Monday, August 23, 2010

All for the love of a dog - Part Four

This is the fourth and FINAL installment in the series, " All for the love of a dog".  The condensed version is this:

Part One - My twin sister, Pam, has to put down her beloved husky, Nickoli.

Part Two - Pam finds Benny on the internet and we go and meet him at his foster home.

Benny tested high positive for heartworm so Pam has to wait several weeks while he goes through painful treatments and lies low for a bit.

Part Three - Benny (border collie/malamute mix) has fallen in love with Bloom, a full-blooded husky. (He must not have been feeling too sick!) The two of them are inseparable. The shelter asks Pam if she would consider taking both dogs. We take the three hour drive out to check up on Benny and meet Bloom.

If you want to read the full posts, just click on the links.

Pam decided that she would adopt both Benny and Bloom. How could she not?

The BIG day had finally arrived. We were going to pick up the dogs. They were located in South Bend, IN, which was about a three hour drive from Pam's house. I, in turn, am staying about 1 1/2 hours WEST of Pam. So when you do the math, it means a LOT of hours in a car/truck.

I have to say that Jim was a trooper about the whole thing, being that he's not an animal lover. He set the alarm for 5:15 a.m. (I can't remember the last time we got up that early!)  so we could leave our place by 6:00 a.m. Pam wanted to be on the road by 8:00 a.m.

It was an enjoyable ride so early in the morning; it was like the rising sun hadn't wiped the fog out of it's eyes yet. As the sun rose higher in the sky, I saw it glisten off the dew on the grass, the corn, and even the telephone wires.

I was happy to see about 10 sandhill cranes in a farmer's field. Farther down I spied a goat standing on top of his little home. That put a big smile on my face! And to cap off the trip, right down the street from my sister's house, I saw two black squirrels romping around the school grounds. I guess they are common in her neighborhood, but I haven't seen black squirrels in a long time. We arrived at Pam's, Jim carried in my suitcase, pecked me on the lips, and drove off with a smile. I think he likes my little adventures with my sister - gives him some alone time, too!

Pam could hardly contain her excitement; she had waited so long for Benny, and now she was getting a bonus - Bloom. We made sure we had everything - leashes, collars, water bowl, and MY CAMERA!

This would be our third trip to South Bend to see Benny at the foster mom's house. We don't seem to have a problem getting there; it's getting home where the issue comes up. The first trip we had a GPS to guide us, plus we called our brother for extra instructions. The second trip we missed the exit to stay on 80 east towards Iowa and ended up driving through bumper-to-bumper traffic in downtown Chicago, and the third time, the past weekend, well, wait, I'm getting ahead of myself here.

We arrived at Chris, the foster mom's house, right at noon, her time (we gain an hour in Indiana). Chris came out and greeted us and explained that she wanted to go over some paperwork with Pam before we got the dogs.

Pam and I followed her into the house. Five or six huskies and one deaf/blind chocolate lab greeted us at the door. Then they trotted behind us to the enclosed porch at the back of the house and watched as Pam sat down on the love seat. A red-haired husky jumped right up next to her and nuzzled her neck and licked her face.

"Oh, that's our newest foster dog, Marina," Chris said. "She needs a lot of love and attention."

I sat down next to Pam and Marina squeezed behind me for awhile before jumping off and curling up at my feet.

Chris and Pam discussed Bloom's and Benny's health histories, Pam signed on the dotted line, and pretty soon it was time to get the dogs.

We left the house, walked across the driveway, then entered the kennel area. First we opened a gate, then closed it behind us, standing in an area of about 10 feet before opening another gate that enters into the large yard and the kennels. There were only four dogs in the kennels; Molly (the husky with no teeth that I discussed in a previous post), Benny, Bloom, and this big, ole galoot of a dog names Boston. He was a malamute mix, must have weighed at least 140 pounds. He got right into the mix of things. Chris called Benny and Bloom out from their kennels.

Benny recognized Pam right away and was so happy to see her! They got Benny's collar and leash on him, but it took a while to get Bloom's on her. She gets so excited because she thinks she is going for a walk. She doesn't sit still. Chris couldn't get Bloom's leash on. So she said, "Let's get Benny all settled into the car. Then we'll bring Bloom out."

Chris put Bloom back in her kennel.

So Pam took Benny by the leash, and I followed.  The last I looked, Chris was right behind me. Pam walked through the first gate, and I was right behind her. Then she walked through the second gate, and again, I followed close behind her. The last I looked, Chris was behind me, so I didn't lock the gate.

We walked towards the car, Pam holding Benny's leash and some papers, me holding my camera, when all of a sudden we heard Chris scream, "OH SHIT!" We both whipped around and saw Bloom tearing out of the gate without a leash on. Huskies are known to be runners.

Bloom was heading straight for us. Pam called out, "Come here, Bloom!" 

I put my arm out to catch the dog, and Bloom went charging past me while I clamped on to her collar. My arm got yanked and twisted backwards at the same time. Pam dropped Benny's leash, Chris came pounding up behind us, and somehow all three of us got our hands on Bloom.

Meanwhile Benny just watched all the activity surrounding him.

Chris snapped the leash on Bloom.

I felt the pain in my arm instantly. I could barely move it and wanted to cry, but I toughened it up.

I felt bad that I didn't lock the gate behind me, but I thought Chris was following me. She changed her plan and decided to get Bloom.

I got into the car and they loaded Benny in the back. I held on to his leash. Then they got Bloom into the back and then both Pam AND Chris CRAWLED into the back. Now we have three adults and two dogs all in one car with all the windows closed. Everyone was breathing a little heavy at this point. Bloom was excited, and Benny was lying down and didn't understand what all the excitement was about. Chris told us that Bloom doesn't do well in the car and she recommended that we anchor Bloom's leash so she wouldn't pace in the car. Chris quickly looped the leash to a metal ring on the floor of the vehicle and then both she and Pam exited the side door of the car. Pam came around and hopped into the driver's seat. She quickly started up the engine, cranked the a/c, and was ready to step on it, when Chris said, "Wait! I have some dog food left!" She ran back and returned with a large pail of dog food, which ended up between me feet. Then I placed my purse on top of it, plus my camera. I barely had room to negotiate my feet.

We were ready to blow this pop stand!

We quickly said goodbye and left. It was such a fiasco with trying to get a collar and leash on Bloom, then when she ran out of the gate, then the whole episode with my arm, then getting Bloom into the car, we were glad to finally be on the road. The exit for the 80 turnpike came up real quick and we weren't paying close attention. I had been rearranging things by my feet. Pam said, "Wait, isn't this it?" I glanced up and just saw, "80/90" and said "Yes".

Well you know what happened.

Instead of going West towards Chicago/Iowa, we went East to Ohio.

Oh yes we did. In fact, we went all the way to Ohio. Well, let's just say we got off and turned around the last exit before Ohio. We went 72 miles east before noticing. Then we had to hop off the turnpike, get onto another highway, drive to the first exit, get off, get on, and get back on the turnpike heading west.

Go ahead laugh.

Jim said to us, "Didn't you see ANY signs that said 80 EAST?"

Uh, no.

It's true at one point Pam said to me, while looking at the compass in her car, "Why does this say that we are heading east?"

And I said, are you ready, "Well, sometimes the road turns a bit, and it curves to the east, but then straightens out." I guess that rule applies if you were heading like North, Northeast or something, but not in the complete OPPOSITE direction. Again, remember I am a blond.

So we've now added 2 hours to our 3 hour trip. Yep. And Bloom whimpered most of the way home. But she was a good girl and she laid down a lot, too. This is when we were on the road for about a half an hour.

We didn't plan to stop and let the dogs go potty, but since WE had to go potty, and we did add an extra few hours to our trip, Pam took the dogs out one at a time to do their duty.

Benny was so sweet. He didn't say a peep the whole trip; he'd just get up and kiss Pam then come over and kiss me. He'd always go from one of us to the other.

We finally arrived home about 5:00 pm. We were exhausted but happy. Here are the doggies getting acclimated to their new home.

These dogs are already attached to Pam. Here they are peeking in the door, waiting for her to come back outside. They are finally home.

By the way, my arm is doing much better after a couple of days of putting ice on it and taking an anti-inflammatory drug.


Anonymous said...

They are so beautiful...I kept thinking she was gonna take the third needy one

South Bend is 30 mins from me, I shop there all the time ;) Next time we will do lunch ;)

Steven Anthony
Man Dish~Metro Style

Missy said...

What an adventure! Glad everyone is home safe and sound! Your hubby is an angel...

Gail said...

I like happy tails!!!!! Thank you both for the rescue.

Eva Gallant said...

This has been a great saga! So glad your got the dogs home and everyone is happy!

SquirrelQueen said...

This has been an adventure almost from the start so there had to be some twists and turns in the last chapter. Glad to here your arm is feeling better Pat, that had to hurt really bad.

Both dogs are beautiful and they look happy to finally be in their forever home.

misslynda said...

What a love story - - between dogs and people. You can see by their faces that they have adjusted easily to their new home. I pray your arm is doing better and THANK YOU for the pictures of those beautiful canines.

Bossy Betty said...

This is a love story indeed! Hope your arm is feeling better soon!

becky said...

Yay!! A happy ending! I'm so glad Pam finally got her pups & they're healthy! They are adorable. Sorry about your arm, Pat, but it sounds like you are on the mend.
:) the missing the exit thing... yeah I'd do that... maybe not for 72 miles, but hey, who knows?

Joann Mannix said...

I loved this story so much! I didn't want it to end! Truly. And those 2 pups are just stunningly gorgeous. So glad to see your sister was able to keep them together.

Glad your arm is better and that you girls found your way home!

Kathy's Klothesline said...

I thought for sure you were going to tell us that you came home with three dogs instead of two!! Sounds like the trip I made with my daughter and grandson into the farm land in Wisconsin to buy a Saint Bernard.......and coming home with two.

Directionally challenged? I am happy that the dogs are in a wonderful home and will have great lives.

Teresa - in the Middle Side of Life said...

lol - i figured you'd end up with a 3rd dog before you left there.

sorry to hear about your arm; that hurt just reading about it!

did my daughter take driving direction instructions from you??? hehehehe!

Bonnie said...

Meant to be! What a beautiful love story. Your sister has such a big heart - not much of a sense of direction - but a very big heart. And I thought you were the experienced navigator! Guess you were distracted by the pain in your arm. You're lucky it wasn't dislocated!

So glad those beautiful dogs have found such a loving, welcoming home.

Nancy said...

I love you, and your sister, too! Bless you. Look at those two sweet buddies.

Brian Miller said...

aww...they are adorable...and i am happy for a good ending and that they get to stay together...i hid my chuckle at the wrong direction...only because of experince...smiles.

Mama Zen said...

I'm glad that your arm is okay!

They are beautiful, beautiful dogs.

Valerie said...

What do you mean, 4th and final part... I've loved every one and hope to hear more. The dogs are adorable and Pam is very lucky to be able to give them both a home. Come to think of it, the dogs are lucky too. Great pictures.

Carletta said...

Well, other than your arm what a lovely ending to a lovely heartwarming story!

Should I not ask about a GPS?

Betty said...

You have a great husband, Pat.
So glad you took the dogs home. They are so precious and beautiful, indeed!!

Big hugs,
B xx
P.S.Got back from vacation.
Sorry for taking me so long to visit your super awesome blog. And I mean it!

Snowflake said...

Pam has 2 very beautiful dogs!! How lucky she is to have found new companions!!!

Anthony said...

great post!