If you follow me on literally any form of social media, you have likely seen at least one of the many pictures of random dogs (and sometimes cats) I’ve posted over the past few months. These adorable photos are facilitated by Secondhand Hounds– and to a lesser extent, American Brittany Rescue– which are both animal rescue organizations. I volunteer use of Tabitha for a couple hours every weekend in order to pick up animals being transported from their origins (often high-kill animal shelters) to a foster family and, eventually, their fur-ever home.
“What a kind and selfless thing for you to do, Rachel!” is what I’m sure you’re thinking right now, but the reality is that this is an extremely selfish thing for me to do. I love driving and I love dogs. I’m not really in it for the goodwill, I’m in it for the hobby. And to incessantly annoy everyone around me when my little wards get adopted.
Not that I pick favorites, but my favorite two pups to transport were Brynn and Qynn, a pair of boxer sisters who have nothing but love in their little hearts.
They were my first transport and set the tone for all the transports I’ve done since. Brynn, the cutie up front, likes hugs and snuggling. The reason I know this is because I watched her jump not on people, per say, but sort of towards them, so that you’d catch her under her front legs and hold her up so she could give you kisses. And even though she and Qynn eventually pulled off a well-coordinated switcharoo in the middle of the drive, the first 20 minutes that Brynn was my copilot were spent with me constantly petting her because if I stopped, she would make a valiant effort to climb into my lap. Any other time I would have loved to cuddle with her, but I was driving. And Brynn is a large dog. Do you see the problem?
Once the sisters swapped places, however, it was smooth sailing. Qynn liked looking out the window when she wasn’t dozing, and she slipped out of her slip lead (which I’m pretty sure isn’t why they’re called slip leads, but it is a little ironic) when we got to Secondhand Hounds’ location. There was a high potential for danger if she got nervous and bolted, but she just jogged around a bit and then allowed another volunteer to carry her inside. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen a smiling boxer being lugged around by a petite lady, but it is, in a word, precious. It’s no mystery why they got snapped up into forever homes as quickly as they did.
My other favorite ward is lil Acorn.
Acorn is available for adoption via American Brittany Rescue, but I’m not going to link you to his page because I want him, and if you adopt him, then I can’t. Also his foster family gave him a different name, but I still prefer Acorn and so that is how I will refer to him.
Acorn was picked up as a scrawny little stray with some half healed cuts on his face. He stiffened up when I petted him because, at four years old, he’s still not really sure what to do when people show him affection. He was a shy little thing, but with a heart of gold (obviously, he’s a Brittany) and a lot of love to give.
I met his foster mom at a Dairy Queen, but since I was early I got an ice cream cone for me and a dish of ice cream for Acorn. I don’t think he had ever been exposed to ice cream before, because he didn’t really seem to know what to do with it, but once he figured it out his mind was blown. I’m glad to have introduced him to such a miraculous treat, but it made me a little sad because by the time my dogs were 4, they’d eaten probably a total of three gallons of ice cream each.
Anyway, Acorn and I became friends and by the time his foster mom came to pick him up, he didn’t want to leave my car. Frankly, I didn’t want him to leave my car either. I wanted to keep him in my car and gun it home.
Last week was a new experience for me, because instead of filling my car with dogs I filled it with “two crates of cats.” If you’re confused by this vague wording, don’t worry. So was I. I’m not familiar with “crate” as a unit of cat, but as it turns out it meant transporting two litters of four kittens each. That meant eight kittens in my car. Now I know I’m not the biggest cat fan, but I. Love. Kittens.
Eight of them, however, turned out to be kind of loud. For such small little fluff amalgams, those kittens could project. I don’t speak cat, but I think what they were saying was “Get me out of this box. It smells like cat pee.” Which I was happy to do once we got to Secondhand Hounds, because I had promised photos to several people.
We let them stretch their little legs a bit, but we couldn’t let them wander too far because they were in a busy lobby with dogs, puppies, volunteers, and people coming in and going out constantly. The kittens did not give a flying fart, so consequently I am now intimately acquainted with the exact connotation of the phrase “herding cats.” It’s impossible. They are small and quick and determined. Very, very determined.
Luckily, all kittens made it to their temporary homes without incident, and should be available soon on Secondhand Hounds’ website. Also available on their website is a dog named Hatley who is one of the cutest animals I have ever seen in my life and I do not understand how he hasn’t been adopted yet. So if you’re looking for a dog, go adopt Hatley and then invite me over to play with him.
If you enjoy this blog and would like to give back, please contact my mom and voice your support for me adopting Acorn and bringing him to Minneapolis as an emotional support animal. Thank you for you contribution.