Anyone who says I want a dog who doesnt change my lifestyle doesnt really want a dog. And anyone who really wants a dog should really want a rescue
Last Sunday I went on one of the most nerve-racking drives of my life: my partner behind the wheel, Smooth FM failing to calm us as we hurtled towards the unknown. We were headed for a McDonalds carpark in Prestons, south-western Sydney, where we would meet a man named Marshall who would take a whimpering plastic box out of his wagon and introduce us to the next phase of our lives.
Pete had been picked up from death row at a rural pound by a Wagga-based private rescue group called Riverina Rescue. The organisation doesnt have a website, probably because they have had no time to build one. One rescuer, Rhonda, spends her downtime between shifts at Woolworths saving dogs from euthanasia after their two-week holding period is up, and with a handful of helpers and organisers carting them between the pound, the vet and her property in Wagga. She sometimes will drive thousands of kilometres in a day.
Marshall, who drove to Prestons to meet us, is her son. In the four years he has been a transporter he reckons he has picked up between 6,000 and 8,000 dogs for different rescue agencies. And Rhonda who has space for 25 dogs at a time, and brings in a new rescue whenever one goes out has saved a fair share of them, maybe 1,000 over the past seven years.
Pete was one of the latest. Estimated at being about a year old, he was on the kill list at Narromine pound before being saved by Marshall, and driven to a vet who desexed him, vaccinated him and classified him with wonderful vagueness as dachshund x DOG, capitals his.
The only other information we had about Pete was a photo of the most hopeful eyes youve ever seen, and 60-odd words on his PetRescue page:
Pete is now in care after being left in a rural pound.
We have no history on him so no idea what he could be crossed with, possibly kelpie but he is only small and squat.
He wouldnt be suitable for a home with young children as we feel he has been teased or fallen on by kids previously.
Transport arranged if needed.
Small and squat. Teased or fallen on by kids. He sounded, maybe, perfect.
We paid the deposit for a trial (a trial was essential not just for us and Pete, but for the neighbours too), bought a bed, a lead, some toys and dog food and jumped in the car to pick him up.