This weekend I was away from town and heading back home via one of the common transport routes so it seemed ridiculous for me to have an empty car the whole way home. I volunteered for a transport early last week and took the last three legs of it. Of course, I should have known it would never be that simple. Because, of course, the transport went from two dogs to four rather quickly. Two I can handle. Three I can handle if they're not huge dogs. Four? The only time I've had four in my car is when most of them are small puppies in a crate. This transport was for one overweight lab (80 pounds), and three medium sized dogs (30-35 pounds each). That's just too much for my little Saturn Ion.
In the end, it was agreed that I would take the three smaller dogs as they were going the farthest and I could fit them all the in car. It meant that I would have three dogs in the car for approximately 2 1/2 to 3 hours and I wouldn't make one stop between the pick up and drop off points.
Except, well, I had to make a stop. I met up with the transport at 9am in the morning and met all of the dogs. The overweight lab, Lucy, was a huge sweetheart who wanted to play tug with her leash (yikes!) and wanted belly rubs. She was enthusiastic, but the poor thing was breathing so heavily from just a little bit of exertion that she broke my heart. I know whomever ends up with her will knock that weight off the poor girl and make her life a little easier.
The other three dogs were Jack (a Boxer/beagle mix who was a huge sweetheart), Geri (supposedly a Lab/basset mix -- I see lab and some sort of hound but I'm not sure it's basset), and Precious (another lab mix). Precious was super calm and very relaxed. Jack was sweet and just wanted to give you kisses and curl up. The problem was Geri. Originally I decided that it would be easiest to put Jack in the front seat as he seemed to be the dog who required the most attention. I thought the girls would be ok in the back. Huge mistake. Precious immediately settled down but Geri could not. She paced back and forth, kept trying to get in the front seat (both from the middle area and around the left side of my seat, which would never happen). She irritated Precious who growled at her a couple times. I was starting to get worried about the two dogs in the back. I ended up getting off the highway and stopping at a gas station to switch the dogs around.
And here comes the other scary moment of the trip. In order to do this I had to get two dogs out of the car: Jack and Geri. I started with Geri who, thankfully, I had on a slip lead as she pulled so hard on the other lead (I had her double-leashed) that she snapped her collar right off. Phew! Then I got out Jack. I was trying to get them situated and into the car when Geri suddenly leapt up, knocked me off balance, ran into Jack's leash and I discovered a problem with slip leashes: they also slip right out of your grasp! The leash flew out of my hand and suddenly Jack was free. He didn't race off, thankfully, but instead sort of ran around near me a bit, sniffing and checking things out. He saw people at the next car over and ran over to them and when they stopped to pet him I was able to step on his leash and capture him. That had to be my scariest moment ever. I thought that I would lose him and what a horrible thing that would be. I was, honestly, starting to get really angry with Geri, though I kept myself in check. I got her into the front seat and Jack into the back. I tied Geri up pretty well so she couldn't get into my lap or move much.
And then we were on our way.
Geri finally settled down and I was able to loosen up her leash from where it was tied enough that she was able to curl up and sleep. Jack and Precious were sound asleep in the back. I heard only one more growl from Precious when Jack suddenly got up and, as far as I could tell, stepped on her head. Otherwise the two of them curled up together and slept.
The remainder of the trip was uneventful. I arrived at the meeting place in good time. I got out Jack and Geri and we quickly got them into crates in the next car (which belonged to the woman who runs the rescue these three characters were ending up at). And then, since I hadn't had much time with Precious, I took her out for a little walk around the area. I pretty much instantly regretted not having her in the front seat. She was wonderful. I was trying to get photos of her and at one point sat down on the ground figuring she would wander around and I might get a few. Nope. Instead she saw me sit down and immediately jumped into my lap, gave me kisses and leaned heavily on me, trying to roll over in my lap. She was just the sweetest dog and reminded me a lot of my own: She's a calm, relaxed dog who really likes her own space! I got the impression pretty quickly that she'd be a great companion for Dahlia. But alas, no more dogs for me, as we all know!
I was sad to see Precious go. Jack was sweet but he wouldn't be the dog for me. Geri was adorable but I was glad to see her off as she drove me a little bit crazy. I'm sure they'll all find some good homes quickly!
4 days ago