Wednesday, September 03, 2003
The Poms trip to Petsmart---
It was Sunday afternoon and the three Poms and I had the whole day to ourselves. About four o’clock I decided we needed to go to Petsmart to pick up animal food. I brushed each pup, wiped faces, put on their collars with ID tags, and then their harnesses and leashes. At last we were ready. This was to be Trevor’s (our newest blind baby addition) first real trip in ‘public’.
When we got to the parking lot I put Timber and Tucker into the buggy part of the shopping cart. Tucker was leaning forward and hung out the front, while Timber hid behind his Pommie skirts. Tiny Trevor curled up in the baby seat and was as calm as if he had done this everyday.
We hadn’t even made it into the store when two large dogs came rushing out followed by two boys and a frustrated looking Dad. The boys stopped dead still in fascination. A mesmerized look on their faces. “What kind are they? Oh how cute! Can I pet them?” and then the question everybody wonders but only few actually ask-
“What’s wrong with his eyes?”
So many people wanted to pet them & ask questions.
I was able to explain about rescues & blind dogs and tell people about Petfinder.com and how they could rescue a dog.
They were quite the 'Ambassadogs". It was a lot of fun.
People ask me if it was any trouble to take three dogs and I say "Have you ever taken 2 toddlers any where? At least my dogs mind and I can put harnesses and leashes on them!"
Sunday, August 31, 2003
It all began with a look on Petfinder.com one morning.
I happened to notice that a dog rescue in the next state had the most darling little female Pomeranian pup that needed a home. She was about the same age as my two Pomeranians, so I decided to send an email inquiring about the details. I don't know what it was about her picture, but I was eager to find out if I could be approved to adopt her. I decided to fill out the adoption application, which I submitted.
Meanwhile, a co Pometeer on the online message board had a link in her signature to a Pomeranian rescue located in New England. I clicked on the link and found myself looking at the same picture of the local rescued Pomeranian only this Pom was several hundred miles away.
I contacted one of my mentors on the Pomeranian Message board (PMB) and told her about the same picture being used on both sites. She then contacted the owner of the rescue up North who was very upset that her picture had been pirated off of her website. By then I was really getting interested in this very photogenic pup. However the site plainly stated that no dogs were adopted out of the New England area.
My mentor filled me in on the details of the pup. He was around 10 months old, blind since birth, and possibly might have to have his eyes surgically removed.
Blind? BLIND! A blind dog! How does one manage?
A part of me was saying "Poor baby- he's blind, no one will ever want to adopt him", but I have to admit another part of me was saying, "Ok. He is blind. Now I may have a shot at adopting this little sweetheart!"
I can truthfully say that the fact that he was blind only made me want him more. I began to read, search on the internet; I joined a blind dog message board, and talked with friends who had experience with blind dogs.
What I learned was that a dog has many senses. Sight is not the most important one. His senses of smell, hearing, touch, and taste are magnified to help compensate for the lost sight. The more I learned, the more I felt that I could really help this little fellow live as normal a life as possible. I had the other two dogs that could be his guides, I had the time, and I had learned so much from all I had read.
I began to feel that I would be a good ' seeing eye person' for this dog.
For several weeks I looked at his pictures on the website and prayed that he would find a good home. After a while I found out he was still up for adoption and finally had the courage to fill out the adoption form and email it in. I received a reply stating that no adoptions were made out of the N.E. area. I was disappointed but I had plainly seen the disclaimer on the website. I knew that the possibility of being considered was slim. Still - I had to try.
More weeks, then months went by. Every day I felt the pull of those pictures on my heart, and every day I would visit his pictures on the website and pray he would get a good home. Finally, I felt the real need to try ONE MORE TIME. I had nothing to lose and so much to gain.
I emailed the rescue and asked if he was still available and told them that I was still interested in him. I thought to myself, even though I was way down here in South Carolina, I had to be better than NO ONE !
To my utter astonishment I received a call that very day. The rescue explained that this pup had been very sick with a cough given to him by another rescued dog . He had seizured twice and his sister had died in a seizure. He had not been neutered yet and could not be until he was well enough. If I was still interested, I was told to resubmit my application. Because no one else was interested in adopting him, this time I might be considered.
WOOO HOOO !
Boy - was I excited! Now I had to break it to my family. The possibility of him actually getting here had been so slim, that I had not tackled the job of convincing my family that we needed another dog. Much less a BLIND dog!
I began by telling the story of how I had found him and watched him these many months. I printed his picture and stuck it on the refridgerator. I printed out articles about blind dogs and left them in places I thought they would be read. Then finally I had a heart to heart talk with all of them - and explained to them how somehow this pup and I were connected - and I just could not get the picture of him out of my head. After a while they reluctantly gave in. Never really believing he would actually make it here. My poor husband never really stood a chance!
Then I had to wait of see if I had been approved. I had to have all my personal and vet references checked.
Next I had to wait until someone in my area could do a home visit. Finally a sweet lady, her husband and 5 dogs traveled 200 miles on a Saturday to do the home inspection. I was a nervous wreck, but I passed.
When I finally got word that he was mine I was so excited!
But I must wait until he was over the cough, to be well enough to be neutered.
Then it was I must wait until the Vet who neuters only every two weeks could do the surgery. Nope- not this time, rescuer had to go to a dog show. In two more weeks.
Meanwhile I was trying to arrange transport with a pilot who flies rescues. He was booked up until the end of May. But May 22 - he sends email to rescue saying he can fly Trevor on May 23-26. Trevor is still not neutered or had his vaccines. No - he cannot go- he is not ready yet.
Oh boy! This was getting more frustrating by the minute!
When can he come home? Has he been neutered? No- but he is scheduled for Tues. in 2 weeks.
Two weeks- email- how is he? Did he go through surgery? No- I meant the next Tuesday.
Delay after delay - until I finally decided I would have to pay to ship him cargo via the airline. Problem was after all these weeks of waiting it is now July, and in the south it is 95 degrees in the shade.
I make the trip to the cargo terminal at the airport to get the paperwork, terms and conditions of shipping an animal. I was appalled at the employees manner, professionalism, plus the terminal was hot enough to boil water. NO shipping shipping my baby boy that way! Enough was enough!
I called the airline and booked a flight for later on in the month of July. I was going to buy a round trip ticket and a one way pet ticket and fly my boy home under the plane seat in safe air conditioned comfort. After all we had been through-
HE WAS COMING HOME AND I was gonna' be sure HE WOULD ARRIVE ALIVE !
I called the rescuer and told her I would be flying in on July 22. Could she meet me with him at the airport? She worked the night shift but she would meet me with Trevor after lunch at the air port.
Now the days dragged on. Would July 22 ever get here?
I busied myself buying a Sherpa pet travel bag and equipping it with everything I could imagine we might need on the trip home. My Mother and Sister agreed to drive me all the way to Charlotte and spend the day in town shopping and visiting and then pick us up. It was such an intense day - that I could not have made the journey with out their help.
Finally the day arrived. I got up at 4:30 and headed to my Mother's about a half an hour away. We then loaded up in her car and drove the two and a half hours into Charlotte before the traffic became too bad. They dropped me off at the airport entrance and waved goodbye as I began the first wing of my exciting journey.
On the way to New Hampshire I sat next to two bubbling teenager sisters that had spent the week at the beach with their Dad and were returning home.
Imagine their amazed looks when I answered their question about the reason I was flying to their hometown!
What kind of person flies all that way for a blind dog?!
Big grin, I have chosen an odd path I can see. Funny, it doesn't seem so odd to me.
The men that work with my husband have teased him unmercifully about his wife's trip to New Hampshire to pick up a blind dog. I told two of his friends about it, not thinking it was strange at all.
After all the teasing my husband has taken I told him he just needed to answer back to them- "You mean your wife has NEVER flown to pick up a special needs dog? How very strange! My wife will be glad to show you how it is done."
Poor man- he has had to listen to every blind dog joke you can imagine.
Just last Saturday he came out of work to get in his truck and some jokester had put a live chicken on his truck with a sign saying "RESCUE ME!" About 20 guys were standing around watching to see what he would do. This classy man just laughed and said "is it blind?" They said "no" , then he said "then I don't want it" .
He still stands with me, and I think he is quite a man. I guess he really knows what for 'better or worse' means being married to me.
Back to Trevor' story-
I sat in the lobby at the New Hampshire Airport for a few hours propping up a sign with the rescue's initials on it. so I could be spotted. At last our rescue person spotted me and we met face to face for the first time.
She looked much younger than I had expected and asked me if I would like to go to lunch after I met Trevor. I welcomed the invitation and we headed out to the car to meet him. He was the tiniest, most precious baby I have ever seen. It was love at first sight. I held tightly onto him as we drove to the restaurant. When we got out of the car we set him in the grass and we both called his name. He came to ME. To ME!
He was mine, body and soul. I could hardly wait to get back and get him home.
As we waited in the airport for our flight - Trevor was like a 'people magnet' ! I cannot tell you how many people wanted to ask about him and talk to us.
There was the retired Air force pilot & his wife, the lady and her daughter who were stranded when she left her wallet on the plane that had just departed, the newly pregnant career trainer, just to name a few.
The weather became turbulent and several flights had to be delayed. After such a long day I was praying ours would leave on time, and it did. We hit a long line of thunderstorms and I was quite queasy with all the motion. Trevor flew like the trooper he is, never making a sound. When it got really rough I would just reach down in his bag and put my hand on his back. It seemed to comfort us both.
(to be cont'd)