Day 2 of the Extreme Mutt Makeover Transport

Annie the beagle needs emergency vet care….

Tuesday August 17th, 2010 Pinson, Tenn.

This morning started with Sally jumping on the bed, licking my face. Yes, this was affectionate, but it’s also her way of saying “Yo, you in bed. I need to go out!” So, out we went. I think it was 7 am. Rachel and Olivia were still sleeping in the king size bed. Little Chex, we’ve renamed him Blurr because he moves so fast and Handy Andy were busy racing around the house. Jennifer came down and took the “little” out with her. The front yard is completely fenced in. She also had retrieved Dodge from his crate in the Kennel. He seems to be an escape artist. Olivia had put him in kennel no. 4, but when I walked by he was in #5 with two other dogs. We needed to sleep, not worry about Dodges private night adventures.

Blurr, Handy Andy and Dodge raced around the front yard.

A view of the kennel in Tenn.

Last night we discussed what big dogs would need to run a bit this morning. Rocky was at the top of the list. So we combined some play groups. Max, a tan terrier mix who LOVES other dogs, was with Sophie, Boo Boo, Tex (heerler) and Annie (heeler). They were a wild mix. Running, rolling, playing playing. Rocky came down and we moved Boo boo with him. They also had a blast running through the grass, rolling in the dirt.

Next we needed to stage all the dogs back up the hill at the kennel to determine the best and fastest way to get them crated and into the van. The 8 year old husky’s have to go in first because their crates are directly behind the back seat. But, like yesterday it’s hot and we have to move fast, Today, it’s just the three of us, no big strong HSNT man helping us!

As we move dogs back into the kennel, Annie the Beagle and Tank get very excited to see us. We are surprised to see them stick their head through a hole in the upper part of the fencing. The barking is deafening. Everyone wants attention and no one wants to be left behind. Before I know what’s happening, I look at Rachel, is she saying something to me? No, she’s screaming MMOOOOMMMMM and trying to get Annie unstuck from the fencing. I’m holding a dog, can’t remember who, but I shove the leash into Olivia’s hand and rush into the kennel with Annie. My God, she is stuck, looks like she’s hanging from her front feet. Rachel and I can hardly communicate because it’s so loud. I’m hoping Olivia still has the dog I gave her and in the back of my mind I hope Tank stays in the kennel. With my right hand I close Annie’s mouth. She’d have every right to bite me, but I’m not feeling like I need an ER visit. I throw my left arm around her and lift her up. Her left paw is loose, but the right one is not. I have to lift her up more so Rachel can get enough room to lift her right paw up and off the spike she has impaled it on.

Finally she comes loose. I let go of her mouth, but still hold onto her. Rachel looks at me and says “that was all the way in her foot.” When I look down, there is her huge water bucket. Mother instinct hits me and I swish her feet in the water.

We still are processing what happened and what needs to happen next for poor Annie, when Tank runs through the open kennel door. Olivia and Rachel take off running after him. I remember hearing Rachel yell, “Tank, Tank, come back, I know you’re deaf, but come back.” What are the chances that we are going to get him back? I run through the obvious options, we could stay another day while we look for him, can we get a dog trap for him, will Jennifer take care of him if she finds him. I need to consider the well being of all the dogs! While I’m reviewing the options, still holding Annie, Rachel and Olivia walk back into the kennel with Tank. He stopped to sniff the garbage can and Rachel squatted in front of him and he happily came over to her.

I turn my attention to Annie, her 4th nail on her left paw is hanging at 90 degrees to the right. That can’t be good and it must hurt like hell. Outside in the day light we look at her other paw, she must have a pretty good size puncture. Jennifer is outside, she was walking Shaker, the 8 year old husky. Without any fan fair she says she’ll take her to her vet right now. We pull out Annie’s paper work and Annie happily goes with Jennifer.

Rachel, Olivia and I strategize about the placement of the dogs. Annie the Beagle needs to be alone after her injury. Annie the heeler needs to be alone after yesterday’s crate fight with Tex. They played really nicely together, but clearly the stress of small quarters is too much. I have no intention of traumatizing Tex any more by putting him back in with Annie.

Sandy reminded me in an email that Extreme Mutt Sophie is a good car rider, so she could ride shot-gun with Sally.

We begin loading small dogs in crates, the husky’s go in easily. They seem like nice old dogs looking for a better place to finish their life on earth. Both dogs have the tips of their ears bare and disfigured due to flys. Poor things.

Everything seems to be going smoothly except at the end when I can’t get the back doors closed because the crates are sticking out about 2 inches. Sweat is pouring off my face. I’ve run 7 marathons and this is equal to any marathon I’ve run. I can’t see because my eyes are full of sweat. When I try to wipe my face, my shirt is wet too.

Preparing to load dogs and crates

A few crates have to be unloaded so I can see what is preventing them from fitting properly. These are the same crates that came off the van last night, so what is the DEAL??

After much heaving, pulling and pushing, we can get the doors closed. Annie the beagle isn’t back from the vet yet. We have a place for her right by the back door.

I call Jennifer to find out the status. Annie is all done. She’ll meet me at the highway. 11:00 am and we’re off.

I meet Jennifer. Annie has her foot wrapped up. The Dr. gave her an injectable pain med, pulled the nail off, glued the other wound on her right paw and gave her an injectable antibiotic. I asked her how much I owed her. Her reply “this is my life, nothing!” I was shocked and amazed. There was nothing inexpensive about a drop in Vet visit and two shots. We load Annie into her new crate. We’ve added beds to be sure she is comfortable.

Finally, we are off. 11:30. We’ve had pringles for breakfast. Olivia has type 1 diabetes so food is needed for health reasons. We all need to eat, but Type 1’s can’t really go for long periods without food. Next stop, food.

Before we hit the highway, we find a Wendy’s. We order salads and are pleasantly surprised to see dark green lettuce! NO FRIES. We had enough yesterday. We do get frosties, yum.

Rachel, Mustang Sally and Olivia enjoying Dairy Queen

In case this isn’t enough excitement, we still do not have a place to stay in Roanoke. I’ve posted to face book and I’ve emailed Sandy in Fort Worth who is the on-the-grounds making it happen.

Again, I’m running the options through my head, while trying to eat salad, drive and read the GPS so we can get back on 40 East.

If the weather is cool enough, we could unload in the back of a rest area, walk 3 dogs at a time, give them water and put them back in their crates. We’d have to reload them and continue driving. I’m figuring this would be later at night, Olivia will be tired (she’s 13) so it will be primarily up to Rachel and I. I could drive until I can’t and we’ll pull over to sleep. We have a place in Connecticut. It’s not ideal, but we need a plan.

As I’m almost on highway 40, Sandy calls. She and Lou have been in disaster mode and have found us two options. Stewart, editor of the Roanoke Star Sentinel has a dog corral. The dogs could get out, run safely but would need to be crated over night. We can stay in his downstairs.

Option 2, drive to Harrisonburg to the Rockingham County SPCA. They have 13 kennels. It’s 2 hours north of Roanoke, which makes for a very long day.

I run the different scenarios. I wouldn’t have to pay for a hotel, that’s a plus. The dogs can run around, that’s a plus. Could I feed them? They’d have to poop in their crates….hmm, that seems like more work and smelly dogs. The girls and I agree, the dogs need to be fed. We don’t need to add hunger to the stress they are already experiencing. We like to eat so it’s hard to imagine not eating whether dog or human.

I call the SPCA and confirm space. Yes, they are ready to take the dogs in overnight.

I call Stewart in Roanoke and thank him profusely for opening his home and heart to us. He almost seems disappointed that he is not going to be a part of this amazing story.

I call Sandy to tell her our plan and thank her again for working her magic and finding a place for all of us to land.

As of this entry. It’s 6:00 pm Central time and we have 335 miles to go. ETA midnight. We are going to switch drivers again. Rachel has done a fabulous job. I don’t know many 18 year olds that could drive this rig with her confidence.


Denise Mazzola

Denise Mazzola


Share on Facebook
Share on Linkdin

More Posts