How far would you go for these sisters?
September 2, 2021 10:00 AM   Subscribe

I’ve been thinking of adopting a dog. My friend recently took in two strays and…

Astrid and Marina have been patched up a bit with various vet visits. My friend is trying to find them a good home.

The solution seems obvious - but these sisters are in Baja and I’m in Illinois. On a farm. With lots of room for two young dogs to play and run.

A super long road trip does not seem an ideal way to start a relationship. The soonest this could happen is early October.

My friend can’t find anyone else who is interested in taking them.

Please talk me out of adopting them - or into it.
posted by rw to Pets & Animals (16 answers total)
Response by poster: Link to photo of Astrid and Marina
posted by rw at 10:02 AM on September 2, 2021 [3 favorites]

Are you an experienced dog owner, or very new to it? Something to consider is that it can be a lot more difficult to train 2 young dogs who are distracted by one another and as a result not so focused on you. Having 2 energetic young dogs at the same level of not knowing their manners makes everything more difficult.
posted by Zumbador at 10:17 AM on September 2, 2021

I really don't want to talk you into anything. Only you can know if you are the right home for these two.

That said, if you are asking what I am hearing you ask ("Is the long drive itself reason to not adopt them?"), then no I do not think the drive would negatively affect your long term relationship with the dogs in the least.
posted by Press Butt.on to Check at 10:32 AM on September 2, 2021 [17 favorites]

Best answer: People drive long distances to pick up pets all the time. It's very common. My mom just drove from NY to South Carolina just to help someone she knows get a dog someone else she knows met somewhere in Europe working for the Army! Long road trips with dogs are doable, and AskMe would certainly help with the logistics. It's just a matter of if these are the right dogs for you.
posted by bleep at 10:42 AM on September 2, 2021 [7 favorites]

Well, I think they look like the best dogs ever, and I bet they're wild and rambunctious, too! You say you have lots of space for running (tired dogs are good dogs!), but do you have a reliable way to keep them from running away? Do you know any local dog trainers who you could call if issues arose?

The good news is, you have time to make a solid plan for the road trip, safety precautions, and training. If you decide you're ready for the commitment, and you spend a month+ getting ready, it could work out well. Also, when my parents had a group of 3 rambunctious female dogs, they called them The Bitch Brigade, so that's a perk, too.
posted by SamanthaK at 10:45 AM on September 2, 2021 [5 favorites]

Best answer: Do you know anyone who is into RVing and also dogs? One way I have heard of people transporting dogs (esp. special-needs dogs, older dogs, etc.) long distances is by RV. Might be a long shot but you might see if you could convince (maybe through some form of compensation) someone with an RV to pick up the dogs.

On the other end of the spectrum there are also dog transportation companies who will move animals from Point A to Point B. They are pricey, though—you'd probably be talking $2,000 for the pair of dogs. But it would be via air, which is miserable for them but only for a relatively short time.

The simplest and cheapest option is always going to be to just road-trip it yourself and bring the dogs back in your own vehicle. That's probably also the lowest-stress option for the dogs, although it might not be for you.

Do you know if the dogs are house-trained yet? Because that could have a big impact on how a road trip with them would go. It's not that hard to find motels that will allow pets, but you're in for a lot of extra charges if they aren't well trained!
posted by Kadin2048 at 10:48 AM on September 2, 2021 [1 favorite]

What beauties! Talk to an animal shelter or 2, see if they know of any resources; there are individuals who transport dogs. Baja, Mexico adds a layer of complication. From what I've read, I'd travel with them crated; the danger of escape is significant and could be disastrous. A trip would likely be stressful for them, but stray dogs have been through a lot and are adaptable.

This might be a good GoFundMe.
posted by theora55 at 11:16 AM on September 2, 2021

Can your friend meet you half way?
posted by AugustWest at 11:24 AM on September 2, 2021 [4 favorites]

Response by poster: Thanks so much for the quick responses! I have some experience owning dogs, but not recent. A friend with a dog-friendly SUV and lots of experience says she’ll go with me, possibly with her dog, too. My friend may be able to meet me in San Diego, but I can tell she really wants me to visit.

The question of their being housebroken is a very good one! I’m checking into that.

As for running away, we’d be around most of the time. Also, there’s not a lot of places for them to run to. Separating them for training is also a great idea.

It’s good to know people regularly go far for love of dogs.

I’ll see how our chemistry is when I meet them. That picture, though - got to me. Right in the feels!
posted by rw at 12:06 PM on September 2, 2021 [5 favorites]

Best answer: We've had two dogs shipped cross-country by airplane. It was several hundred dollars at the time (about 6 years ago). This is the info for doing it with Delta Cargo. This might be worth looking into if you can't manage a road trip.
posted by belladonna at 1:16 PM on September 2, 2021

There are volunteer transport pilots for pets, but generally they don't go more than 250 miles. You're looking at 1600 miles by air. :-/
posted by kschang at 1:25 PM on September 2, 2021

Aww! What cute puppers. Many dogs (but certainly not all) love going for car rides, so I don't think a long road trip to go home is necessarily a problematic situation. That being said, it could be a sticky situation if two largish dogs don't have the skills to handle the car ride/ hotel stays.

Maybe have your friend work on training the dogs over the course of the next month or so? (e.g. basic crate/ obedience training, car rides).
posted by oceano at 2:10 PM on September 2, 2021

Best answer: I was fully prepared to drive from Virginia to Texas earlier this year to adopt a dog. Then a local dog fell into my lap, but I would not hesitate to travel to get a dog. Having done many, many road trips with my menagerie of rescue animals, I can tell you that as long as you’re prepared it’s really not a super big deal, and honestly sounds kind of fun!

Put me in team: adopt the dogs!
posted by nancynickerson at 2:11 PM on September 2, 2021 [2 favorites]

I've traveled with pets before -- a cat even!! -- and most all do really fine after a few hours of adjustment. The road trip sounds like an amazing bonding experience! I think you'll all be a great match but, if not, you can surely find a rescue closer to you to help you either train the pups or find them a different forever home.

I know it's hokey but I feel like certain pets are our destiny. I mean, it's a choice, of course, but a choice that feels deeper than simply a yes or a no. I have gone through great challenges to support my pets and I have zero regrets about the time, effort or money spent.
posted by smorgasbord at 6:43 PM on September 2, 2021

Fwiw, I think you should look into the rules and regulations of bringing pets/dogs into the country from Mexico. I could be wrong, but I do not think it is as easy as saying, "US citizen" to the immigration folks at the border.
posted by AugustWest at 8:26 PM on September 2, 2021 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Hi All - marking this question closed. A couple days before I landed back on the West Coast, I learned that the sisters found a new home.

I'm was glad to hear and will open my heart for the next tug, whenever and wherever it comes.

Thanks so much for your thoughtful and helpful answers. Marked a few as best, and want to let you know I appreciate all of them.
posted by rw at 11:59 AM on October 7, 2021 [1 favorite]

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