Friday, November 12, 2010

The Puppy Run (Brook style)

On Thursdays we drive out to the boonies to pick up puppies from shelters or from other drivers that the shelters sent to meet us half way. We call that trip "The Puppy Run." Kim usually drives the puppy run. She likes to go by herself; it's her "quiet" time. When I drive the last Thursday of the month, I like to take a volunteer with me. I like to show people where we're getting our puppies from. It's a part of the rescue that not everyone gets to see (or wants to.) They see one of our partner shelters, meet the staff and drivers of other rescues and help load pups in the van. Volunteers also help me keep track of the keys because it's well know that I've locked them in the car on puppy runs before. Most volunteers have a great time. It's a 6-8 hour trip so only volunteers that can stand me for long periods of time are invited.

Our Puppy Mobile
 Yesterday I drove the puppy run because Kim is taking some much needed time off. I drove by myself, which turned out okay because I made a puppy run "mixed tape" and brought a book to listen to.
Destination: Noah's Ark Animal Shelter in Trinidad, CO. Three and a half hours south on I-25. I left at about 8:15 so I could get an early start and take my time if it snowed any harder than it already was. Cup of coffee in hand, music blasting, I was on my way. Traffic was no problem and by the time I hit Monument Hill the skies were blue so I was flying. (I've been known to pick up speeding tickets on this trip...not THIS time though!)

While passing through Pueblo, I saw a large Veterans Day festival. There were tents up and convoys and it looked like all kinds of fun. Since I was running early I stopped for some food and to check it out. This is one of the best parts of the puppy run. Kim often stops at various farmers markets on the sides of the road. It's fun to see what the towns have going on and bring home great snacks too. I bought a burrito from a guy in a van, listened to some bands play then I was back on the road.

I pulled into the dirt driveway at Noah's Ark around 11:35am. That's where I met Pat. She is one of five volunteers that transports puppies to a meeting place for us because CPR can not drive to all of our partner shelters and rescues every week. They are just too spread out.  Pat picks up puppies from rescues and shelters in the Taos and surrounding areas and drives them up to Trinidad or one of our other meeting spots and she does all of this on her own dime. She is a volunteer. Over the years that we have worked with Pat, through CPR and Lifeline, she has transported well over a thousand puppies to us from kill shelters. She has saved their lives.

A stray at the Taos Pueblo where
some of our puppies are from.
Pat brought 14 puppies with her. They are so cute! Three are from the Taos Pueblo. There were seven in the litter but when Pat went to pick them up yesterday morning four of them were missing. This means that they'll probably turn up soon and we'll get them in a few weeks. Five of the puppies are chunkers. They weigh 6-8 lbs and when we got them home we saw that most of them didn't have their teeth yet. They are too young to go up for adoption this week and they'll have to stay in foster homes for at least another week. After giving all of her puppies a look over and finding a crate to put them in for the ride, Pat was ready to go and I was ready to see if Noah's Ark had pups to send with me.

Noah's Ark Animal Shelter is kind of hard to find if you don't know where to look. It's a small older building that is waiting for enough funds for a good fix-up. There is a small staff with big hearts. All of the animals there are taken care of and given a chance. Like most shelters in Colorado, they sometimes need to euthanize for space. That however, is a last resort. They will do everything they can to adopt and transfer their animals to keep from needing to euthanize. That is why they need our help. 

Yesterday I noticed that there were not many dogs. Noah's Ark had five puppies to send with me. All of them were 3-4 months old and on the larger side. The puppies were in an outside run that was in the middle of being hosed down when I arrived.  All five puppies were soaked and after picking them up and hauling them to the van, I was soaked too. Brrrrrr! I was sure I had ice crystals on my jeans. I turned on the van and cranked the heat. I tried to put the puppies by the vents so they could air dry a bit. Then I took pictures of all of the puppies to post on Facebook. I think it's fun to show everyone a preview of what's about to arrive.

The ride home was pretty uneventful. I pulled over twice for carsick-clean-ups. I arrived home around 3:30 to a house full of volunteers ready for puppy intake... which is a story for another time.

See ya next week!