May 23-24, 2015 – Spartacus is a 2 year old male Malinois who ended up at the Humane Society of S. Mississippi as a stray. He is young and HW+. Once we were aware of him, ABMR spent weeks trying to locate a foster home for him, one that could take him through HW treatment. The HS was nice enough to hold him but he was not happy being in a kennel, he wanted to be with people. A foster was finally located but before transport could be arranged, situations changed and once again the call went out for a foster home. David and Kelsey Taddei stepped us and offered to foster Spartacus… they lived in Vermont. Wow… was this even possible… MS to VT??? I do believe this is the longest standard ground transport ABMR has ever done, and it was done in a week.
The original 22 legs and overnight needed were routed thru areas where we really had few contacts, Mississippi, Alabama and southern Virginia. The northern legs filled quickly but we were struggling in the south. As we edged up on Thursday afternoon our on-board drivers began to absorb missing legs… and with the final addition of a new-to-transport driver in leg #1, those 22 legs were compressed down to 14 drivers and our overnight in Knoxville. JUST AMAZING !~!
We are so grateful to everyone who supported Spartacus on his journey into rescue, to a loving family and improved health status. Thank you to the HS for keeping him safe. Thank you to drivers Lorraine Garbrey Heverling, Loretta Clissold, Helena Uber Wamble, David Parenti, Maureen Dixon, Robin Campbell, Dianna Thompson, Will and Halie Rogers, Sandi Collier, Angela McCalla, Karen Anderson, Bruce and Leslie Sparrow, Mark Musser, Susan Herskowitz and David and Kelsey Taddei. Thank you to all the friends, spouses and partners who traveled with these drivers. Thank you all for giving up a day of your holiday weekend to make it possible for Spartacus to get to VT so quickly. Thank you for your care and understanding of this boy who really did very well with so many changes in such a short amount of time. And thank you to ABMR State Coordinator Christine Reilly who worked so tirelessly to get Spartacus into rescue and who monitored this 2-day run.
The following is a recap from Mo Dixon, who overnighted Spartacus on Saturday night: “Spartacus arrived in Knoxville about 7:00 p.m. Saturday night. What a beautiful, friendly, underweight, joyful, and like all two year old Mals, hyper. Robin (Boomer’s other Mum) was with me. We met him at the Cracker Barrel, and she went to meet him first, as I was paying our dinner bill. She was holding him on the leash and I walked up, and he just was the friendliest Mal I have ever seen. Robin road in the back seat of my car with him, where he promptly laid down and put his head in her lap.
When we got to my house and got him out of the car, he was alert and wanted to go and look/sniff at everything. We took him into the back yard, still had him on leash, and let him wander around to potty. The three boxers next door — two males and a female — charged the fence barking. Spartacus looked up ran over to the fence, tail wagging, and literally body language that said “H! What’s up”. He showed no aggression, never barked back. They all wound up sniffing noses and other parts through the fence. When he settled a bit, we fed him.
Robin and I decided it was time to unleash the hound upon him. She had Spartacus outside on the deck, and I brought Shuvani down and we let them see each other through the doors. I wanted to be sure there would be no aggression shown. Shuvani was anxious to meet him and he again showed only interest and no aggression. We opened the door. Shuvani fell instantly in love. They ran down the stairs into the yard. Spartacus didn’t really know what to make of her. Shuvani flirted with him, sniffed, and play bowed. (Ochi would have been proud of her.) Finally, he gave in and said hello. He had been neutered recently and we knew he was HW positive so we were prepared not to have him run around a lot. He didn’t. But he also didn’t know how to play. But after a few minutes, he did nuzzle her and walk around after her. Shuvani tried her hardest to get him to play tug, but he didn’t know how. We didn’t encourage because of his condition. But he did finally get the idea he was to follow her around the yard and nuzzle her.
Robin’s husband, John, came to get her, and he walked in the door from the garage and Spartacus was there to greet him, tail wagging and jumping with joy. Not even a bark. We all laughed thinking he may not make the greatest watch dog. He is so friendly to all people and dogs.
Bedtime –. Robin and I tried to crate him, but he obviously had issues with that. We finally got him in with cookies and a little pushing. But as we started to leave the room to test him, he was full bent on getting out of the crate. We relented, as I didn’t want him to break my crate and/or hurt himself trying to get out.
Spartacus obviously knows what a bed is. Shuvani was on the bed and he hopped up with intentions of getting comfy. I took one look at Shuvani who was looking at me like “This isn’t happening” — that is her realm. I got him off the bed and got him to settle on his dog bed next to my bed. I kept his leash in my hand. It took him awhile to settle down. He is obviously house broken. He would get up, as he had to go out and he would stand by the bedroom door, which I had gated. So down the stairs we went, with Shuvani following because she wasn’t about to miss anything, and he went straight for the food bin. So I fed him, then he drank a ton of water, then he wanted out where he did his business and came right back in. Shuvani following disappointed he was not going to stay under the stars and play. Spatacus did this again — same little routine Shuvani followed again. The third time, Spartacus got up, Shuvani laid in bed and rolled over. Unfortunately for me, Spartacus did this all night. Can you say lack of sustained sleep?
During the night, Shuvani had a dream and barked. Spartacus was up like a shot and over to her nuzzling and giving her head a shove with his nose to make sure she was ok. It was so sweet.
Morning came and time to pack up. I put Shuvani in the car, hoping it would help him to get in. It did partially, but as I lifted his back end up, he turned quick as lightening to bolt out of the car. After a wrestling match that would make WWF proud, I got him in the car. We met his next transport and off he went. Shuvani was so depressed that her friend left.
Spartacus, although we decided he was much more of a Socrates, is going to make someone a wonderful dog. He is the friendliest of Mals. He is going to be big. I’m guessing he is going to weigh in at about 70 lbs when he gets his weight and muscle tone back. I’m also guessing he is going to make one of the world’s greatest therapy dogs (with a little training not to jump on humans). He doesn’t seem to have any aggression issues. He loves humans. He certainly has the personality for it. I sincerely hope his forever home sees his potential in this regard.”
We wish a bright road ahead for Spartacus as he undergoes HW treatment, recovery and just plain relaxing. He will be posted on the website once medically cleared. AMAZING JOB everyone…. You took on a huge transport… on a holiday weekend… running late into the night on Sunday… and you made it look so, so easy. You are THE BEST! And Spartacus says ‘thank you for taking such good care of me’!!!
ABMR Transport Coordinator