Knowing I had a quick trip coming up to NC for a property owners meeting and that I'd be traveling alone, I joined the Trucks & Paws Transport Group to see if any transports were needed that I could cover. I learned of such transport groups through my work with GCDR and other rescue groups. On the morning of the 24th of July, just hours after the message below was posted, I ran across what looked like an interesting post. For one thing, my wife and I have adopted a Catahoula so we are familiar with the breed. I wasn't familiar with where Harrodsburg, KY was so I took note of that and went into work.

PERMISSION TO CROSSPOST!!!!! Legs and times are flexible. Prissy was dumped in the shelter because her owners were moving. They pulled up to the shelter in the moving van to drop her off. Prissy is very scared and depressed in the shelter. Another couple came to adopt her and as they were on their way out the door with her they changed their minds. It was for a valid reason, but poor Prissy does not understand this. Please help her get to a safe and loving foster home.

Message posted Jul 24, 2006 5:16 am
(Note, you will see references to Prissy AND Pepper, same dog but for me she responded better to Pepper, no wonder she was confused) ;-)
Later that morning I checked to see where Harrodsburg was in relation to where I would be staying. Close, but still a number of hours from where I was going to be. I knew I could cover the bulk of the transport if they could get her to me in the short time I had available in NC. I thought, what the heck, I'll let them know where I'll be and when, and see if they could get her down to me in time for my drive back to Florida as planned.
Almost immediately I heard from Lori Leonhardt and through numerous e-mails we discussed our options for connecting. The only time I could get Pepper was after my meeting, which was late in the day, or in the morning before I headed out. Another problem was the place I was planning on staying at was not pet friendly. Thanks to Carolina Mountain Vacations , the company that manages our cabin in NC,
Kathy's Deep Creek Hideaway, they were able to find another place for me to stay that was pet friendly on very short notice. Unfortunately, our cabin was already booked so I couldn't even stay in our own place. LOL

Late that evening it looked like they were getting the transports lined up. I offered to run across the mountains (Great Smoky Mountain National Park) because it would be a night drive, and despite all the twists and turns through the mountains, I can practically do it with my eyes shut since I've driven that road so many times before. I also thought it would be easier to meet on the Gatlinburg side of the park since who ever was making that last leg would have to fight traffic thru Pigeon Forge AND Gatlinburg, not pleasant on a Saturday night.
Mercer County Humane Society

I wondered what was so special about Pepper that made someone want to spring her from a shelter in Kentucky and transport her all the way down to Florida. Bambi's reply was not surprising.

"I want them all to live of course but sometimes there's certain ones that pull at your heart strings, a look in their eyes, a facial expression. I personally go for the older ones & the abused or very neglected ones but in Prissy's case it was the fact that I could picture her in the moving van with them & how happy she must have been thinking that she was going for a ride or to a new place with her family & all of her stuff, only to be dropped off at the shelter as they drove away."

I could relate to that. All our pets are rescues and all have their own unique story of how they came to live with us.

Free from the shelter, Pepper awaits the start of her trip
Julie and Dale Sexton ran the first leg from Harrodsburg to London, KY   Marg and Marv Ellis with their FlatCoat, Notch, ran the leg from London, KY to Gatlinburg, TN.

I met Marg and Marv at the Sugarlands Visitor Center just outside of Gatlinburg where we visited briefly. I spent a little time with Pepper, got her paperwork and then loaded up and got ready for the next section of her oddesy. Pepper wasn't quite ready to settle down on this new leg  yet and about a half hour into the ride as we were approaching Newfound Gap, we saw something move on the side of the road.

We pulled off the road and watched a Black Bear try numerous times to come up the hill attempting to cross the road, but was turned back by passing cars.  Finally, the coast was clear and he scampered across the road and up the hill.
In all the years I've been going to the Smokies that was the first time I was ever able to capture such an event. I don't think Pepper knew what to make out of that big black thing crossing the road ;-)

The rest of the trip was uneventful but we had a few nice views before darkness settled in as we headed down the mountain to Bryson City to spend the night.






Pepper enjoying a big bone before heading to bed. Obviously used to getting up on the couch, Pepper gives me a good night kiss. Below, packing the Jeep Sunday morning and a shot of me & Pepper before heading out for our long drive back to Florida.

Sunday morning we headed out for Florida leaving the mountains behind. Pepper, just like our Tookie, enjoyed riding with her head between the seats where she could get a view out the front of the Jeep.

After almost 12 hours of driving, we made it to Clearwater. Pepper was a great traveler, very laid back, until you stopped and opened the door. She was right there ready to hop on out. Every rest stop we made, her nose was right to the ground checking out every little smell.

Our girls came up and greated her and sniffed her with no problems. Tookie won't be seen here because she's terrified of the flash on cameras. Something to do with her previous life I'm sure.

L to R, Darla (Catahoula), & Abbey (Doberman) & Pepper. Abbey & Pepper stare down. Me & the 3 girls.

A few shots of Pepper in the back yard.

Monday afternoon Melody and her son came and picked Pepper up & took her to her Foster Home. There she met ANOTHER Catahoula who she obviously got along with rather well. Within days she had an application on her and was adopted out Saturday, August 5th, less than a week after making her trip to Florida.
Pepper and new friend Skittles take a nap together. 
You have to admit those are two content & relaxed dogs.

Pepper, now Magi (short for Magnolia), has been adopted into a loving family with a big beautiful home on 5 acres. Of course they're dog friendly and already have a 1 1/2 year old female houla named Scarlett.


Diana, Magi's new mom, sent these pics & said the following:

"Its difficult to get Magi we call her to sit still, she's quite excitable.... she's pictured with her sister Scarlett.. two southern belles!!! They play together all day.... Magi's adapted really well...she thinks life is one tail wag after the other...... she follows my every move... and is really happy to play with the teens (and share there pillows), as they are her...."


I think we have seen how much "Magi" likes pillows! ;-)

Thanks to all who participated in this rescue transport.  Lori with Catahoula United Rescue Society, who did a fine last minute coordination with everyone,  Bambi, with Catahoula Rescue, for having her heart strings pulled just enough by Peppers story to want to do something about it.  Geri, with the Mercer County Humane Society, for helping get Pepper ready for her journey.  The transporters, Julie and Dale for running the first leg and to Marg and Marv, who eventually got her down to me. Without the unselfish help of the transporters this rescue wouldn't have taken place. Of course, thanks goes to Melody for opening up her home to another foster dog and helping find her forever home. This really came together very quickly thanks to the help of all involved. I'll continue to check the transport sites when I know we're going somewhere with some distance. The past couple dogs I've run a transport for have been terrific travelers and I'm happy to be of help in getting these animals into a good foster situations where they have a chance at finding their forever home. In Pepper's case, I think she found hers.

Rescue Works!


Catahoula Rescue, Inc is an all volunteer group whose mission is to advocate for homeless Catahoula Leopard dogs and Catahoula mixes.
Part of Catahoula Rescue based in the Southeast. These are the people who actually fostered Pepper and found her a home.
Catahoula United Rescue Society or C.U.R.S. is run completely by volunteers that are dedicated to saving Catahoulas, Curs, and mixes throughout North America. We are regular people trying to make a difference.
A Transport List for animals in need, especially ex-puppy mill dogs needing to get to their forever homes.

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