Friday, December 17, 2010

"To the people who foster, transport, donate, campaign or look out for dogs in need, thanks to all of you. To the people who are thinking about how they might make a bit of difference, go for it."

NOTE:  Peyton was pulled by Connie from a WV shelter, fostered by her and then went on transport to the northeast in November.  Peyton now has a "fur-ever" family of his own.
   This is Connie's story ... 
This is my story, I would encourage anyone in the least bit interested to give fostering or transporting a try.  Please feel free to edit, I know I tend to get windy!!

A year ago I lost my Gypsy, a little liver and white "Brattney" girl. About that time I started looking at Petfinder, and the rescues, NBRAN included. I heard a lot about "other peoples problem dogs, something wrong with them for them to be at a shelter, you don't want to get involved."

Within 2 weeks we bought a little Britt boy, different color, different sex, from a breeder, great pedigree, champion stock.

I started transporting a few months later, got questioned about WHY are you spending your time and money to drive dogs when you have a farm full of your own animals and not enough time for yourself?

I didn't know WHY, but it made me feel good. I did it because I could, I guess.

Not long ago I got approached by NBRAN / NEBR, could I pick up a lost Britt from a shelter near my home and take him to boarding? It was Thanksgiving week, but the shelter wanted him out, but he didn't have a foster home yet. I picked him up, and he came home with me for the week. He was skinny, he jumped at every noise, cowered all the time and if he had a tail it would have been between his legs.

My two boys (the hunter, our Britt boy and the herder, our shelter Border Collie mix) welcomed him, shared their toys and home, and a couple days later he was not so scared, he was playful and getting confident. He had some accidents in the house, but learned quickly to be a good house dog.

A week later he had a foster home, and I transported him on his first leg of his journey. My husband was so attached to him by this time he couldn't go. I cried a lot that day.

Just two weeks later I learned his fur-ever family found him. I'm glad now to have been a part of his life, even though it was sad to let him go.

My point?

There are a lot of dogs out there that are not problems, or trouble, just down on their luck.

Or their first people didn't know how to care for them. Or couldn't afford the chow any more.

In just one week I watched a dog change, saw him start to bloom. He is every bit as special and good as our pedigreed champion, actually perhaps better behaved!

This kind of thing wouldn't happen without the network of ordinary people who help out here and there when they can.

So to the people who foster, transport, donate, campaign or look out for dogs in need, thanks to all of you.

To the people who are thinking about how they might make a bit of difference, go for it.

You won't be sorry.

If I knew then what I know now, I don't think I would have agreed to buying our little champion. Not that he isn't a great boy, but he would have gotten a great home.

I would have jumped right into fostering the ones that got lost in the shuffle of life, and would now have a bunch of tearful days behind me, but would have also helped others find their best friends.

And along the way I think I would have been found by mine. 


  1. My husband and I were fortunate enough to have met Peyton on his journey to his new home. What a wonderful boy!! It was love immediately, and now my husband fully understands why I have started "trafficking dogs" as my son puts it, lol. Thank you Connie for sharing your story!

  2. Hi Connie,

    I'm Peyton's new mom. I want to thank you and let you know what his life is like now here in New Brunswick Canada.

    I would cry too if I had Peyton for a week and had to give him up.

    You and Rita did a great job with him because he didnt arrive here as a cowering fearful dog. He's a curious active loving skinny ragamuffin.

    Here is a typical day for Peyton:

    He lives with another Brittany Sally who came to me in June. She's his "mom" and makes sure he minds his dog manners.

    During the work week he goes to my parents for doggy daycare. The dogs run into the house all excited (this is where they get spoiled!) We all have breakfast there then I head to work and they go out for a play in the yard. Some days they go to town with my parents for groceries. Sally has separation anxiety so sometimes my parents try to leave them alone for 10 minutes to a half hour. Peyton seems fine but Sally usually gets into something.

    I get home from work when its dark still so we arent walking then yet. Peyton spends his evenings trying to get at the flying squirrels in the feeders outside. I have the windows lined with chairs but he can still jump up to see them at the side window. When the days get longer we'll walk after work. We walk on weekends now. Sally runs loose and Peyton is tied to my waist where he runs in circles around me.

    He must have been very very skinny when you fostered him. He's still a skinny mini but he eats well and should thicken up a bit over time.

    I want to let you know how much he is loved and cared for here. My parents are 79 and 80 and Peyton has become the apple of my dad's eye. Peyton lays on the couch next to him with my dad's hand on his back. Peyton seems to love men so I'm sure he had a great bond with your husband. I'll send some pictures to Christine so you can see him in his new home(s)

    Thank you for being his guardian angel!


  3. I've been driving transport for about 3 years. I have transported hundreds of dogs out of kill shelters of from foster to permanent homes, to foster/permanent homes. Today I have the opportunity to help with a Brittany transport and also an English Setter--we have English Setters, and my avatar is my first English Setter, Lucy.

    There are two important things to understand about transporting. Many people object to volunteering because they are afraid that they will fall in love with the animal and want to take it home. Well. . .You WILL fall in love with the animal, but that animal has a home waiting on the other end, and if you take it home, someone is going to coming looking for you. If you are on the fence about transporting because you think that your home will fill up, get off the fence. The only thing that will fill up is your heart...and yes, you will have to fill up your gas tank. If your financial circumstance limits that ability, ask your volunteer group if there is some money available to help you fill this need.

    The other most important thing to remember about transport is that these animals to be sprung from a shelter or to get to another place MUST have a ride. A ride. Not money, not good thoughts, not hope that someone else will volunteer, but your answering the call for help and providing some seat time behind the wheel.

    A few hours of your time to shuttle a dog in need from point A to point B without the fear of filling your home up! And.. . that is not get to meet some pretty neat folks along the way.

    You will also find your time with your charge therapeutic. Shelter dogs are so glad for some quiet, they will snooze, so grateful for the quiet and the comfort of your presence. Some will NEED to have you touching them. They are good shotgun dogs. Tie them up so they are not in your lap (but can get comfortable). You'll know the needy ones because they will have their head or paw some place where you can touch them.

    This drive-time zen moment will wash away all of your stresses. It is the most wonderful anti-stress therapy. A quiet car ride with a grateful charge and the knowledge that you have shaped that animal's destiny in a positive way.

    I have three active dogs, so I do not foster, though I have overnighted (as many as 3 setters!) as they travel from North to South, or South to North. I truly admire those who foster and open their homes--and being a driver that helps these animals along to these wondrous people is a very good thing indeed.