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Animal Day

At the Rhea Co. Humane Society's Animal Fair, August 1997

Okay, here goes.
 

Bathed 8 dogs last night after work, 3 Malamutes, and 5 Siberians -- all our personal dogs, not rescues, as I don't take rescues to publicity events. Cleaned harnesses, gathered together about 4 truckloads of gear. 

(Picture here of wet dogs on picket.)

Transmorgraphied it so it would fit into 1 truck with 4 crates, 8 dogs, 1 sled, and 2 iguanas (I'm getting to them) and rescue information posters and handouts.

Got up almost before my head hit the pillow. Packed 4 crates, 8 dogs, 1 sled, 4-truckloads of gear and 2 iggies. Searched frantically through the entire house until I found my truck keys. Managed to forget the rescue handouts. Did remember the business cards. (My sweetie who remembers things for me has to work Saturdays. It must be his fault.)

Got to the Rhea Co. Humane Society Animal Fair. They had us between the goat exhibit and the raccoons. I explained what would happen to the goats and the raccoons if we didn't get moved. And it had to be in the shade. And it had to be in the back so I could do the sleddog demonstration.
 

Picture here of dogs on picket.


Got situated. Got the new pickets (Did I mention stopping at the co-op and buying chain and rebuilding my pickets in the parking lot of the co-op. Rebuilt them because the dogs had demolished the old ones in the time it takes to load 1 truck, 4 crates etc. -- yes, I know everyone told me don't use rope. It was only 1 dog..... and it only takes one dog. I know, you all warned me.) 

Got the dogs out. Set up the sled. Set up the rescue posters. Breathed a sigh of relief. The mc announces that there will be a sleddog demonstration in 10 minutes. Here I was thinking an hour and 10 minutes.

Panic.

Settle down, afterall these folks don't know me -- Hi, Dr. Nix. I'm fine Mrs. Woodard. Yes, they are beautiful, Major Haskins. (I know the whole county and they are all here.)

Have a sleddog demonstration. Always start with just Jack my big goober Malamute. He decides this isn't a Pull day (even 100 feet as a demonstration) it's a Cute day. I am talking and putting harnesses on and explaining the whole Malamute vs. Siberian thing, their heritages and why that makes them demanding pets, that they need fences, vaccinations, lots of time in the house.
 

And Jack doesn't raise his left foot when I tell him and run my hand down that leg. He raises the right. I tell him to stand and he sits. I tell him to stretch out (and tighten the lines) and he stretches out on the ground. It gets worse. He backed out of his harness. That was a new one on me. Runs backwards, with me on the ground on my face, and jumps into the basket of the sled. 

Immediately Miss Bear starts hollering at him. That was supposed to be her spot. (She's 10 with cancer -- she's entitled.) He hollers back. Waves that paw in the air, we all know the one. Knocks my glasses off and when I duck down to look for them, he head butts me in the butt and I went head over heels.

We haven't managed to move the sled yet.

The iguanas climb out of the truck window and some kid screams. I forgot the iggies! Got the iggies back in their cage, made sure they are in the shade. I'll get them to the lizard exhibit when I'm done here.

And I'm being heckled by 3 9-yr-olds in the front. So I recruit them. Things went from bad to worse.

Finally managed to move the sled. I harnessed up the 3 9-yr-olds. Jack rode. I walked beside and gave sleddog commands.
 

Picture here of Sibes in harness tangled.

Then I got to the Siberian Streak. Okay, we are changing their name to the Siberian slowpokes-showing-off-for-townies. Tosha and Nu-Nu managed to get tangled as I was explaining how the others would get tangled but they would be, uh, fine...... Untangled them. They did it again. Left them. Hooked up Chief and Lucky. 

Got Lucky's harness inside out. Straightened that out. Hooked up Misha and Mark last as they have never done this before. No sweat. Misha laid down. Would NOT get up. Unhooked Misha, started to picket him back and he went towards the front. Okay. He wants to run behind Tosha the lead dog. Okay. hooked him in with Lucky, moved Chief back.

We're ready to go. Put Jordan my nephew on the runners and asked him what mushers said to get their dogs running. He said, hike. No, what he said was (in a deep but high-pitched voice for a 7-yr-old) HIKE!! HIKE!! HIKE!!

The dogs took off as one, all lunged into their harnesses and suddenly I'm in a dead run with a leash to the lead dog. You'd think these idiots were sprint team contenders instead of Sunday sleddogs.

It got a cheer anyway. We ran in a big circle. I made the 9-yr-olds water everyone when we got back. Then we had a pet-a-thon to see who could pet the dogs the longest. (Not really.) But everyone came over and they were all terrific. Put the iggies back 3 times. Lizard exhibit had no room for them.

About an hour later I am about hoarse from explaining that we rescue the dogs not the dogs rescuing people, and yes, you must have a fence or make him indoors all the time, and yes, your current dogs must be vaccinated, and no, Siberians are not Malamute pups, and no there is no wolf in them at all, and yes, we do charge for our rescues, and no, I am not ashamed of selling rescue dogs to make back half of their medical expenses, and yes there is a contract, and no you can't breed them.......

I have such a headache you wouldn't believe. Did I do any good today? I socialized my dogs. I got people to a place where they would hear the spay/neuter, vaccinate, fence your dogs Speech. And maybe someone will think of us when they see a stray. Maybe they will mention it to someone who would make a good owner. Maybe I just count it as good experience in packing a truck.

The dogs are all 8 piled up in the kitchen floor and I think I'll join them.

Picture here of dogs in floor.

Happy Trails! 


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This website last updated November 2002