Engage Prelim.

Sydney adjusting to new home
Sydney adjusting to new home

Though my first Engage post isn’t “due” for another week, I want to share what transpired yesterday – nothing unusual, nothing challenging but sweet, life-affirming, plus I met someone I didn’t know.

I dedicate a large part of my life and home to dog rescue, sanctuary, and adoption. Because of multiple deaths (2 of which were shocking and unexpected; not deaths but euthanasia in the most correct use of the word and the 3rd expected yet still very sad), 3 adoptions (my two puppies and a Bagle (Beagle/Basset) who was temp. fostered while I was in hospital and whose family “failed” Fostering 101 by adopting him), I had room for one more dog.

I’m part of a larger sanctuary which is mostly a cat sanctuary with about 20+ dogs. My division is the “hound” division: dedicated to Beagles, other hounds, and senior dogs. There is diversity – this past year I fostered a Great Pyrenees and a Rough Collie for their breed rescues.  They both are now in wonderful homes.

So, Monday, New Year’s Eve, room for one more dog. Each week, I get many calls/emails asking for help with hounds in MO and elsewhere. A rescue in StL had a Beagle boarding at the vet; they had no foster home open to take him in; several people in StL area gave Rita my name. This Beagle had no name though after I had him home, I found “Wyatt” on his rabies tag. He looked stunningly handsome, reportedly did well with dogs, cats, and people, and could come to me fully vetted, just needing neutered.

We made arrangements to meet at a popular transport exchange exit. Dog transport is a life-saving volunteer activity a lot of us do on a weekly or as able basis. “Legs” or distances to cover are plotted, drivers sign up to drive one or more legs, and dogs, cats, puppies, and kittens move from, say, Texas to Minnesota over two days.

This day was not a true transport leg – Roy was meeting me with Beagle Boy after picking him up from the vet’s; BB would go home with me to Safe Harbor @ Silverwalk (Silverwalk Hounds) for adoption. There was one potential snag: weather. In our region, the forecast called for freezing rain, sleet and then snow; weather advisories were in effect.

I mapped out and sent Roy the link to our meeting place. Then, while scrolling through Facebook, came upon Nick’s forecast for Monday, leaving a comment re: our plans and involved areas. Nick commented back saying morning will be OK.

There was rain and snow intermittently. We both had a laugh when we reached our designated parking lot, next to a park and Dairy Queen, at the same time! Roy texted me before I left about what a nice boy this Beagle was.  He was so right.

Paperwork never leaves us; we both completed the needed forms, I walked “Sydney” around and watched him pee. He is a real looker; now that I’ve had him over 24 hrs., I’m guessing he was a well-bred hunting dog, perhaps used as a tracker.

How engaging was this?

  1. Met a new person, Roy, whom I hope to meet again in similar circumstances.
  2. Worked with a new rescue to whom I was recommended by several people in the StL area (reputation preceding).

This is a wee engage-ment. I’ve done this many times before. What transport and bringing in new dogs does for me, not anticipated when I began, is:

  • helps me meet new people
  • lets me meet new breeds I may have only read about
  • gives me the chance to learn how to safely transport and hand off dogs of all ages and situations
  • makes me accountable to those I’m meeting/handing off to, the coordinators who put it all together and the rescues/shelters from whom I bring in dogs.

A quiet start – but a start. Oh, and what did I do for New Year’s Eve? Watched one of my favorite films at home on the computer via DVD: “Secretariat.” I hold my breathe through the Belmont every time I watch it, enjoying how silence plays a part in portraying that amazing run, and reminding myself I saw this for real back in 1973.

Happy New Year!


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