Old Fella's Dixie Dogs
Nov. 16- Nov. 20, 2007
Our third transport was a big one! We hoped for 40 dogs, we planned for 35 dogs, but only 21 made it on the transport due to various unforseen circumstances. We had plenty of room, lots of help, but 21 is alot more pups than the previous trips had. It took us a stop or two to get a system of what works the best and fastest. Even with 4 adults, 1 teenager and one very helpful 7 year old, it took us an hour at each "pit stop."
A movie could be written about this trip. Within an hour of home, one of our veteran volunteers, had a gallbladder attack and ended up calling her husband to get her. She had her gallbladder removed that night. Within a few hours of starting out, we recieved word that one of the Old Fella pups was losing a long battle for her life. "Precious" had fought hard for a long time. Her foster moms were on the transport and didn't get a chance to say goodbye.
The remainder of the trip north, 25 hours in all, went smoothly. The shelters were excited to see us and ready for our pups. Our celebratory lobster dinner was delicious.
The next morning we went to breakfast at Joyce's Kitchen in Newmarket, NH. The food and the atmosphere couldn't be beat. Exactly what you would expect to see in a small New England town. I would advise everyone to try Joyce's banana bread french toast and eggs benedict. After breakfast we decided to take a little detour to Rye Point. What a beautiful place. It was so clear we could see The Isle of Shoals in the distance. Boy was it cold though!
It's time for the Dixie Dog Volunteers to head back south (to warmer weather), so we head out. On I-495, not one hour from start, we blow a tire. It is a Sunday at approx. 4:30pm. We sit on this interstate not knowing exactly what to do. We have a spare tire, but no jack. We call several roadside assistance plans that we each have, with no luck. We call tow companies, with no luck. We press the emergency roadside assistance button about 1/4 of a mile away...no luck! We finally decide to limp off of the highway. We slowly limp to the next exit and find ourselves at the Main St. Mobil.
The Main St. Mobil is one the old fashioned full-service type of gas stations. The mechanic bay was closed; however, the employee, Bob, allowed us to use their jack. Bob was very helpful and let us stay warm inside while our tire was being changed by one of our wonderful volunteers. **Thanks again, Bob!**
After several hours the tire was changed and we were once again on the road. For less than 100 feet. Our hearts sank as the tire was wobbling severely and once again we returned to seek out assistance from Bob. Another hour or so and the tire was positioned correctly and we are off. We head back onto I-495 and begin singing "On the road again." No, we didn't sound like Willie Nelson, but we were happy and excited and we began counting the states until we were back home in Georgia. States, heck! We didn't get 10 miles.
Imagine the frustration. Two tire blowouts within 10 - 15 miles. Once again we slowly limp to the next exit. Stopping at another service station, we attempt to find help. After an hour, we give up and start calling local hotels. We limp to a hotel and crash for the night. It is midnite and we are less than 100 miles from where we started, but it has taken us over 8 hours to get there.
In the morning we began making more phone calls to find help. We also called the company we rented the bus from. They made all the arrangements to get the tired fixed. After waiting for the tow truck , we found that the one they'd sent was not big enough and we would have to wait on another. While waiting, we had to give up our rooms at the hotel and camp out in the lobby with all of our belongings until the bus was ready. And at approximately 3:00 on Monday, we were set to go..again.
Let me tell you that we were glad to Massachusettes behind us and once again started counting off the states until home. Our next stop was just inside Pennsylvania. Little did any of us know how close to NJ we were. After dinner and some time playing in the snow, we were off again. Thankfully, the remainder of the ride was uneventful and we arrived home all in one piece (well minus the back passenger side quarter panel).