Yesterday morning the alarm went off at 4:30 a.m. After going to sleep at midnight the night before I hit snooze and tossed and turned a few more times than I probably should have. And then I slithered out of bed, slipped slippers on my feet, and engaged with the day. Long before the sun was up, I made breakfast, poured a glass of tea, fed foster dogs, and quickly did a last minute cleaning of the house before our volunteer Katie, arrived to pick me up for our first cross country transport of 2018.
And we were off. 6 a.m. and the sun still wasn't rising. We woke each other up as we caught up on life and chugged oversized customized coffees before hitting the road to pick up the transport van from Bonnie with Lola's Lucky Day. And again, we were off. Heading to meet at the newest meeting spot to swap vans with the Houston volunteers and transport 21 dogs back to Wisconsin to find their families.
As Katie and I drove over highways and embarked in the new Lola's transport van, our conversation naturally flowed from "How's life?" to more intellectually driven, purposeful conversation. Travel always seems to have a way of guiding you through an honest questioning and understanding of why we're here, what's the point, how can we improve, and all the pros and cons of life. I traced our conversation between laughter, reflection and highs and lows as we swapped stories and offered insight, realizing how the conversation continuously travelled between ups and downs of day to day life and rescue work. Katie realized the same thing and both of us seemed to agree on the fact that we wouldn't change a thing.
So, pros and cons. That's life, right? Pros, ups, and cons, downs. Goods and bads and everything in between. But how you view it or look at it, makes the difference. In the final hours of that 30 hour total, no sleep trip, we were exhausted, cranky, and ready to be home to sleep for the first time in over a day.
"Every time I do this, I get to that low point of tired and I think 'I am never doing a transport again,'" Katie said, "And then I look at the dogs and how happy all the volunteers are when we get back and I laugh and start planning for the next trip."
We both laughed, because we know this tends to be a common feeling amongst anyone who has ever done a rescue transport. Pros and cons. This weekend we only took one dog, DeeDee, a 14 year old Bull Terrier who found herself at a southern sanctuary after being abandoned. DeeDee is sweet. DeeDee will climb into the front seat and gently lick the side of your face as she places her paw in your lap. DeeDee will sing to you. Although it might not be your music of choice, she'll offer up her own interpretation of "Sweet Caroline" or any other classic, free of charge. So, when all was said and done and the dogs were delivered to their various volunteers and organizations, Katie and I crawled back into the car to continue from Madison- northbound. All the while, DeeDee was singing in the back seat while Katie and I rubbed sleep from our eyes.
Pulling into the driveway of my little bungalow on that busy corner in Oshkosh, Erin and Kayla arrived to take DeeDee the rest of the way to Green Bay. I joked with them about a bath and a nap and told them of DeeDee's cuddly and silly senior self. But the moment I walked in the door there was still work to do, paperwork to be filed and double checked, information to be gathered and arranged, and as Jamier drew a bath I thought, I'll sleep after, I'll sleep after. And I did, for an hour or two before we found out DeeDee doesn't actually like cats...
I awoke less than two hours after falling asleep to missed calls and messages because sweet, soft, simple DeeDee, definitely doesn't like cats.
Pros and Cons. And teamwork! By the time I checked my phone, the problem had been resolved and DeeDee had been moved into a new foster thanks to volunteers jumping up to help her (and our foster's cats. Did I mention, she apparently doesn't like cats?). And again, pros and cons. The cons will continue to come, but our hard working dedicated volunteers will always meet them with= pros and we will continue to work as a team to do what's best for the dogs who need us.
Heres to the pros and cons and the first rescue transport of 2018 (and to hopefully getting more sleep this year than we did last year.)