Almost all of the dogs taken in by Old Dog Haven need someone to drive them from shelters or rescue organizations to ODH foster or Final Refuge homes. For the dogs that meet our dedicated drivers the world instantly becomes a better place because they’re being chauffeured by someone who cares about them and wishes them well on the first lap of their journey to a new life.
The logistics of getting dogs to foster/Final refuge homes is often a bit like putting a complicated puzzle together, sometimes involving a relay system of volunteers who meet each other at various points along a particular route, but our Transport Coordinator Barb Bauer juggles the pieces of the puzzle with a smile because she has transport volunteers—her heroes—she can call on when she needs them. On occasion Barb also transports dogs herself, often bringing them to her home to stay while critical vet work is being done.
Here’s what Barb has to say about some of her “heroes”:
Bruce Blanford: “Bruce has amazed me with his ‘drop everything’ to help attitude. He has made countless short notice transports and no distance is too great.
“On one occasion Bruce picked up little foster dog in Tacoma and took him to an urgent appointment at the Tacoma Urgent Care, and then waited at the clinic to make sure the dog was checked in and well cared for. This is a distance of over 100 miles. He then repeated this trip later the same evening when the dog was released. Another 100 plus miles!
“Another trip this past winter happened on a winter day when it was snowing and the roads were terrible. The shelter was having power issues from the winds and I told Bruce to hold off because it was not worth taking a risk. Bruce just said he was from the Midwest and got the dog to his new home a long distance away.
“Bruce has done too many transports to enumerate.”
Bob Bodkin and Leslie Jensen: “Wow! What to say about this team. They’ve made countless transports from their home in Bremerton to destinations in the Olympia area and other locations. They’ve traveled over the Kingston ferry many, many times to meet a secondary transporter to do the second leg of the journey. Leslie rides shotgun to cuddle and reassure the dog. They have never let ODH down.”
Sara Torelli: “Sara drove in deep snow and lousy driving conditions to pick up two Shi Tzus in Camas WA to deliver them safely to individual foster homes in the Bothell area. It must have been a terrible drive.
“She has done numerous other transports, including driving a blind beagle from Lynnwood to Olympia without batting an eye, and delivering a Shepherd/husky mix from the Olympia Shelter to Bellingham on a Thursday night! She even delivers supplies and donations.”
Michael Johnston: “Michael says he is grateful to be taken away from his work to help get dogs to their new homes, but we know he is just a big pushover. Michael has transported donations and done short notice transports many times! We are very grateful.”
“There are so many volunteers who deserve recognition: Becky Gerke and Dianne Williams have kept dogs overnight on their long arduous trips to their new home. They’ve driven many miles and taken ferries. Sue Hayes and her sister Jean have done countless transports over the years. Kristi Silvernale is always doing what she can—driving many miles and making many trips–to get dogs to their homes. Mary Allen has been a constant help for many years and is always ready to get in her car. Sharon Perkins helps out tremendously in the south end of the state; she never says no. Bev Bowe is an incredible transporter, foster mom and volunteer for ODH. Craig Bryant, Paula Jennings, Meredith Moses, and Merrilee and Jim Meyer from Port Angeles are also much appreciated transporters.
“The list goes on, but the many transport volunteers who have helped know who they are and I hope they know how very much they are needed and appreciated.”