If we didn’t fully realize before how interconnected dog rescue is – and how great things happen when people work together – well, we certainly do now.
This past Sunday started out so well planned. A network of volunteers coordinated by Larry Bowersox of Grapehounds were planning to drive two SHUG dogs from Virginia to New York -- a trip requiring seven teams of drivers and 12 hours to complete. These volunteers synchronized their calendars--and their GPS--and took to the road.
Coco the Saluki mix and Intrepid the Greyhound were given the white glove treatment up the Eastern Seaboard and arrived without a hitch at their predetermined destinations. We are so grateful to Larry and this awesome team of volunteers for making this trip so smooth for the dogs! There are a lot of moving parts when moving dogs such a distance. The dogs (and we) thank you!
Meanwhile, another transport on the other side of the ocean was going just as well. Tina Solera of Galgos del Sol and David Edmonds of Ibizan Hound Rescue made the five-hour drive from Murcia, Spain, to Madrid.
Their precious cargo was two handsome Galgos, Rabito and Bobby. At the airport in Madrid they met up with our wonderful flight patron Jenna Ayares, and together they negotiated the often difficult dog-boarding process. A couple of hours later Rabito and Bobby were winging their way to America.
And then it all went wrong . . . well, not all. The boys landed safely at O'Hare airport and were met by their proper people. Rabito was met by his mom, Monica, and Bobby was met by Ron, an experienced Greyhound volunteer. The boys were walked and watered and did great. Ron and Bobby started off on their trip to Bobby's foster home in Indiana while Monica and Rabito headed over to the American Airlines desk to check in on their final flight home.
This is where it went wrong. A suddenly stubborn and extraordinarily unhelpful airline declared the crate that had safely flown from Spain to Chicago was suddenly unsuitable for a flight from Chicago to Oklahoma.
SHUG sent out a distress signal via Facebook and the Sighthound lovers of the world kicked into action. Petra Postma of Save A Galgo Espanol saw our signal and flagged Travis Patenaude of Love, Hope, Believe Galgo Rescue Inc. Travis hopped in his car and drove an hour to the airport with a new crate to get Rabito home. Then he stood by Rabito's mom and helped her navigate the challenging process of dealing with the airline until Rabito was finally on the plane and ready to fly.
By the end of a very long day, all four dogs were where they needed to be. It’s a testament to dog people in general and Sighthound people in particular. Strangers came together for these four dogs--as they do for so many dogs every day around the country and around the world. Because none of us are in this rescue business alone--it does, indeed, take a village. And we are very, very honored to be a part of this one.
Of course, at the end of the day all of these volunteers from different groups go their separate ways. The Greyhound volunteer who drove the Saluki goes back to Maryland with a camera full of pictures and Travis drives back home with a different crate. Sometimes, however, you leave something behind. As was the case with Ron, who drove Bobby the Galgo to his foster home in Indiana and realized he'd left his heart behind. This weekend Ron will be making that trip again . . . and this time he'll be bringing Bobby back home with him. Forever.
And that's a happy ending.