I have quickly come to learn what “transport day” means.
Once a month Mom gets all excited, grabs her camera and runs out the door with no more than a pat on the head for me. She leaves with a bag of treats in her pocket, a bottle of water and some of those baggies she uses to pick up my poop (so gross) All the while complaining that she is running late and about cleaning crates. First off- I have no idea what a crate is and more important: I NEVER get to go with her.
Her very first transport day was different; she was nervous and carried no treats. She was wondering what the other people would be like, if they would like her. Not the point at all, if you think about it. Humans are so complicated. If we don’t like another dog- we bark and snarl and go on our way-no big deal. Not humans- they want so much to be accepted. Stupid.
But I especially love it when she comes home on those days- I bury my head in her lap and breathe in the smells: the stinky, awful, wonderful, unmistakable aroma of other dogs. I smell their noses nuzzling the very spot that I now sniff. I wonder where they came from and what they look like? What their pee smells like?
Why didn’t their moms keep them safe. My heart hurts at that last thought.
And if I concentrate, I can actually feel their sadness and confusion, their dread and fear and then the unbelievably impossible happens…I feel their hope. That moment when that particular dog heard the phrase “no, not this one- he is going to rescue.”
Mom (feeling guilty for leaving me home) cuddles and coos, rubbing my belly: “hi baby, do you smell puppies? do you smell puppies?” She calls all dogs puppies even old decrepit ones.
The picture is starting to become clear to me. I’ll recap for those less intelligent readers:
Apparently there are dogs out there that don’t have Moms or families, plenty of dogs. I don’t know why, but I do know it is not their fault. And, apparently, there are a whole bunch of people trying to help these dogs find a family. While my Mom is new at this- it has been going on for a long long time.
Bravo to the humans, I say! They are normally so selfish. (for example: they never share their food and I happen to know Mom and Tommy did not leave the mailman a tip this Christmas- even though he is pretty cool about my barking at him on a daily basis)
I often hear her say- she has the easy part. The people who collect and care for these unwanted dogs are on the front line. They make difficult decisions everyday, decisions they hate to make- but have no choice. (Note to self: look up the word “front line”)
Tommy always asks her (on transport days) “ How were the dogs?
Her answer is always the same: “ The best bunch we ever got”
“You didn’t get a one?”
“No, not this go-round”
But today- her answer was different:
“ Actually, I am getting one on the next transport, hope you don’t mind” (her voice sounds odd, kind of nervous and creaky)
“ No problem Honey, hope this one is as great as Jeanie”
“I’m sure she will be”