Meals for Kali and Kloe was the first thing that came to Holly’s mind. She went to the cupboard where the dog food is stored and began dishing out meal sized portions into plastic resealable bags. She put them all into a large paper bag and set it by the door. This is where Holly’s mind was when, yesterday for a few hours, we thought we might have to evacuate our property due to a wildfire in our area.
As it turned out we were never at risk but there were a few hours where we weren’t sure. So we went into action.
Car keys? Check. Wallets? Check? Dog food? Check. OK – we’re good to go. “Wait. How about clothes” I said. Holly answered: “Don’t be silly Michael – the dogs don”t have clothes. Me: “They have tooth brushes, why not clothes?” Holly: “You’re right, with all the food I packed for them we’ll need to stay up on their brushings. I’ll pack their tooth brushes.”
OK, maybe that wasn’t the exact dialogue but it could have been.
In times of crises or emergency everyone reacts differently. Panic, fear, and indecision. Jump into action, organize, and take charge. And in our case I guess our reaction was “take care of the girls”.
My mind went to thoughts about how the night would go if we had to bug out. We’d jump into the car with Kali and Kloe and the plethora of pre-packed food bags. We’d drive as directed by the fire crew into safety. But what if nearby friends also had to evacuate. Where would we spend the night? Could we find a motel in the area that allowed dogs? Would we just sleep in the car cuddled up in the back with the girls? I remembered that the fairgrounds had been a shelter for people evacuated during another recent fire. They were accepting livestock and pets in addition to people. I thought they probably wouldn’t allow the dogs to sleep where the people slept. They would probably have them sequestered outside in a giant pen or crates. I thought if that was the case then I would ask to sleep with the animals because my girls would be scared without us in a strange place with other unknown animals.
Yep, that’s where my mind went. Take care of the girls and the rest will take care of itself.
So, thank goodness, it was a non-event and after a non-eventful evening we headed off to bed. I thought back about how we could have been sleeping at the fairgrounds. Holly on a cot with the humans and me sharing a crate with Kali and Kloe amongst the livestock and pets. It made me feel good to know that I would do that if necessary (I would) and I felt the girls somehow knew too.
We got into bed and I waited for the girls to settle in on their mattresses by the sides of our bed feeling grateful to be safe and at home. Then my bubble was burst as Kloe went back into the kitchen to sleep on the cool tile and Kali went into the bathroom to sleep on the tile there. So much for gratitude. But in the end I guess they were grateful. Grateful for the cool tile after a triple digit summer day and oblivious to what could have been under less fortunate circumstances.
That’s was fine with me. Sleep tight girls.
SIMULATION: Me and the girls sleeping at the fairgrounds with the rest of the livestock and pets.
I’m so glad you didn’t have to evacuate, and even happier that there wasn’t damage done to your home or property. But I think you have your priorities straight! Your dogs count on you to take care of them, so in an emergency, that’s exactly where your mind goes. I’m glad that more rescue organizations are realizing the importance of letting people bring their pets with them to emergency shelters, because when they can’t, either the animals suffer or the people don’t go to the shelters.
Thanks Ann. The big thing here was that while we were never in harms way it was a good wake up call for us to be prepared physically and emotionally if the time ever comes. Have a great week!
Thanks Monika. Yes – although at least for now, we were never at serious risk it was a good wake up call for us to get organized.
We have a go-bag in the car with bowls, poop bags and other necessities. All that’s needed are packs of food. I like the way you think and am very glad you weren’t forced to evacuate. Stay safe. Those of us at the Ranch will be praying rain arrives to help put those fires out.