Sunday, August 30, 2015

Ranger's Road Home

July 2006. Will and I took a road trip. It was on the road driving through Monument Valley in Utah that our Ranger girl came into our life.

We picked up a car in Redding, Northern California, and we drove the back roads and byways through beautiful Northern California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Canada, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, and back to Southern California. We saw and experienced amazing things; Castle Crags, Hells Canyon, geysers and buffalo in Yellowstone, thunder storms in Arches NP, a hometown 4th of July parade in Troy, MT, the great California Condor, and just the most beautiful countryside ever.

I was driving that day through magnificent Monument Valley in the Navajo Nation Reservation, and as I approached a pull out on the side of the highway I noticed a large mud puddle and next to it what looked like two little pigs. "Are those pigs?" I said aloud. Followed by "oh, no" as I slowed down and pulled off the road. Will and I got out and approached the two puppies at the edge of the mud puddle. It was mid-morning and already sweltering.

Will searched the area and behind a shrub was a box with two more puppies. Without hesitation we scooped them all up in the box and put them in the back of the rental car.

We didn't know if they would live or die, but if they had somehow made it through the day, they certainly would not have survived the night. Will quickly cut the top off of our water a jug creating a big bowl and I tried to get the puppies to drink. Will took the wheel and we stopped at the first store we found to get food.

The next stop on our trip was the Vermilion Cliffs and we decided that if the lodge was situated in such a way that we could sneak four puppies in to our room, then that's what we would do, and fortunately it was. Once inside they all seemed to be recovering relatively quickly from their earlier ordeal as they ate and drank and then peed and pooped on the tile floor of the bathroom. They were little, about 6 weeks old, but seemed to be in good health, no visible signs of abuse or malnutrition, and the cutest bundles of bouncing joy ever.
The last stop on our trip before heading home was the Grand Canyon. We were not able to sneak the pups in the lodging there, so after explaining our situation we were directed to a kennel just outside of the park. We were told that abandoned puppies are dumped on the side of the road all the time out there on the reservations.

So our pups spent the night in the kennel and the next morning before heading out to explore the canyon Will and I went to visit them. It was the sweetest thing as all four came running out to us, like they knew us, and trusted us, and loved us, just as we loved them. We told them we would be back for them, that they were coming home with us. I know the pups believed it, I wondered if the kennel operator believed it.
When we picked them up the next day the kennel operator offered to take the little ones off our hands and get them to a shelter. We thanked them, but we had already decided we were going to see this through and take them home.

Indy was adopted by artist Lisa Hanawalt, Shortcut was adopted by a family in the Sierra Madre foothills, and Blackjack was adopted by a young family moving to Walla Walla Washington where she would spend her days on 10 acres of land.

And Ranger, well Ranger is our beloved!

 Read Will's story HERE and HERE and HERE

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