The other day, a news reporter asked me, as part of an interview at the sanctuary where I volunteer, why I'm so committed to pig rescue, and less involved in dog rescue. At the time, I gave several valid reasons: I like the fact that the pigs are in a sanctuary that will be their permanent home, so I really get to know them well; I like the outdoor farm-type work; and I love the pigs' personalities which make me smile even on the muddiest, wettest, coldest volunteer shift. I ended by saying that dog rescue isn't my strength - pigs are my forte. And that's true.
|Not just pigs, but goats and donkeys and mini-horses and farmbirds|
and even a 3000 lb steer!
What I didn't say, though I wish I had, is that I love helping dog rescues in ways that fit with the strengths I do have in that arena, like doing homechecks and helping with transports. I may not have the skills to train a dog with behavioural issues, or the strength to walk a strong puller, or the patience to foster a bouncy adolescent, but it gives me great satisfaction to know that I play a small role in connecting a dog in need of a home with the right home for that dog. To me, that's the best part of rescue.
Just before I went over to the mainland last week, Yvette at Turtle Gardens contacted me to see if I could do just that - transport a dog who was in foster care on the mainland to Nanaimo where his new mama would meet me before taking him further north and west to his new home.
Yvette and her son Davey met me in an empty area of the parking lot at the ferry terminal, where I was immediately engulfed by Yvette's other charges: Jillian, Sweet Pea, Stedman and Puggy Sue, as well as Frodo, the fellow I was to transport. I've met Yvette before, but knew the dogs only from her blog - and meeting them face to face was delightful.
|Every friend of Turtle Gardens is familiar with its spokesdog, Puggy Sue! |
On this occasion, Puggy Sue was much more interested in checking
out the parking lot that in posing for the camera.
|Jillian, on the other hand, was quite happy to show me her best side.....|
|...though she couldn't decide which side was her best.|
|Stedman was a little reserved at first....|
|...but soon decided to come say hi to the camera lady.|
|And then there was Sweet Pea, who melted my already mushy heart.|
There's just something about her old dog face - and it was on a much bigger
body than I had thought from the website!
|And then there was Frodo, freshly groomed, new collar and leash,|
ready for his forever home on the island.
I slipped a harness and canine seat belt on Frodo and secured him on the back seat of the car next to Mitzi's crate. Normally I prefer to crate dogs I transport, but on this trip I didn't have room for the large spare crates I had at home, and the suitably sized one was on loan to a friend with a new puppy. Seat belts, however, are better than nothing, and a vest-type harness from my stash fit him perfectly. Safety is my middle name.
|Where are you taking me?|
Suitably secured, we waved goodbye to Yvette and crew, and headed over to the vehicle lineup.
|Bye Frodo, be a good boy!|
|Ah hope that dog isn't coming to MY house!|
|Frodo looking for Yvette|
|Time for a close-up - I love his wiry hair!|
On the ship, I stayed in the car with the dogs, as I always do. I had an audio book to listen to, and pretty soon Frodo decided he may as well take a nap:
|Are we there yet?|
|Frodo is more interested in his surroundings, but Sadie hams it up for the camera!|
I could swear she has a smile on her face!
|Finally Frodo turns to say goodbye to me, and happily trots off with Judy and Sadie |
for the last leg of his trip home.
Have a great life, Frodo. I'm so glad you found your forever home.