Trafficking in the Slave Trade
Sometime a few weeks ago, Kate somehow wrangled up a little side job (man, she’s good at doing that) that involved travelling up to Rockwood, Maine, also known on ancient Indian maps as “Northwest Bumfuck.” Kate was assured that Rockwood was “a couple hours north.” I’m pretty sure what they meant to say was that it was “a couple COUPLE hours north” – As in 3.5 hours EACH WAY.
Rockwood/NWBumfuck is a little bit west of Moosehead Lake and not terribly far from Quebec, Canada, and to say that it’s “a little backwoods” is like saying that PETA is “a little extreme.” The roadside view consisted mainly of two things. These:
What we did NOT see:
So, you know, way to false advertise, highway department! We did, however, see THIS amazing work of art:
I didn’t think to stop the car in time for us to snap a picture of the Mooseasus, but some helpful soul had already done so and posted it on the interwebs for me to snurch. Thanks, helpful soul!
ANYway, the side job was to pick up a Pembroke puppy and transport it back to RockLAND (on the midcoast, and not to be confused with Northwest Bumfuck) for someone who lives out on one of the islands. Since I’m always up for an adventure that involves puppies and possibly in-bred backwoods cannibalistic hermits, I offered to tag along. Which somehow devolved into… me driving and taking my car while Kate huddled down in a blanket. See, THIS is why Kate gets interesting side jobs, and I don’t.
Given the location and the information I’d gleaned from Kate about the puppy, I was expecting pretty much your standard
backwoods backyard-bred pup, and that’s exactly what we found. The puppy was clean and looked well-cared for. I suspect she hadn’t had a ton of socialization, but she wasn’t trying to hide under the furniture or anything.
The “breeder” told us that this one would have been her pick but the buyer picked first from the photos.
Then, she explained to us about how the father decided what color the puppies were. Not the father of this particular litter, but in general; the fathers always decide the color.
And then she bagged up some grocery-store puppy kibble (that shall remain nameless to protect the guilty) to send home with the puppy.
We didn’t ask about health-testing or hip x-rays or anything. Somehow, I don’t think the buyer did either.
As it turns out, the buyer is someone that a co-worker recommended me to when he was looking for a corgi puppy, until she realized that I have the “wrong” corgis. Probably just as well — the Uncle Henry’s price that this woman was asking was more to his liking, and he obviously didn’t care about finer aspects of breeding a litter.
When he greeted Kate’s suggestion that he stop and pick up some toys for the puppy with, “Why would I want to do that?” we knew it was a lost cause.
Once the hand-off was complete, Kate made the comment that she felt like she had just been complicit in the slave trade, and… yeah, that’s what it feels like.
We talk a lot about the need to educate the puppy-buying public about things to look for when they’re looking for a puppy, but how do we do that when the people don’t want to be educated? Where do you even start?
I wish I knew.
And I wish that little Pem pup the best of luck in her new life. She’ll need it.