During the Covid pandemic, I was sheltering in place with my husband, my two grown children and our three dogs. (Not to mention my 18 chickens and 80,000 bees.) I was certainly never lonely. Stressed out. Upset. But never lonely.
That wasn’t the case everywhere though.
I have a long time friend (Michael) who lives alone in New York City where they initially had a harder time with corona than we did here in Texas. He very much was wanting a small dog with whom to shelter in place, but there were simply none to be found. After he had posted a couple of times I suggested that perhaps if he found a dog in Texas, I could arrange to have it shipped to him in New York. So, he reached out to a couple of rescues and applied to adopt dogs. If you’ve ever worked with a rescue, you know what a frustrating and sometimes fruitless endeavor this can be.
A while later I remembered that one of my sweet travel advisors that I work with has a brother who works at a local city animal shelter. I asked that he keep an eye out for a dog that would stay small when full grown. A couple of days later I got the call. They had a Chihuahua / Dachshund mix that had just gotten transferred from another shelter. I texted photos of the dog and Michael said “That’s the one”.
So, I immediately drove to the shelter and adopted Tex. He hadn’t been neutered yet, and didn’t have his rabies shot. If I had left him there, they would have done both at no cost to us. But, if I left him there I couldn’t reserve him and assure that no one else would adopt him. So Tex came home with us.
I mentioned before that we have three dogs. Two of them are Golden Retrievers and one is a Boxer mix. These are larger dogs. Tex met them one by one and did beautifully. He was immediately one of the pack, all five pounds of him. He was a delight to have around.
I signed an agreement when I adopted him that said I would have him neutered and fully vaccinated within a certain period of time. I wanted to be sure I did both before he left Texas. I called our vet to ask about costs. Michael, understandably, wanted to pursue a lower-than-full-cost option. (He’s a tour guide so, like me, hasn’t had income due to the dramatic effect of the pandemic on travel.) My sweet husband overheard me calling low cost neuter clinics and immediately said that we would just pay for the neuter ourselves. He didn’t want Tex to go to anyone but the person to whom we entrust our own dogs.
Michael started looking into how to get Tex to New York. He wasn’t terribly excited about shipping such a small dog in the heat of the summer. Also, since we had him neutered he couldn’t have traveled by plane for a week after the surgery. So, Michael decided it was time for a road trip. Our plan was for me to meet him in Durant Oklahoma for the hand off because New York was enforcing a 14 day quarantine for anyone traveling there from Texas.
Meanwhile, Tex was working his way further and further into our hearts.
The night before the scheduled handoff, Michael called me and told me that New York had just added Oklahoma to the list of quarantine places. Ugh. So, the plan was just to drive to my office, just do a quick handoff, immediately leave, and never get out of the car in Texas.
That next afternoon, Michael pulled up at the office and I handed Tex over to him. Tex seemed to know that Michael was his family and greeted him accordingly. Off they went with a piece of my heart.
Saying goodbye to Tex was incredibly difficult. Watching my family say goodbye to Tex was even harder. My sweet husband pulled me aside after T left and asked me to please not get in the habit of doing that. Saying goodbye was too hard. We had this dog for 8 days and my big tough husband has such a squishy heart that he could barely take it.
Now I watch Tex (who has since been renamed “Travel”, so I’ll refer to him as “T”) via Facebook posts and I’m excited to be able to see him whenever we are allowed to travel to New York again. He is much beloved. He is refusing to be trained to pee pee pads and instead prefers Michael to take him outside. (Good boy, T!) He loves his Dad and his life in New York.