Have you ever wondered how our rescued goldens from China travel and arrive? In September, five dedicated GBR volunteers found out.
We met in Portland, climbed into our donated GBR transport van, and headed for LAX airport in Los Angeles. Sixteen dogs rescued from the slaughter industry in China were scheduled to arrive over two days, escorted by their rescuer and another volunteer flying from Beijing.
After a fun and thankfully uneventful two-day drive, we were thrilled to arrive at the Orange County home of a GBR supporter and wrap our arms around the two resident rescued goldens. After a hospitable overnight stay – with some time preparing dog medications – we headed to LAX to greet the first eight dogs with our host/volunteer.
Two hours after the flight arrived, eight dog crates emerged from Customs with escort Jeffrey Beri. Jeffrey is a New York native who lives near Beijing and runs No Dogs Left Behind. He is very active in the push to end dog meat slaughter in China and is a very good friend of GBR.
Joining us (in force!) were volunteers from Southern California Golden Retriever Rescue, who helped at the airport and took two of the dogs into their rescue A few of the dogs that arrived were fairly timid and anxious, but most of them quickly melted into volunteers’ arms, went potty, and happily drank water and ate.
Our amazing rescue partners from Homeward Bound Golden Retriever Rescue took the remaining six GBR dogs and drove eight hours to their rescue facility near Sacramento, where they cared for the dogs overnight. Our travelling GBR crew got some sleep and prepared for the second round at LAX the next day.
After a tourist lunch at In-N-Out Burger, we met a few faithful GBR supporters from LA at LAX and waited for the next eight dogs to exit Customs. This time, we had our routine down, and in no time, dogs were pottied and loaded into the GBR van for the long drive to Sacramento. After a sunset potty break and a few wrong turns, we made a late-night arrival at Homeward Bound.
Our rescue partners took our newest arrivals – four who would stay with them – and made them comfortable for the night. After midnight, we headed for our hotel – and then another hotel (we got overbooked – don’t ask!). In spite of being very tired, we completed rescue dog medical paperwork before getting a few hours of sleep.
The next morning, we quickly toured Homeward Bound’s impressive facility, loaded nine dog crates into our van, and headed north for our next adventure. First stop: Cheerful Vet in Phoenix, Oregon. Wow! What amazing care we received from their amazing staff! Each dog received a complete exam over a full day and medical needs were addressed – from travel anxiety (dogs, not humans) and urinary tract infections to ear infections and minor scrapes.
Then onto La Quinta! Wow, is it ever a dog-friendly hotel! Having a dog with you might actually be a requirement to stay there. A tearful hotel employee greeted us, asking to meet each rescued dog as it was unloaded. Settled into our rooms, each of us cared for two dogs – most of which were pretty quiet – and organized rescue paperwork.
In the morning, we took a bit of a leg stretch, stopped at Starbucks and headed north to Portland. When we arrived, the dogs met their new foster families and we sent our new golden friends on to their amazing lives in the U.S.
Mission accomplished and friendships formed! Those are some lucky dogs and some amazing people that we met along the way. THIS IS WHY WE DO IT!