We got Nala from a lady about 6 hours away from us. She thought she wanted to raise labradoodles but realized she really did not have the space to raise litters of standard sized labradoodles. She loved Nala but knew she needed more attention and more room so she contacted me. After giving it some thought, since I was not really in the market or another dog at that time, we decided to make the drive and go meet her to see if she would be a good fit for us. Nala was very sweet, obviously loved the two women she lived with but was also a young dog in need of training and exercise. We decided after spending some time with her that she would be a good match for our breeding program so we paid her owner her asking price, got a nervous Nala into the backseat of the Jeep and started for home. This is where the story takes a turn. Nala was, understandably, nervous about us and about this car ride with people she had only known for about an hour. At some point, about an hour and a half into the trip poor Nala got a case of the nervous poops and takes a steaming crap on the backseat of the Jeep, while we are flying down the interstate. If any of you know Clay, you also know he LOVES his Jeep. Soooo.. he immediately comes to a screeching halt on the side of the interstate, very upset over the pile of dog poo on his backseat. Thinking he is going to clean up this mess with a plastic bag and some fast food napkins that were in the car, he opens the back door where a very scared, very skittish dog happens to be. She can tell he is angry, she doesn’t know him and he’s kind of a big guy. At this point, Nala decides it is in her best interest to make a break for it. She bolts past him, out of the Jeep, ON THE INTERSTATE, and runs into the grassy woodsy large median to hide in the brush. I am at this point terrified for this dog, furious at Clay, and simultaneously plotting how to best capture said dog and get her back into the car safely. I did not have high hopes that this would end well. I end up telling Clay to stay back by the Jeep so he doesn’t further scare her, grabbing a bag of treats from the front seat, sitting in the grass and talking calmly to this poor dog while tossing her treats for what felt like forever. She eventually came close enough that I could reach out and grab her collar. As I reach for her, she catches on to what I am doing and tries to run by me and keep me from grabbing her. At this point, I just throw myself at her, grab her collar with one hand, scoop her off the ground under the armpits with the other arm and narrowly avoid being bitten in the face by a dog who is quite literally scared shitless. I manage to get her calm, get her back into the car and leashed to me and we resume our trip, this time stopping at the safety of a gas station to get cleaning supplies for the Jeep.
I’l give you two guesses who is Nala’s favorite person these days? Hint… it is not me… even though I am quite certain I saved her from becoming a hood ornament that day. Clay and Nala are now best friends and she is always more excited to hang with him than with me.