Dandy Dan aka Riley
Daniel’s long drama began when this panic-stricken giant pup darted into the house of ARF volunteer Jean Lewis’s neighbor around 11 PM. He raced through the door, ran up the stairs, jumped on the owner’s bed, and refused to leave. After determining that she was ill-equipped to persuade Dan to go–apparently he really wanted a home with a warm bed–Jean called 911, who patched her through to Chris Tyson, who left his home in the middle of the night to escort Dan to the shelter.
This might have been the end of the story, but shelter staff and volunteers like Allison Hancock Padgett fell in love with Dan and were determined to save him. Jean told ARF foster Mary Adams the story, so she decided to rescue him when she had space. In the mean time, Kessa Thomas took the beautiful picture above and posted it on The Underground Tailroad’s page, where it eventually caught the attention of Beka Chandler, a generous woman in Ashland Oregon. Beka didn’t skimp, but purchased a large crate and a plane ticket to make sure Dan arrived in style.
Meanwhile, Dan stayed with his foster parent, who arranged for his care, vetting (spay/neuter, worming, vaccines, flea and heartworm prevention, and a course of antibiotics), obtained his health check and microchip, and got up at the crack of dawn with Jean Lewis to get him to the airport. It turns out to be much harder to ship a dog than Delta’s web site lets on! ARF volunteers went 10 rounds with Delta staff about the size of the crate, the kind of plastic bag and food to attach to the crate, the kind of collar he wore, the kind of lining in the crate, not to mention the form of payment–did you know that airlines don’t take cash?–but Dan got on the plane and made it to Oregon. He still faced a long car ride from Portland to Ashland, so he and his new family stayed in a hotel last night!
Lots of folks had a hand in Dan’s rescue: The Pet Stop gave a discount on the crate, the vets charged rock bottom for services, and many members of our community shared his photo and got him to safety. For ARF volunteers, this kind of work–vetting, rehab, socialization, care, and the kind of deep attachment they make with these pets–is a labor of love, and it’s also labor-intensive. Every rescue involves dozens of hours of driving, vetting, feeding, walking, bathing, wrangling–not to mention a lot of emotion. Many of our volunteers have been putting in this kind of time for years–back when there was no shelter, no affordable spay/neuter, no veterinarians willing to provide low-cost services for nonprofits, and no Internet!
This king of post seems warranted every so often, if only to remind us all how easy it is to dismiss the efforts of others if we don’t witness them first-hand. Like our foster parents and community partners, so many of you are doing your level best to help these animals. Even now, ARF volunteers do all this while also helping out other foster groups without 501c3 status, providing low-cost spay/neuter, arranging transport, raising money, and writing spay/neuter grants. To all of them, and to an increasing number of our community supporters, we thank you. And Dan thanks you! We couldn’t do it without you.
Ps: We changed Dandy Dan’s name to Riley. Turns out he is great at finding photo locations, very curious and a physical trainer. He’s getting me in shape. A dog trainer borrowed him yesterday to socialize & help train another dog. Way to go Riley!
– Beka Chandler