Moving dogs around

I did something neat today, and I started out to write a short little feelgood post about it, but I ended up writing a huge, long rant about why rescue is so necessary and so difficult, but I’ll save that for another day when I’m feeling better. I’ve got a pretty good cold right now which is sapping my strength and making me even more cynical than I am usually, so I’ll concentrate on the warmfuzzies I got today.

What was I doing this afternoon? I was helping transport a wonderful dog across the United States. His name is Scooby, and he’s a great old gentleman Brittany of 13 years, and National Brittany Rescue and Adoption Network was making sure that he made it from the shelter in Auburn, AL to his new foster home in Adrian, MI this weekend. It’s really inspiring when you consider the amount of effort and care that goes into one of these transports, whether it’s for NBRAN or for any other rescue groups that have other areas to house their dogs.

It never ceases to amaze me how well these transports for NBRAN are coordinated. Nancy Walker is all the way up north in Massachusetts, and she arranges many transports for NBRAN. I’ve had the pleasure of talking and e-mailing with her while she’s been organizing several of these weekend transport operations to move dogs from one part of the country to another. The logistics are daunting. Consider just Scooby’s journey: Over two days, Scooby will be traveling better than 802 miles. He’ll be making the journey in 10 separate legs, with a one-night stay in Kentucky at another volunteer’s house. Each time he meets another driver and begins another leg, that driver calls Nancy to let her know that they’ve got Scooby and that they’re off–and whether they’re on time or if they’ve been delayed by traffic or weather or goblins or what-have-you.

Oh, and by the way, there was another rider on this journey–a three-year-old Jack Russell Terrier named Martin hitched a ride from Atlanta to Chattanooga, so he could make it to his forever home, too. Two dogs saved–not such a bad thing to have a hand in on a rainy Saturday in Knoxville.

Nancy sends out an e-mail plea to drivers who are available on the scheduled transport dates. She keeps track of who can drive which legs, and then shuffles them around and puts them in order. She’s a wonderful facilitator and close to being a saint, I think, because she’s dealing with dozens of people, most of whom also have full-time jobs to keep them busy during the week. I don’t know how she does it (I wouldn’t have enough patience and would probably just throw up my hands and drive the whole thing myself rather than try to organize a bunch of strangers) but I’m so VERY GLAD she does do it. She and all these other people who volunteer a couple hours out of their weekend to chauffeur a lucky dog to their new home are wonderful, caring people dedicated to getting these fuzzy kids to where they need to be.

And some weekends, there isn’t just one or two dogs riding along–sometimes there are three or four or five, if they can be squished in, and sometimes they’re coming from different areas to join the transport in progress. Logistically, it sounds like a real nightmare. But it’s worth it for the sake of the dogs.

So on the days when I’m feeling particularly low and wondering why people don’t think of their companion animals as loving, feeling beings, and I’m thinking that all this hard work and worrying that we people in rescue do is all for naught, I try to think about these dogs that I’ve helped to save, both locally and nationally. I remember the faces of each dog I’ve helped to transport, and even nicer are the faces of the great people who’ve worked alongside me to save them. These are quality people, Gentle Reader. They care about the well-being of beings who are weaker than they, and they’re doing something to help them. It’s a boost to call them comrades and that makes it a little easier to face another day of human-to-dog stupidity that we see in rescue.

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