This may sound crazy….

But I just drove to Fresno, California to pick up a dog from a rescue. Three days of driving from Nanaimo, BC (12 hours the first day, 13 hours on the second, 10 hours yesterday).

This is some serious background on why I would go to such lengths to pick up a dog. There are perfectly good rescue dogs in Canada, even in my town. But this dog is special, because he is the same breed (partial or full, I don’t know) as Sparky, a special dog I had years ago.

I had been doing passive searches on the internet, looking for another petit basset griffon vendeen, but they rarely turn up. But then on Sunday, one did.

I lost my dog Sparky in a divorce. My husband got a new girlfriend and my old dog in the deal. I could have fought to keep Sparky, but I didn’t have any fight left in me.

I missed Sparky so much. I remember one day meeting my ex to sign over a vehicle and when he left, Sparky had his paws on the back window as he drove away looking at me like “Why are you staying there, Mom? Why aren’t you coming with us?”

It broke my heart because I felt like I was abandoning him. He eventually passed away.


I’ve been looking for a dog like Sparky for a while. A few months ago, I put out a notification on pet finders. PBGVs are recognized by the the American Kennel Club. I tried contacting breeders but didn’t hear back.

Then, Sunday morning, I got a notification through Pet Finders.

The dog was in Fresno, California. I had three days before my training for my new job started. I could get to Fresno and back in three days, but it would be long days of driving.

So I threw in an application figuring wrongly that people in the local area are as dog crazy as people in British Columbia. Didn’t figure I had a chance. I got an email back in the afternoon from Paula, who runs the shelter. A Facetime interview followed Sunday afternoon. I got the okay.

At 5:15 Monday morning I was on a ferry for the mainland. I knew I could get to Redding California that day. It was difficult in the last few hours. I’d forgotten about the mountainous roads near Medford and through southern Oregon, but I got to a hotel at 7:30 p.m.

I texted Paula. She responded, “Wow, you are incredible. I am amazed. Looking forward to meeting you in person.”

The next day, after five hours driving, I arrived at the Fresno shelter. Paula introduced me to Pete, and he was as adorable as I knew he would be. By this time, I had hordes of Facebook friends following my every move. I posted this photo.

Then I turned back north, my new buddy beside me. He had no car sickness, which was a relief. In fact, he curled up in the passenger seat and fell asleep. This dog, in his two years of life, had never slept indoors before. He’d been used as a stud at a puppy mill and, when rescued, was covered with fleas and ticks.

I wanted to make it past the nasty hills of southern Oregon, and make it to Medford. We settled at a Motel 6, which was much like sleeping in a high school hallway. The chatter outside and around us prompted Pete to bark, but he settled as I told him it was all right. Then he spread out and slept, his back legs extended behind him, toe beans skyward. I suddenly remembered that’s how Sparky slept.

Getting to Medford helped make the last day shorter, and we got to the BC Ferries terminal in time for the 3:15 sailing. The two hour sailing was a breeze after so many hours at the wheel.

We made it home in short order. I picked up Gemma from the dog sitter, who is a neighbour. She has a Mexican rescue dog named Andy. Now my family consists of two dogs. Gemma is a bit jeolous of the interloper, but I don’t think it will last.

Andy, my dogsitter’s dog, with Pete and Gemma.

One response to “This may sound crazy….”

  1. […] I only share these posts with my Facebook group, Emotional Diabetes. I shared my post on getting a new dog from California on the main site because many of my Facebook friends have known me a long time. […]

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