So about two weeks ago I was on Facebook and I see a picture of a dog in Louisiana needing to be fostered. Virtually fostered. Had not seen that before but that doesn't mean anything. So I click the requisite clicks to get a bowl of food, or a blanket, etc. Turns out that for just $13 bucks you can buy the little guy a bed. I went to do that and though the links were not working, I learned that he was in a shelter that does not adopt out to the public, and he only had four days to live! They have such a problem with the number of unwanted pets down there that he was basically in a euthanization site, where either his owner or a rescue group can get him out, but that's it. And, they use the gas chamber to euthanize them, to boot. Yuck. Very sad.
Some Southern states still use the gas chamber and it's barbaric. Alaska - or at least some parts of it (like Dillingham) - allows the dogs to be shot in the head at the garbage dump. I like most other areas of the country and while I'm different than a lot of New Yorkers in this way (the snobbery in NYC about other areas has always annoyed me), I'm glad I do live in a place where this method is not the norm. Not that the city shelters give them more than a week, but the death is a needle given and while they don't give the valium-like drugs I insist my own dogs get when the time comes, it is quick (the gas chamber usually takes 20 minutes). We live in an imperfect world.
Anyway, so between calling to make a contribution (I give at least something to most special cases I list here), getting fixated on the dog because he looks just like my little guy, Renaldo, and finding out he needs a home desperately, I ended up applying to adopt him. Now, to some degree, I do think he was already in a foster when I clicked to get him the bowl of food. But it doesn't matter. A rescue group took him and put them in one of their homes, and he is sleeping in a bed, and not going in the gas chamber.
My application was approved (after a vet check), and I began to look into calling upon one of the newly developed non-profits whose specialty is to transport dogs from the south to the north, where people are ready to take them in. This, in some dog rescue circles, is an apostasy. Why take in a dog from another area when you can get one near you? Well, it's a fair question, I guess, though the gas chamber thing does weigh on a person. Plus, he's the same mix as my dog (who I thought was a chihuahua-dachshund mix and now I realize he's a minipin-chihuahua mix, though I'm not yet telling him that since he likes to burrow like a dachshund). He needs a home and I have been wanting a second dog as a companion to Renaldo. It's perfect that they are the same size, color, and look so darn alike I think Renaldo will have shock when I bring -- Mr. Wiggins -- home.
So I began to look into the rescues that transport. They are very useful (and a Godsend!) but I honestly didn't have the time to keep watch on their message boards to grab a time slot and road-trip-leg that was available (made possible by their angel volunteers), and piece together a trip from Louisiana all the way to New York City. I'm off next week from work and wanted to do the transport then, getting Wiggins acclimated to me, my apartment, Renaldo (and Renaldo to him!). So I instead booked a flight with Jet Blue to New Orleans, and the wonderful rescue woman is driving two hours each way to bring the new other little guy to me. I'll bring my pet carrier and off we'll go, after lunch in a nearby park. We'll have a day at home to get settled (and make sure we know to poop and pee outside), and then Thursday is vet day. Friday we'll do more lounging and getting Wiggins and Renaldo used to each other.
I'll keep you posted on the meeting of the minds. Yes, it's risky to not have had them meet before, but Renaldo likes other dogs, Mr. Wiggins likes other dogs, and everyone is going to have to share. There are dogs to be saved, and I have the room.
Of course, after I found out I was able to definately adopt him, and I made the flight and confirmed the rescue lady dropping him off, I went to the pet stores and had fun. Mr. Wiggins does not know it yet but his signature color is blue. A muted blue, though I did have some angst choosing between the royal blue harness and leash I also bought but will be returning, and the more subte blue that is a good companion color to Renaldo's signature color of hunter green. I also got Renaldo a new set because I can't play favorites, you know! So they both ended up getting a new bed (there are now a total of six in the house for two dogs, plus The Big Bed, which no doubt they will both hog), new leashes, new bowls, toys, bones, giant size wee-wee pads, and one got a baby-carry-bag but since Renaldo doesn't fit in it (it looked like the doggie version of the glove with O.J. Simpson's attorney -- "if you don't fit you must acquit"), I doubt Wiggins will since he's only a pound less than Renaldo, so that will be going back to the store too.
The new stuff has been on a chair in the living room for a week and I keep adding to it. I feel like I've been "working on the baby's room."
More to follow....