On Wednesday morning June 23, 2010, Dave and I woke up before 6 and got on the road. We drove south of Providence to a LaQuinta inn and pulled into the parking lot just before 7. As soon as we reached the parking lot we could hear barking. There was the Puppybago, a winnebago filled with dog crates, most of which seemed to be full. One of the drivers was walking a golden, and the other came over to ask who we were. When we told him we were there for Laddie he looked a little nervous and said something along the lines of how he really hated the crate. I was worried because I thought he was crate trained and we had the crate all set up in the car. The driver went in to get our new boy.
I can still feel the excitement Dave and I had. We were worried, yes, but in a really hopeful sort of way. Then we saw him. He was terrified and my first thought was that he was tiny and skinny. I guess he's taller than an average sheltie, but much slimmer. The driver handed the envelope of paperwork to Dave and I guess the leash came to me. I knelt down and within seconds Laddie was attached to my lower leg. I wouldn't say he was friendly, but he certainly wasn't rude. Really he was just scared to death. Dave came over and he detached himself from me to immediately connect with his new dad. It was such a good feeling that, although he clearly had fear issues, he was at least going to trust us for this one moment...He had found his people, and somehow he seemed to know we would take care of him, or at least we were his best shot.
Then we tried to put him in the crate in the car. It took some physical encouragement to relax the outspread paws and flailing claws, but eventually we got him in. The crate was a little small for him, but the driver said it was bigger than the one he'd been traveling in. Then we got on the road.
He was dirty and he smelled. He kept farting. He was drooling. But somehow, beneath all of that, I was already falling for him. Dave drove, so I had the luxury of getting to spend most of the drive looking back at him. We started going through names. Laddie just wasn't right for us, but we had decided that we couldn't come up with a new name until we'd seen him in person. I wanted a biblical name. We thought of Ezekiel (Zeke), Melchizedek (Mel), Luke, Noah, Dan... but finally we decided on Jonah. Jonah is my favorite book, and somehow it fit.