A friend of mine from Chicago, who also happens to be well connected with the dog rescue community in the southeast, reached out to me yesterday afternoon with a request. A german shepherd mix had been rescued and saved from euthanasia, and a family had gladly offered to adopted her. Only problem was, the dog was in Decatur and the family was in Canton and unable to drive to Decatur to get her. My friend asked me if I was willing to transport the dog. As it turns out I work not too far from Decatur and I live not too far from Canton. So this seemed like a really good fit. I gladly volunteered.
The only difficulty I could forsee was the size of my car. It isn't exactly large. In fact, it is one of the smallest cars on the road. Not the smallest, but pretty far down on the list. It doesn't have a back seat, so the dog would have to ride shotgun. For a smaller dog this would not be a problem, but I was a bit concerned that a german shepherd might have difficulty. "Well," I reasoned, "they did say she's a mix so maybe she isn't all that big."
I left work early and hoped that I would be on the road with the dog before the Friday afternoon rush became full blown. I arrived at the vet in Decatur around 3:30. The nice folks there gathered together her paperwork and her medicine, then brought Linda out to me. She is mostly german shepherd and let's just say she is not a small dog. Her hair had been cut short and she was shedding like most shepherds do in the summer. She was also on the skinny side, a look that hinted at the hardship she has had to endure.
We spent a few minutes in the lobby getting to know one another before heading outside. The first challenge was in the parking lot: she did not want to get in my car. Perhaps she wasn't ready for a road trip, but most likely she was looking at the tight confines of my front seat and saying to herself "Are you kidding me? No way!" I finally had to get in the passenger side first, straddle the two seats and then coax her in. After she jumped in I was able to close the door and slip in to the driver's seat. Moments later we were off.
We hit the freeway before 4, and I thought I had a chance to avoid the worst of the traffic. Sadly I was mistaken. An accident on the north side of I-285 caused a large backup and made me wish I had taken an alternate route. I changed to another freeway when it made sense and had to resort to back roads to get to Canton. In all it took over 90 minutes to make the drive.
Linda was a great passenger. She was restless at first, no doubt trying to find a way to get comfortable. She eventually settled on lying down in the seat in a curled position. But that would only last 5 minutes before she was up again. She cried a few times, but was otherwise very calm and inquisitive. Occasionally her head would end up behind mine, giving me a sort of living, drooling headrest.
We finally arrived at the vet's office in Canton and she was very happy to get out of the car. I handed over all the paperwork, explained the medicine, then said goodbye to my temporary companion. She was ready for her next adventure and eager to move ahead. I understand that her new family will pick her up on Monday.