Dog Rescue — It Takes a Village

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 was grateful for the lift to her new forever home.
Coco was grateful for the lift to her new forever home.

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.


Bobby was one of two galgos flying to the U.S. in search of forever homes.
Bobby was one of two galgos flying to the U.S. in search of forever homes.

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.


Thanks to groups working together, Rabito made it home to Oklahoma with his new mom, Monica.
Thanks to groups working together, Rabito made it home to Oklahoma with his new mom, Monica.

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.

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3 thoughts on “Dog Rescue — It Takes a Village
  1. Larry and the rest of the transport group were GREAT to work with. Lots of organization and updates were given, so those of us needing to meet them, had an easy go of it.

  2. What a lovely story. It started out the way it was supposed to, became all wrong but with the help of wonderful sighthound people it all came back together. Congratulations to all the sighthounds with new homes and all the people with wonderful new pets.
    If help is ever needed on the west coast of the United States please let us know. We spent our earlier years with a wonderful greyhound that we adopted directly from the track. Poor fella was a mess but we cleaned him up, got him altered and he gave us many years of love and devotion, and vice versa! We then had a fabulous Iggy. She spent some time with the greyhound before he crossed the bridge. She gave us 16 amazing years. Now we have a whippet that we love so very much. He is my shadow and companion. “I love you Steele” means a face full of kisses. He’s so funny. He’s also almost 3 years old so we have many, many more years with him. We have considered a greyhound companion but he already has an adorable small lab/terrier mix companion. She’s 9 years old and has almost lost her sight and hearing. She can be a little grumpy and anxiety ridden at times but they are pretty good buddies. Anyway, we would be very happy to volunteer our time to the group as needed.