. Every time I glanced back to check on them, they were all laying squished together sound asleep. Puppies are just so cute and these little guys are making me change my mind about getting a puppy someday. Uh oh!
I arrived at the Herkimer exit in good time and decided that this time I was going to get little Eddie, the most scared one out first. I thought he needed a little TLC and a little one on one time. So I got him out of the crate (poor guy was pretty nervous) and picked him up and again he clung to me. I set him down on the tarp and after a moment of looking a bit disoriented, he looked up at me, wagged his little tail and crawled into my lap to give me kisses. Yay! Eventually he ended up upside down for a big ol' belly rub.
There really is nothing more disheartening than seeing a puppy closed down and afraid. He's only about 12 weeks old. What sort of life did he have that made him so scared? On the good side, I think he'll recover quickly and easily if our time together was any indication.
After getting Eddie out for a bit, I put him back in with his siblings and brought out the lovely Miss Chloe. I thought she needed a bit more one on one time than Max, who had plenty at the last stop and seemed to be pretty well adjusted. She snuggled into me and rolled over too. Lots of belly rubs were given that day (I gave belly rubs to three puppies, Dahlia, and the dog down the road, Maggie -- 5 dogs in one day!). In the middle of that, the person meeting me showed up and we made a quick transfer of the crate and puppies into her car (what a challenge that was!). And then she was off.
I really wanted to bring Chloe home with me. She was so sweet and reminded me so much of Miss Dahlia. I'm sure they'll all get amazing homes, but (as often happens) I wish I could have been one of those homes!