Even though it was only 6 o’clock on a Sunday morning, as soon as I heard my mom, I was up. I somersaulted out of bed, grabbed my new American Greyhound t-shirt, and I was ready. My mom, my brother Elliot and I were headed to Barb’s house to meet a hauler of dogs and puppies from Mobile, ready to start retirement.
After we stopped at Dunkin Donuts for some much-needed breakfast, we got to Barb’s house. When we got there, we heard that the haul was around Fair Oaks Farm, so we had about 45 minutes to wait before the excitement started. Even though the haul hadn’t arrived, there were still people in Barb’s living room waiting for the dogs and puppies for foster or adoption. Because there were no dogs at Barb’s yet, my mom, my brother Elliot, and I sat on the porch and talked with Annette. We know Annette because she fostered our dog Isaac. She told us all about what would happen when the hauler arrived and what would need to be done with the dogs before they could leave with their families. She told us all about microchipping, since that was the main thing that had to be done. Then we heard commotion in the house. We went inside and heard that the haul was less than five minutes away! We were all so excited! Even the dogs that were already at Barb’s house were getting a little jumpy.
The haul was coming down the street! We were all talking about how cute the puppies and dogs were going to be, and couldn’t wait to see them. When the van pulled up to the curb, the drivers got out and started to unload. The puppies came out first because they had been riding in the back of the van. They were so soft and snuggly! Everyone took turns holding the puppies and giving them kisses. I wanted to keep a puppy, but they had all been spoken for before the hauler even left to pick them up! Then the puppies went inside with the families who were going to adopt them because it was time to decide which puppy went to which home. All of the puppies got great owners, and it was so fun to listen to their new names!
Next, we turned our attention to the retired racers in the hauler. Some of them had done their business on their leashes and I got poop on my hand. Gross! They were coming out of their crates pretty fast and we had to put them in the turnout pen. It was really hot outside, and they had been in the hauler for a long time. They put ice bags under the straw to try to keep them cool, but the dogs seemed very happy to get fresh air! We took the dogs in the turnout pen where they could stretch their legs, get some water, and do their business. It was so loud and really stinky with all of those dogs back there! After all of the dogs were in the turnout pen and had gotten water and a little rest, we started taking them into Barb’s garage one by one to microchip them. When we would bring a dog into the garage, my brother and I would announce the name so my mom could get the paperwork together. We even played music for some of the dogs when they came in. Of course, Rocky had to be introduced with the theme song from the movie, and Copa walked in to Copacabana! It was so much fun to sing and dance with the new dogs. After a dog got microchipped, they got a new collar, leash, and muzzle, and then it was time to meet their new owners or fosters. It was so fun to see these dogs getting packed up and taken to a home to start their retirement.
It was a great experience to help out at the July 2017 dog haul. I got to see puppies, microchip dogs and just help wherever needed. It was cool to see how our dog Isaac arrived in Valpo when he left Mobile and went to Annette’s house just 1 year ago. I would recommend helping with a haul to everyone who loves dogs and just loves to help out.
-Brody (in the red shirt)