Monday, February 3, 2014

Humane or Hoarder?

"Dogtripping - 25 Rescues, 11 Volunteers and 3 RVs on Our Canine Cross-Country Adventure" by David Rosenfelt   St. Martin's Press   278 pages   $25.99

Rosenfelt is an award-winning novelist; his wife Debbie is a retired Taco Bell executive.  When she retired, they decided to move from Southern California to Maine.  Moving their 25 dogs with them. 

But how?  The "dog flights" were not only roaringly expensive, but traumatic for the dogs.  In the end, they rented three RVs, stocked them with human and dog food, meds, blankets, leashes and 200 ft. of snow fence for rest stops - they lined up the RVs in a row and fenced all the way around them.

When pricing hotels, he did find a pet-friendly place, but the cleaning fee was $50 for a dog less than 30 lbs. and $75 for over 30 lbs.  "I hadn't done the math, but I was pretty sure we would be traveling with over a ton of dog, so the cleaning deposit probably would be the GDP of a third-world country."

Never mind this trip - what about the time needed on a daily basis to care for all of those dogs (at one time, they had 42 dogs!) let alone the expenses of vet bills, medications, food and dog hair.  He writes early in the book that their garage held a row of broken vacuum cleaners. 

Their Tara Foundation specializes in rescuing golden retrievers.  Apparently there are a number of specialized breed rescue foundations which seems a bit snobbish too me.  As far as number of dogs living with them at any given time, I got the strong impression that Debbie is the hoarder, if such behavior does exist,  and he just goes along with it.  He seems scared of her and I don't blame him; she sounds monumentally stubborn.

It's a book that will appeal to "dog people" and it must be said for "cat people" (me), too.  The dogs and their owners are endearingly goofy. 

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