The dog that last year they all gave to me as a birthday gift. A coonhound puppy from a shelter. Probably the best birthday gift ever and certainly the best dog I’ve ever had to boot. My friends know, I am ridiculously in love with this dog. Her name is Grace and the kids adore her too.
So, flash forward a year, Doug is not paying too much attention and I’m on Facebook more than I should be. I’m friends with these dog rescue people and every day dogs flash by my eyes that are not about to make it much longer. I’m sympathetic but on this afternoon here’s what comes across on my Facebook page.
A baby coonhound that is going to be put to sleep with the whole lot of dogs at an animal control place in Tennessee, just over the Kentucky border. Wednesday at 3:00PM is the deadline. She looks just like my Grace.
My Facebook contact is a woman named Rejena who is a police officer with a big heart. She has a pretty thick accent when I talk to her on the phone. She assures me that if I can get there by 2:00PM on Wednesday I can have the pup. They don’t want any money. They just hate putting them to sleep.
I have been to Ohio and Kentucky, not too long of a drive. But this turns out to be quite a bit further. I look at the map … I look at the picture again … I have to do it.
Ashley is the adventurous one, as is her friend Emma, so at 4:00AM on Wednesday, we take off in the car. We have ten hours to get there.
We head to Tennessee, just south of the Kentucky border.
We run into morning traffic in Indianapolis. We run into construction in Kentucky. We see beautiful country. We make two bathroom stops and one gas stop. We make it there by 2:02PM and Rejena meets us in a parking lot and escorts us to the animal control facility.
I won’t bring any cameras inside for fear of souring the whole project. We meet two other guys, one named Scrappy, and they open a cage. Out she crawls, on her tummy. They seem genuinely happy that we are there to take her.
They ask us, “What are you going to do with this dog?” “Are you going to keep it?” My new friend, Rejena is in charge of the whole scene. I think she is the kindest woman, much less police woman, I have ever met in my life.
Ashley scoops the puppy up as quickly and as politely as she can and in the midst of beginning to love her we scurry back to the car. The dog’s eyes are huge. She is dirty and dingy and smells horrible. She is afraid and quiet.
We drive back down the dirt road from which we arrived and we come across a little house that says, in your best Tennessee accent, “We wash dowgs 24/7.” I pull in the driveway and knock on the door and here comes a little woman who reachs out the door and asks that we come back in one hour. We do, and she hands us a pup that is clean and happy and $10 later we are off on our long drive home.
Along the way we stay in a couple of hotels. We run into a vet from New Mexico at one of the hotels who checks the little thing out and speculates about her age … 12 weeks. She even has some worming medicine with her. We let the puppy sleep in our hotel beds. She kisses us nonstop. We eat at a lot of Cracker Barrels. We even come to like country music. And we are in for a nice ride home.
Our goal was to rescue this puppy and foster her and find a home for her. I’m not sure how it’s all going to work out because, no surprise, we love her. It seems as if she knows that we saved her. And what’s her name? Not sure yet, but it might be Dover.
If anyone wants a special little puppy just let me know.
Best Quote From The Trip:
ReJenna the Police Woman, again, in your best Tennessee accent: “Scrappy, this is heaven right here come down to take this dawg.”