Friday, August 27, 2010

Road Trip!

This afternoon after I picked Joey up from school we headed to Columbia, MO to pick up a former foster dog for our group.     This is a 15 year old sheltie who had been adopted out 6 years ago.   Her name is Duchess and she's a beautiful girl.    She came from a puppy mill so was a little stressed.     She started her morning in Omaha, NE and finally ended up in St. Louis, MO.    Transporting dogs is an integral part of the rescue community.   People volunteer for various legs of a journey to get a dog from one place to another and our group does whatever we have to in order to get one of our fosters back.      Joey is lucky he lives in an urban area because the kid falls asleep virtually any time he's in a car for more than 30 minutes.    It's due to his baby days when the little dude would only fall asleep after car rides.    I'm a pretty good Mom, but I have to admit we let Joey sleep the whole night in his car seat.  :)   Here is today on the way to Columbia, and is he ever going to have a fit if he knows I posted this.   But, hey, what are Moms for??

Duchess on her way from Columbia to St. Louis
It's very important for us that people return a dog of ours if they can't keep the dog.   People sign a contract stating that the dog will be kept current on vaccinations, will not be given away to someone else, will not be turned into a shelter, will be an inside dog, and most importantly will be returned to us no matter how much time has passed.      Some times the reasons a dog comes back to us sound completely bogus.   We've had more than one dog returned after 5 years or more because they didn't "bond" with the dog.     After more than 5 years?  That sounds ridiculous.   We also get dogs back because of divorce or because someone is moving.   The most heartbreaking reason, though, is when the owner is ill or has passed away.     That's the case with Duchess, her human Dad passed away a short time ago and now her human Mom is very ill.    The condition this dog was in, it is absolutely certain she was a very loved member of the family.   She was returned with a crate, some treats, a little lunchbox with her vitamins, and her favorite pillow.

Duchess did really well in the back seat.  I had a crate, but the leg from Kansas City to Columbia told me she did fine uncrated.    She looked out the window a little while and finally laid down on her pillow.    It was a very rewarding day, but also very tiring.   It's surprising how much energy it takes to drive a 4 hour round trip!    I did the driving, but there is so much work being done in the background while we're on the road.   People calling in to report their leg, people calling to see who will keep Duchess for the night, etc.   Some groups that are on the national level, like Dachshund Rescue of North America, even arrange flights for their fosters!   They have some dedicated volunteers who will drive them to whichever airport they need to, and other volunteers who are licensed pilots.

The woman who originally fostered her 6 years ago, took her back into her home.   She doesn't really foster for us but I believe this dog really wormed her way into Billie's heart.    Even though she was still a little nervous, we could just tell that Duchess felt more relaxed and safe in Billie's presence.    Billie also seemed so happy to have her back in her life.     Duchess will be with Billie for the rest of her life.    I think they're both very happy with their prospective future together.
Billie and Duchess Reunited
A lot of people want to help out with rescue groups and there are so many other ways to help besides fostering an animal.   We had a meeting last night for fundraising and that's a way a couple of people are helping out the group without bringing dogs into their home.   There's always transports needed like we helped out in today and all the local shelters always need dog walkers.  


  1. Thank you Kim for doing the transport, I know how tiring these are! It sounds like Duchess does have a happy ending and they ALL deserve that!

  2. Kim this is wonderful. Thanks so much for bringing Duchess back. How heartbreaking she lost her "parents" but what a happy ending that she ended up with someone she's loved in the past! This is how it should always be!