Today I put my sweet little Ida Claire on a transport to her new home near the New Hampshire border.
She came to me on Halloween night, 2011, when a neighbor found her on the Riverwalk and was walking her around the neighborhood looking for her home. She was scared. She was sick. And she was injured.
I took her.
As it turned out she was injured, her front, left leg broken in 2 places. And she was sick, Blastomycosis. I was in over my head and didn't know who to turn to for help. I called my friend Sonja at Pet Pals of Maury County who in turn referred me to Shawn Aswad at Snooty Giggles Dog Rescue.
Shawn is an angel who walks amongst us.
She immediately went to work helping me get Ida Claire the veterinary care she desperately needed. The doctors and staff at Animalia went to heroic measures to save this precious little life.
And Ida Claire pulled through, was sent back to my home to recouperate until she was well enough to be spayed and have the leg amputated. She recovered like a trooper, running and playing with my dogs. She could beat Lily Belle, my Lab-mix, across the yard chasing a squirrel and this on a leg that was broken in 2 places!
When the time came for the operation to amputate, I asked the doctors to please re-evaluate. As it turns out her body had created "false joints" and in essence had healed itself. She wasn't in pain and though the leg was a bit "wompy" and looked funny, it was weight-bearing. She could keep it!
Napping in the strangest positions...
And then a couple of weeks ago a call came through. A woman in Massachusetts, along the New Hampshire border, had seen ida Claire's photo through Peace and Paws of New Hampshire. She was in love and couldn't wait to adopt Ida Claire.
Martha and I had a long conversation on the phone. She and her husband live in the country between two sheep farms and Ida Claire will be in heaven with a family who already loves her. Martha said she won't let herself think about Ida because she already loves her and doesn't want to get too attached in case the adoption didn't go through. I could not have picked out a better home for this furbaby.
But for Ida Claire to go live the life that was intended for her she had to leave the life she lived here with us.
We got up early this morning to take the motion-sickness pill, so it would be effective as soon as we had to leave at 9:30. Once Ida left the transport stop, it would be a 19-hour drive to her new home.
Then she had to say good-bye to her friends...
We got there early so we could spend some time together before the transport van arrived. We also got to meet volunteers from several rescue groups and some of the other lucky dogs who were also going to meet their new families.
Like brother and sister Arty and Nora with their rescue volunteer Julia from Huntsville, AL. The entire litter died from Parvo except for these two. Arty was strong and healthy and very protective of little sis Nora who was small and shy.
The air-conditioned van driven by Bo and Curtis from Rescue Riders Transport arrived right on time.
He was also extra kind to me, the blubbering fool with the camera who didn't have to wear the t-shirt to announce to the world this was my first foster transport. I was experiencing more separation anxiety than Ida Claire.
So begins the next chapter for Ida Claire.
My heart is lifted to think of the number of volunteers, foster families, adopting families, transport drivers, etc and the coordination and management it takes to save these precious little lives that could have very easily ended in the euthanasia room of area county animal shelters.
Many thanks to them all.
And a special thanks to the folks at Animalia Animal Hospital in Franklin, TN, to my friend Matthew who accompanied me on this trip to meet the transport van knowing it was not going to be a pretty sight, to Sonja Rine for all the work you do with Pet Pals of Maury County, and especially to Shawn Aswad for your tireless mission to save as many shelter dogs as possible.
And lastly, I would like to thank Martha for opening up her home and commend her on her keen intuition and good judgement that led to her selection of the sweetest and silliest dog on the planet to adopt. Life is sweet, my friend, and about to get even sweeter. Hugs to you all!