Background: I had agreed to 'overnight' a three-legged four-pound rescue poodle coming in from Korea on his way to New England, and to transport the dog to the Eastern Shore airport for the next leg of his Pilots ‘n Paws flight the following day on his way to Poodle Rescue of Vermont. But - where would we spend the night and who could I get to go to the airports with me?
The clincher was when I just happened to mention the situation brief to a small-dog friend of mine near the Shore who immediately offered not only her small-dog expertise but also her house for the night, thus saving me hours of driving a pup in rush-hour traffic. I grabbed the offer. I had wanted to visit them for a long time and here was my excuse.
Glitches or Glitchless?
The dog survived. And so did I. It was not a totally glitchy experience. . . .
I arrived at the airport very very early (before afternoon rush hour) and hung out at the Cell Phone Waiting Lot for my call that the American schoolteacher from Korea with Pierre the Poodle had landed and met up with her parents from New Jersey. (whew!)
Shades of Subaru
My contacts were waiting for me at door 14, a door I knew well since it is right outside the USO where I volunteer three times a month. I had told the mother I was wearing an orange T-shirt and driving a green Subaru (“Dog tested. Dog approved.”) wagon.
I couldn’t believe her next question! “What shade of green is your Subaru?” (I had no idea – just green.)
The Last of the Glitches
The hand-off went off without another glitch – for me or the poodle. Pierre had flown from Korea via Detroit in a soft-sided crate in the passenger section of the plane with Jennifer. He turned out to be a real cutie-patootie! Unfortunately, the schoolteacher had lost her wedding ring in Detroit and was on the phone with Detroit at the moment attempting to locate it.
I placed the crate beside me in my little Subaru, and Pierre and I took off. After about a mile, I turned on the air-conditioning only to find it NOT working on the hottest day of the year so far, so I unzipped Pierre’s crate to allow him more breathing room and . . . he tried to escape. I needed another hand – rush-hour traffic, trying to read a map AND contain a little dog who didn’t want to be contained. Warning: don’t try this at home!
I feared if he managed to climb into the back seat, I might never find him and I recalled the time I drove a clingy Aussie on my lap through New York City on his way to his new Massachusetts home. The only way to do that is at 3 am, I soon found out!
We arrived at my friends’ house with their three little dogs and they fell in love with little Pierre. Thank goodness!
What’s for Supper?
We went on several little walks (found out Pierre was not exactly house-trained but would ‘go’ if he was outside). My friend Diana also discovered that Pierre preferred the kibble they fed their dogs but, even more than that, he devoured two plates of filet mignon!
Pierre slept soundly in his crate beside me on the couch and we set off for the ‘scary bridge’ just after daybreak. It was not so scary after all.
Over the River and Over the Bay Bridge
As a matter of fact, the Bay Bridge was a breeze, though, without a navigator, I missed the turn into the airport twice!
Pierre and I arrived even before the airport staff and met some early pilots. It turned out we probably saw little Pierre’s little plane land but didn’t realize it. We spent a few minutes in the air-conditioned pilot’s lounge and then sat under a shade tree. When the pilot called me on my phone, I looked up to see him approaching by foot on the tarmac so I handed Pierre over the fence and that was that!
Pierre was on his way to his new life and I was on my way home in a car registering 104 degrees.
Would I Do it Again?
And now, the question is: “Would I do it again?”
Tonmorrow: Pierre's Future is so Bright. . . .
(Photos courtesy Poodle Rescue of Vermont)(This first appeared on the Maryland Patch online newspapers sites on 10 July 2014.)