We got an email from Trinidad, a small town in Southern Colorado, almost to New Mexico. Not sure we had ever picked up a dog in that area. Kim from the non-profit shelter said they had not one, but TWO Sheepdogs in, could we think about taking them.
It was kind of a ho-hum email, just a get around to it when you can sort of thing. We began thinking about a trip down, but it seemed like they were in no hurry, and neither were we. About three days later, Bette got a frantic phone call from Kim. A huge problem had come up for them – the East Peak forest fire was gaining ground, rapidly. Firefighters had not yet gotten organized to battle it, and Kim was expecting a whole lot of dogs to come into their system, as happens when there is a catastrophe. They needed these two Sheepies out of there NOW. What had been a laid back pick up suddenly became a panic. Bette called me; I was out of the house and on the road in about ten minutes. As Trinidad got closer, I could see the smoke from the fire – a westerly wind was blowing the smoke over the highway. Spooky I pulled into the driveway of the shelter; it was a flurry of activity. There was a large van, operated by volunteers but sponsored by PETCO that was picking up dogs also.
Kim noted that one of them had been found wandering about in the county, one of them in the Town of Trinidad; along with their care (or lack thereof), made her think they did not come from the same family, but when they went into the kennel together, it seemed as if they had met previously. Makes one wonder. Kim also said they had a Mastiff that needed
a ride to Colorado Springs, could I take it. Sadly, I had to decline – the idea of two Sheepies AND a Mastiff loose in the back of a station wagon was asking for trouble.
Kim, bless her, took the time to help me get them in the car. One person can get one excited Sheepie in a car without much of a problem, but it takes a lot of people to get two excited
Sheepdogs into a vehicle. We eventually stuffed both of them in, I made a beeline for the drivers door. By the time I walked the length of the car, both of them were sitting in the front seat. Drat! Managed to talk Lambkin back the cargo section, but ended up taking Bo Peep out, reopening the rear hatch, and starting all over again. If there was some way to have made it more difficult, I’m sure they would have thought of it. They worked well as a team to make things hard.
The drive home was pretty uneventful. Bo laid down for a snooze; Lambkin rode most of the way with her chin on my shoulder and her head pressed against my ear. She was a sweetheart, wanted nothing but love, and Boy! Did I have the essence of ‘Stinky Dog’ by the time we got home? The population of the county where these dogs came from is about 9,000. I don’t know how many Sheepdogs live in the county, but it occurred to me that I probably had the majority of them in the car with me.
A quick check in at Mountain Shadows Pet Hospital, arrangements for grooming – Lambkin ASAP, Bo Peep just the head. Health checks passed with flying colors other than Lambkin being underweight. We had a bunch of applications; the rest of our journey with them would be fun. Within a week both dogs went to furrever homes.
Bo Peep, now shortened to just ‘Bo’ joined a new family in Denver. They eventually changed her name to “Furleigh”. I gave them the usual “We will call you often, especially at first to see how you are doing” speech. I should have saved my breath. Terry called me about every day for a week or so to report Bo was an awesome dog, things were going well, they were all in love with each other, and there were no problems. She said they would go to the dog park, all Bo wanted to do was to meet and greet the other parents there – she would get around to playing with the other dogs only if there was time. Lambkin, now Rita, went home with Stacey, who has been a long time adopter and supporter of Colorado OES Rescue. We have placed several dogs with her over the years, they had all crossed the Rainbow Bridge, and she was desperate for someone to round out her life. Lambkin was just the kind of waif that would do well with Stacey, and we have no worries that she is in the perfect home.
It was a double perfect adoption – both came in from terrible circumstances, and within a week were in great homes, with a brighter future that they could ever have imagined. This is true rescue at its best.
Epilogue: I went to the annual OES picnic about 4 months after the two dogs were adopted. While enjoying my meal and camaraderie, a Sheepie appeared out of nowhere and began to lick and lick and lick and love me. I had no idea where she came from – just appeared out of nowhere. I managed to extricate myself from her passion, and noticed her tag said “Furleigh”. Didn’t sound familiar to me. She eventually finished ravishing me, and went on her way. A while later, someone said she had originally been Bo. Then it all became clear – she remembered me as the person who got her out of a bad situation and into a wonderful home. This happens at nearly every picnic, and always makes me proud to be a part of OES Rescue. It leaves me with a wet, but clean, face.