SHUG appears to do a good job of moving dogs from foster homes to forever homes, from foster homes to airports, from foster homes to foster homes. But while we may do a good job, it is far from effortless. Case in point: The Anni and Newly transport.
This is how it came to be.
First, Anni’s foster mom and dad drive her west across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge aka the longest and scariest bridge in the U.S. to connect with me, her temporary foster home, just hours before the area gets smacked with a heavy, late March snow. I foster the little galga for a few days and then early Saturday morning, CL retrieves her from Gaithersburg, Md., and drives her more than two hours to Frostburg, Md., to hand her off to Beth who then meets up with Wendy in West Virginia.
Also on Saturday, Bonnie has given Newly-the-Irish-Wolfhound a lovely shampoo and a new collar and driven him east from Illinois to meet up with Teresa who drives to meet Jennifer near Indianapolis, who drives further east to Springfield, Ohio, to meet Wendy – who has been on the road at this point for four hours.
They exchange dogs, take a few photos, and both women are back on the road. But while Anni is headed to her new home, Newly still has an adventure ahead.
The big boy eagerly gets into the new car and heads to West Virginia with Wendy, where he’s handed off to Beth at past 8 p.m. Beth takes Newly, tired and a bit confused at this point, as an overnight houseguest – where he hogs the couch and freaks out the resident whippet.
Note: Meanwhile, a second transport of some 500 miles has been in process. The SHUG Director, Deb and Wayne were headed down 95 – no jaunt in the park with a 10-mile back-up and an overturned tractor trailer impeding the return trip north -- with two pups headed to South Carolina. Thanks to Samantha, who drove both boys from Raleigh to Charleston.
Early Sunday morning, Linda and Skip head two hours to pick up the Irish Wolfhound from Beth, load the big boy in their van and head back to Hagerstown, Md., to meet up with Fawn, who drives him to Urbana, to meet up with me, who drives him to SHUG HQ in Falls Church, Va., to await his adoptive family.
In all, Anni was driven about 700 miles and Newly about 780. And it took 10 volunteers, and quite a lot of emails and time spent staring at MapQuest to find hand-off locations and the fastest route.
To all those who racked up the miles on their cars and gave up a portion of their weekend to be part of this – thank you so much! We couldn’t do it without you.
And for you, dear reader, if this sounds like a lot of fun and something you’d like to be part of in the future, send us an email at email@example.com . We’ll be happy to include you in our future transport planning!
First Person is an occasional series featuring SHUG adopters and volunteers. The author is Holly Harrington.