This weekend brought me on the road again. This time for an entirely different purpose from last week’s midweek road trip. I have been wanting to do a rescue dog transport for a long time, but as is often the case for me, I avoided doing it because I had never done it before.
Well, last week when the opportunity presented itself, I thought “Why not? I can totally do this.” And I agreed to it. Originally I was to go pick up one hound girl. But, after about 24 hours the rescue arranged for me to pick up a total of 3 dogs instead of just one. The more the merrier I guess, I mean, the other two were going to need transport anyhow, so it’s nicely efficient for it to have worked out that I could pick them up.
Having never done a dog transport before, I thought about all the ways that could go pear-shaped. And then thought about all the ways I could mitigate that. I borrowed two kennels from the rescue. Then, I got down to business creating a “go bag.” Since I had limited time, I wasn’t able to put everything in it I wanted to. But, I put a portable water bowl and some bottles of water, extra leashes, and collars in various sizes, one harness and a seatbelt attachment, rag towels, rags that can be disposed of, plastic bags to contain messes, and disposable gloves to clean messes. I also added a tiny bag of treats. While I don’t want to feed new to the rescue dogs treats because their dietary issues are unknown, I figured if we had an escapee (heaven forbid) I would have something on hand to lure them back. I also threw in a toy just in case. My go bag all ready to go:
I knew that there were other things that would be ideal in that go-bag, and I will get those things in the upcoming weeks, but this is what I could do for short notice. I figured it might be overkill, but on the off chance it wasn’t, I wanted to be prepared. In the future, I plan to pick up some slip lead leashes in various sizes, and a couple simple to adjust harnesses in various sizes as well to use with the seatbelt harness.
Miss Butterfly, once she heard what I was doing, decided she wanted to go too. I was glad for the company and extra glad to know that I had an extra set of hands and eyes on the road.
Transports for our rescue are typically done relay-style, so my job was to drive south about an hour and a half to meet the other transport driver in a restaurant parking lot. We decided we would leave early enough to have lunch, so that’s what we did. We ate and kept an eye out for the other transport driver. She was earlier than we expected.
We were picking up 3 dogs. One a little 12-pound italian greyhound. Turns out he’s very skinny and definitely should be more than 12 pounds. He found the other dogs a bit irritating and he was a timid thing, so I chose to put him in a kennel.
Really cute little guy! There was a toy in that kennel, and we heard him squeaking it, so despite being unable to see him, we knew he was doing just fine.
The second dog, a GSD mix puppy who looks more GSD than mix! This guy I figured Miss Butterfly would want to hold, and I was correct.
In this photo, he’s wearing one of Rose’s collars, a medium-sized collar, adjusted down to the smallest size possible. He fits it perfectly. He wasn’t a particularly small puppy. Young, but he’s going to be a big boy!
And then there was the girl who we originally agreed to go get. Billed to our rescue as a 2 yr old redbone coonhound, I was eager to go get her because I love the hounds! They are so pretty! She’d been kenneled in a large kennel with the other transport driver. That driver rolled down her windows so that the car would stay cool as we transferred the dogs one by one. Well, this hound girl had managed to get the back side of her kennel open (there wasn’t a door.) and wedge herself out the little opening and out the partially opened window. I went over to her and she absolutely launched herself into my arms. She was a VERY busy and very skinny girl. And I knew right away that throwing her in the back seat without something to contain her was going to be a really bad idea. So, thankfully Lizzie is barrel-chested, I had Lizzie’s harness with me. I put this skinny big hound in Lizzie’s harness and hooked her up with the leash attachment. I had to do a few adjustments before I got it to the perfect length for her not to decide to come up front.
Isn’t she pretty? I also looked at her and thought “Well, she looks a lot more bloodhound than coonhound. But she’s not very big!”
Miss Butterfly, at one point, put her seat way back with the puppy on top of her and immediately started getting licked by both the hound girl and the puppy. I caught a photo.
Once everyone was secure we were able to message the rescue with our ETA and then since I know the hound girl’s foster mom, we messaged her some preview photos. Then we were off!
The trip was literally so uneventful. Meaning, all those things I’d prepared for just didn’t happen. There was no poo, no puking, no peeing, no howling, no growling (except when the hound would try to check out the mini greyhound’s kennel) and no issues whatsoever. A perfect first transport. Miss Butterfly and I both LOVED it. We are so eager to do it again!
Once at the rescue, we stuck around to let the dogs play in the yard. The rescue owner took one look at the hound and said: “Yeah, that’s not a 2 yr old coonhound, that’s a 9-month-old bloodhound.” Which would explain so much. She was big and uncoordinated and loping and puppy-like in every way. Very playful and confident. She’ll do great in rescue. As will the other two! But of course, the hounds have my heart.
So that’s the story of my first road trip dog transport. I hope to have more of these posts in the future, and I also hope that they are all equally uneventful. I doubt that’ll be the case, but I can hope! In the meantime, I’ll collect the rest of the gear I feel I need for our go-bag as I get to the pet stores for food, and keep thinking about what else might be useful in it. The go-bag is now sitting, full, in my craft room as a testament to one more hobby I have taken up, volunteering for rescues.