Well, I'm back from the Jam and boy was it ever fun. After working with these "virtual" friends online to save dogs for the past 2 years it was great to finally meet them in person and I can't wait to see them again next year. At the airport Levecke and I listed the states that we met people from and other than us Washingtonians there were folks from Florida, Minnesota, Kentucky, Texas, New York, Indiana, Michigan, North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, Maryland and Wisconsin.
The Washington team (Kathy, Levecke and I, pictured above outside a Tennessee Cracker Barrel) flew on Southwest airlines so we couldn't bring any dogs with us or transport any fosters home, unfortunately. However with 100 plus ratties running around the field at the event there was always someone who was willing to hop up on a lap for a snuggle.
The event is put on by the Yahoo group, Southeast Region Rat Terriers and boy do they do a great job. The entrance fee to attend is only $3 to the KOA for the entire weekend and then an item for the raffle that benefits New Rattitude. That raffle made over $1,000! New Rattitude directors also threw a lunch on Saturday that benefited NR. There was also a "guess how many tennis balls fill the crate" game, a microchipping booth, and our ReTail booth that raised money for rescue so I can't wait to hear the grand total that was raised.
Friday was a laid back day where the event is set up and people and dogs meet and greet each other on the huge mowed field temporarily fenced for the 100+ rat terriers running around. That evening the SE group hosted a barbecue dinner and New Rattitude's Jaime and Neil from Wisconsin hosted a campfire and treated us to delicious Wisconsin cheese. Saturday was the busy day. Most folks arrived Saturday and the field filled up with every variety of rat terriers imaginable. There was a flyball demonstration by Jaime and Neil, obedience trials, terrier races, and an agility course. The raffle was held as was the NR lunch of pulled pork sandwiches, pasta salad, chips and goodies. All the NR folks and a few others ended the day with a dinner at a nearby Southern style restaurant and another campfire at Jaime and Neils.
Sunday was for clean up and goodbyes. The NR contingent breakfasted at The Dinner Bell and I tasted grits for the first time. It was sad to say goodbye but I was ready to get home to the guys and my own furry duo. We are still foster-free right now but should have a 1 year old male we named Buzz arriving in the next week or so from Austin, Texas. Due to the cost of flying dogs it has been difficult to fill up the WA foster spots lately. There are so many being put down in the South and Midwest and yet we can't get them here. On occasion rattie rescues happen in Washington (like Abby and Rocket), but there just aren't that many rat terriers here. What there is, is a high demand for small dogs so it's sad that we can't get the ones here that are being put to sleep elsewhere. Sigh. If you know of anyone who works for an airline and would be willing to help us fly dogs with their cargo discount then be sure to let me know. Or, if you are travelling somewhere and would be willing to carry-on a dog then let us know that as well. Transport can be almost as costly as vet care if we don't network to find ways to get around the costs. Okay, enough whining.
Next year you should consider joining me for a trip to the 2010 Jamboree. You haven't seen anything until you've watched a field full of rat terriers playing chase.