August 28, 2018
Riley’s part of the story
I had more reason to go to New Jersey than just the show. Katie and Jamie Wilson had lost their standard and were ready. Katie and Jamie are some of my favorite people. Caring, compassionate professionals, their dogs want for nothing. They needed a new standard poodle in their life and I knew the kind of home the CPR dog would be headed for and wanted to fill that home. I also had a guy I really wanted them to meet. Riley had been released to us the week before by a caring owner who was having challenges with her elderly father who lived with them. Riley was just too much for the senior member of their household.
There was one little thing that I did not know. Riley gets really anxious in a crate, that I knew. I thought this was just when left alone but Riley, it turns out, gets really anxious in a crate even when he is in a car with lots of other canine friends and a driver trying to sing to him to get him to relax. I smelled it at first somewhere just after the North Carolina / South Carolina state line. At that point, I could not change and I could not stop. I was the only human in the car, with no backup. I had a deadline, a show to make, dogs to adopt and turning around because someone was not happy was not an option. We were going to New Jersey. I gripped the steering wheel, cracked the driver’s window open enough to keep me breathing and let out the odor and kept on driving.
We got to New Jersey in record time (11 hours) and Katie and Jamie, having been forewarned, had the hoses, towels and doggie shampoo out on the front porch ready. You know your visiting with really die hard dog people when you tell your host and hostess three hours out that you think 3 of the 5 are going to need baths and why you think they need baths – and all they ask is what time are you getting here?
Riley was the worst. He had not had that much to eat so where it all came from is a mystery. It was yellow. It was gooey. And it was smeared not only all over the crate but all over Riley.
I think that moment …… when a dejected, sick, depressed, covered in gunk standard poodle escaped his crate was when Katie fell in love. He needed her. She could feel it and knowing you are needed is what she needed. I had warned Katie that this trip happened so fast, I did not have time to give Riley a bath or have him groomed. He was coming up “as is” and as is was a simple kennel cut, not dirty/not clean but that in between time. I didn’t know he would have his own ideas about decorating his crate on that long trip up that would make lack of grooming a moot point, but he did.
Katie smiled when she saw him. So despondent. So spiritless. Completely covered from the waist back and both back legs in goopy, yellow diarrhea. So anxious and nervous and afraid. Katie was gently whispering softly to this dog as she lovingly sponged shampoo over his body. She washed away the fear and the rejection with her kindness and then she wrapped that terrified animal up in her love. At that moment, I saw the magic happen again. I saw Riley gain hope … and a home.
I asked Katie later what she was whispering in his ear while so lovingly cleaning the mess from him. Her response was “that he was all just fine and it was going to be all better now…that he was home. And that he was ours furever💗🐩”
What a great way to start this trip.
Tomorrow – reality TV shows are awesome!
– Donna Ezzell, Director