My gosh I haven't done a transport in ages! This has been a really rough winter here and that combined with the agility classes I've been doing on the weekend, made it difficult to do much transporting. Sure, they were coming through but people doing them in that weather tend to have all-wheel drive vehicles and all I have is a small car! So for the winter I gave it up. I still may not do too much of it with all the dog classes, but I'll do more than I have been.
This transport was originally set up to be for a deaf 5-month old Australian Shepherd puppy and a pregnant adult Aussie. The puppy got adopted before the transport by someone who worked with deaf people and was looking for a puppy she could teach ASL to. So the transport ended up just being for Rusty (renamed Cagney by ARPH). The drive out to the meeting place was uneventful. It was a lovely day, around 40 degrees outside and bright and sunny. I threw some great music on and tore on off down the highway singing at the top of my lungs!
I arrived and not more than 5 minutes later the person meeting me with Cagney arrived. Poor Cagney! She was glued to the inside of the car as far away from the open door as possible. This isn't usual dog behavior. Usually, if the dog has issues with the car, it's that they don't want to get in the car and are desperate to get out. Not poor Cagney. She was so shy that she found a safe space in the car and wanted to stick with it. We managed to get her out with a bit of difficulty, but she finally came out. Once outside she skittered every which way, body hunched over and her tail (which she did have!) tucked so far under that at first I didn't even think she had a tail.
We walked her around for a bit, hoping she would find a place to do her business, but she was too nervous for that. So we ultimately ended up sitting in the grass with her. There she finally seemed to settle a bit and even asked for a bit of attention. I tried offering her some cheese and she at least licked at it. When I first offered her cheese (inside the car in the hopes that the smell of something delicious would lure her out) she wasn't interested at all. A sure sign of a stressed dog, unfortunately.
Cagney is a beautiful dog, but oh so nervous and shy. She warms up to people, but it'll take some time to get her through her issues I would imagine. She hopped up into my car quickly enough and took up the same spot huddled in the back of it. After about 20 minutes of driving, she managed to settle down enough to fall asleep.
The next meeting place was a carbon copy of the first. I ended up having to lift a very pregnant dog who seemed more dead weight than dog out of my car and this time, since it was obvious she wasn't going to find a place to pee and wasn't going to drink anything, we put her right into the next car. She settled in there ok, though she hadn't had a chance to warm up to the next people in line like she did with me. I'm sure she'll be fine for the rest of her trip.
I just hate seeing what people have obviously done to this beautiful dog. I'm not sure if she's been abused but it's fairly certain she's been neglected by people. She's not terrified of us and does warm up, but she's shy and nervous upon first meeting people. I'm sure the trip and the constant changing of cars is hard on a dog like that. But by tonight she'll be in her foster home and on her way to a new life!