If you were looking to adopt a dog from a shelter how far would you go to make it possible? How long a journey would you be willing to make for this dog? 50 Kilometres? 100 Kilometres? 500 Kilometres?

Remember this is the dog you might like, you’ve never actually met the dog. You don’t even know for sure if you like him but you do have high hopes.

Would you go a thousand kilometres? Two thousand?

How about two thousand nine hundred and thirty-nine kilometres and thirty-three hours of driving? That’s one way! So round trip is five thousand eight hundred and seventy-eight kilometres and sixty-six hours of driving. Sleep in your truck outside the shelter at minus 9 degrees for 5 hours because no phones are working and $135 for a hotel room to sleep for 5 hours just seems a little ridiculous. Would you do that?

Kelle and Mike did. Kelle and Mike are from Grand Forks, North Dakota, USA. They saw KONG on the Fort Smith Animal Society adoptions Available Pets on Pet Finders back in November 2005. Telephone calls and emails and discussions followed. They really liked what the could find out on Kong. But still that’s a lot of miles (3652 miles to be exact) and for a dog, you’ve never even met?

They did keep in contact and kept asking about Kong. They’d come in mid-January if we didn’t find a closer home for him by then. Who ever did get Kong was going to have to come get him from wherever. Kong is huge! 150 pounds and still a growing boy, there is no airline crate big enough for Kong that will fit in any plane that flies out of Fort Smith.

Then on December 26th, the decision was made. North across the Canada – US border. West through Manitoba, Saskatchewan, half of Alberta and north to Fort Smith. Arriving at 1 am, getting gas and directions to the motel where they were told the room would be a 135$ for the 5 or 6 hours they would be there. Back to the gas station but it was closed. Back to the motel to use the phone but no one was at the front desk. The lone pay phone on the street was not working. Mikes’ cell phone would work either. No way to call anyone they had numbers for.

They had passed the Fort Smith Animal Shelter on the highway so they drove there and parked by the gate. When Kelle stood at the gate and called out “Kong.” He came out of his house and barked, they were all smiles. Kelle and Mike then got 5 hours of sleep, waking to warm the truck for 10 – 15 minutes every hour until the morning volunteer arrived at the shelter at 8:30. The hunt was on for the person with the adoption papers.

Was it worth it? You be the judge.


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