A trip to save a life

I scrolled through the radar images, watching the mix of pink, light and medium blues move slowly northeastward across the state. I was hearing predictions of 4 to 10 inches of new snow in our area, and a mix of ice and snow further down south. I was planning a trip to save a life, and I was really hoping the roads would be clear.

Or at least good enough to drive on.

This all started with an e-mail from my wife’s friend in central Illinois. Her nephew had a 12 week old puppy he wasn’t “happy” with. I use the term “happy” to spare of the details.

My wife’s friend knew this wasn’t a good situation for the pup and was pleading for someone to help rescue the dog. When no one else piped up, my bride offered our assistance. Honestly, when you foster dogs, you acquire a love for them you never had before. You will pretty much do anything to help out. Even driving through a winter storm for 9 plus hours one way to help out.

The town we were going to was southeast of Joplin Missouri, called Granby. It was a small town, with about 4 north/south streets and about 8 east/west streets. When we rolled in just after sunset, and as we drove down Main Street, it looked as if everyone was at the local dance hall.

There were a lot of pick-up trucks there.

The pup, Polly, was chained to the front porch and sitting in a chair when we finally found the house that had the address written in black sharpie on a black mailbox. In the dark, it’s obviously hard to find.

Her collar was made from an old clothesline rope and was looped to a chain you would find on an old swing set.

A hand written note on the back of a blank restaurant guest check that was filled with big black circles, as if they were trying to get the pen to write, was adhered to the screen door with a piece of duct tape. The note gave us details about her birthday, her current health, what she wasn’t and how she wasn’t a very smart dog.

I almost cried when I read that. I crumpled up the note and stuck in my pocket.

My wife untied Polly, scooped her up into her arms and cradled her while I got the kennel ready. Polly was happy to see us as her tail waved furiously back and forth. Almost like she was expecting us.

She settled into the kennel the best she knew how, whimpering and crying until sleep came over her and the only sound was from the wind rushing over the car.

We made a stop 2 hours east of Granby, then hit the road again early the next morning. It was a very long trip, and took a toll on the three of us; our 13 year old son came with us. He was bored out of his mind, but kept us laughing with funny noises and our favorite imitations.

Would I do it again? Yes. I wouldn’t do that much driving in 48 hours, but I would drive that far to take a trip to save a life.


Until next time,



If you want to know more about becoming a foster parent for dogs, you can email me direct: kb9mnm@gail.com

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