When life gives you lemons, make lemonade!
We are so grateful for our GBR volunteers and their abilities to adapt and change course. This spring, our traveling volunteers did just that when original plans fell through and they had to devise a Plan B.
Plan A was to drive to Chicago to rescue 10 golden retrievers coming to O’Hare Airport from China – part of a group of 99 dogs that were vetted and ready to travel. With high hopes, the rescue team hit the road in the GBR van for the 3-day drive to Chicago.
Unfortunately, as they reached Cheyenne, Wyoming, they got a call that no dogs would be allowed to leave China. They were devastated, not only for the 10 golden faces that were unable to join the loving homes of our incredible fosters, but also for our rescue partners in China who are spread thin caring for so many dogs.
Not to be deterred, the rescue team regrouped and began contacting nearby shelters looking for goldens and Labradors. While they didn’t find goldens, they did find six dogs in Wyoming that needed our help. During a private tour at a shelter in Cheyenne, they chose four dogs that had been at the shelter a long time or needed special help finding a furever home: Abby (female Rottweiler), Girley (female terrier mix), Simon (male Labrador mix), and Archer (male Labrador mix). Both Simon and Abby had been in the shelter for so long that they were beginning to show signs of “shelter shock,” which means they were placed on the “watch” list. GBR was certain that we would, eventually, find forever homes for both of them even if they are not goldens.
Our friends at the Cheyenne shelter then called the county shelter in Gillette, Wyoming, and found two pups that also needed help finding a home. The rescue team made the 4-hour drive to Gillette to pick up Juno, a husky that had been tied up on a cord and rescued by shelter staff, and Zipper, a Bassett/Jack Russell mix. With six happy hounds in tow, they left Wyoming and headed for Oregon.
On the trip home, the rescue team and their canine companions stopped for the night, piling into rooms for a good meal, socialization time and a night’s rest outside of the crates. It can be difficult for rescue animals to socialize because many of them come to shelters in “survival mode” and need time to adjust to their surroundings before they feel comfortable. But our rescue team was amazed at how well behaved and adaptable the dogs were, with no growling or fights. Even though some of them had not met before, all were on their best behavior and seemed happy to be out of the shelter.
With 100-degree weather heating things up, the traveling people and pups survived the drive with the AC cranked up and water dishes in the dogs’ crates. After plenty of stops to let the dogs stretch their legs, the team pulled into Portland, where they were greeted by the amazing fosters ready to welcome the Wyoming rescues into their homes.
At the time of this writing, we’re sure we have homes for Zipper (now called Harley) and Juno. If you want an athletic dog that is extremely loving, Girly would be “must meet” for you. Archie is not quite ready to meet a family. Simon has turned out to be quite the character and we’re helping him get the medical care he needs for his food allergies. Abby has a few minor behavior issues we’re working through but everyone who meets her says she “is so sweet…”, which she is!
If you or someone you know might be interested in Girly, Archie, Simon or Abby, please contact GBR at [email protected]