Snuffys’ Perspective

A Story about an Animal Transportation Business

Hello! My name is Snuffy. I’m half Irish wolfhound, and half Labrador. You can recognize me by my graying goatee just like Franks. He’s my human. Frank collected me and my sister from the American Airlines cargo department of LAX when my family didn’t pick me up. By the way, Frank is my best friend in the whole world. He found a home for my sister with one of the cargo handlers. I live with Frank, Cathy his wife, and Jann, Vicki, David and Kevin, their four children. I love my family. They play ball with me and run with me. We live in a refurbished barracks which used to be a missile site for the army. I have forty four acres to run around in. One of the barracks is Franks’ home. One of the barracks is for the dog and cat kennel. And two of the barracks were transformed into a horse quarantine.

Anyway, Frank, his family, and his workers pick up dogs and cats from the cargo department and take them home to feed them and water them. Then they clean the cage the animal traveled in and put them back into it in order for them to fly to their destination to meet their people. Also, Frank picks up horses, elephants, tigers and bears from different airlines. I go with him in a one ton truck to pick them up. If their cages don’t fit in the truck, he has help who drive the flat bed truck. That way, the handlers roll the cages onto the flatbed from the belly of the plane. Oops! Got to go. Frank is going somewhere in the blue van.

We’re headed to the Continental Airlines passenger terminal. That only means one thing. Somebody didn’t pick up their baggage. I get to stand guard in the drivers’ seat so nobody steals the van. Frank will probably be picking up a dog or cat. That’s who usually comes in as baggage. He’ll be a little while in the baggage claim office. They’re very busy there. Hey! Look at that woman with the big hat. She has a bird in her hat. And that man over there is wearing pajamas. I’ve never seen such colorful dressed humans. Of course I haven’t been on the planet very long either. There are so many different people walking by, dragging their luggage.

Suddenly, a voice came out of the blue. “Move along sir!” said the policeman. “Oh my. Aren’t you cute.” the policeman laughed at his folly. “You’re just a pup. Where’s your master?” Arf! Arf! Arf! Snuffy barked. “Doesn’t this human know dog language?” Here comes Frank now! It’s a Good thing. “I’m sorry Frank” the policeman said. “But, you know the rules. Parking is prohibited in a no parking zone.” “That’s all right. I’m moving. I just had to pick up this puppy from the baggage claim area.” said Frank. Frank’s carrying a small crate with him. I wonder who’s in it. It’s yapping pretty loud. I know it wants out of the cage.

“Hi little puppy,” Snuffy said. “Yap! Yap! Yap,” comes the response. “Can you talk little puppy?” Snuffy asks quietly while trying not to frighten him. Snuffy touches noses with the puppy through the wire cage. “You stink little puppy” Snuffy put his paw over his nose. “We’ll clean you up and your kennel too. “Sir, I was hoping for something to eat. I’m starving, and thirsty too,” said the puppy. “So you do talk. Well, Frank and his wife Cathy will help you out. You’ll even have your very own run and bed to stretch out in,” Snuffy said. “I’ll check on you from time to time, but I have to see the new Warmbloods that arrived last night on KLM”, Snuffy added. “What are Warmbloods?” the puppy asked. “Warmbloods, my friend, are Dutch horses, and they’re enormous!” Snuffy said. “Wow! Can I see them?” the puppy responded. “I’m afraid not little one, you have to eat and rest, then catch a flight out of LAX to get to your destination”. Snuffy told the little pup. “That’s right! I’m going to my new family!” the puppy exclaimed, “Yap! Yap! Yap!” “Here comes Frank, puppy. You’re going to be just fine. See you later.” Frank lifted the puppy out of his cage and set him down in a long fenced in run. He fed him and gave him a bowl of water. “There you go little guy!” said Frank.

Snuffy slipped through the kennel door onto the back porch overlooking the horse handlers leading the Warmbloods from their wooden stalls. The stalls used for shipping the horses were much smaller than the quarantine stalls. There was just enough room for the horses to stand up and look forward. Of course, when they came out of the flying stalls, they were frisky and ready to run. It was all the handlers could do to keep them under control. Then, to the horses shock, a veterinarian draws their blood and takes their temperature to make sure they are in good health to live in the United States. After that they are escorted to their quarantine stall and fed and watered. Snuffy stood for a moment watching the Warmbloods, then decided it was time for him to eat. He walked through the office where Cathy was reading the Health Certificates and Airway bills for the Warmbloods as he sauntered by.

“Kibbles and Kal Kan. Yummy!” Snuffys’ mouth was watering. Actually, he was drooling. Jann and Vicki were mixing canned food with kibble just like the dogs liked it. It was pandemonium in the kennel. The dogs were barking so loud, one could not even hear themselves think. The cats were whining; “Mew! Mew! Mew!” Snuffy found his adopted sisters and brothers and told them to come to dinner. “Let’s see. I count Joaquin, Whiskey Jet, Maggie, Von Schmidt, and Samantha” said Snuffy. “Let’s eat!” The dogs and cats were eating voraciously when they spotted Myrtle the Turtle slowly walking toward them. Myrtle was found on the property way up in the hills. David, the oldest son of Frank spotted Myrtle and brought her down to the compound. The whole family fed and watered her. She was hungry too. Jann exclaimed “We need some lettuce for Myrtle!” Vicki replied “I’ll go get it. It will only take me a minute.”

Vicki ran out the kennel door and almost tripped over Frosty the pig. When Frosty was a baby, she was stuck in a truck in the freezing cold weather on the highway. There was a blizzard that stopped the trucks for three days. Frostys’ baby toes and ears were frostbitten, so the family she was going to out west didn’t want her any more. Frosty found a good home at the animal transport business. Cathy and Frank took her in, and now she weighed 200 pounds. She ate scraps sometimes, but mostly dog food. Frosty thought she was a dog. Anyway, Vicki retrieved lettuce from their home for Myrtle, and then she brought Frosty her dinner too.

Snuffy exclaimed, “What’s that noise?” He was still licking his chops after dinner as he strode into the back yard. “Quack! Quack!” “Oh yes indeed, if it isn’t Bonnie and Clyde.” Snuffy said out loud. “Quack! Quack! “Hi Snuffy, how’re ya doing? You know it’s time for our dinner too. Can you please tell Jann and Vicki to feed us?” both ducks spoke at the same time. “And where are David and Kevin? said Bonnie. They usually feed us a lot of grain.” Snuffy said “Ill go get them. Wait here.”

Snuffy scampered back and forth between the house and the office looking for David and Kevin. “Bark! Bark! Bark!” Snuffy yelped. He ran back into the kennel and found them playing with the new snow leopard kitties. “Those are dangerous animals David and Kevin.” Snuffy told them. That didn’t seem to bother them since the cats were still very small and so cute. The leopards had white stripes with blue eyes and they purred just like domesticated kittens. Snuffy nudged and licked one of them. “David, Bonnie and Clyde are hungry. Can you feed them?” Snuffy asked. David responded. “Snuffy, I’ll follow you to see what you want. O.K.?” “Arf! Arf!”

“Hey David, by the way, your dad is going to Orange County to pick up a whale named Shamu. He’s shipping Shamu in a special crate with a sling in it for Shamu to sleep in since they can’t ship him in water.” “Hi Snuffy” David said. “Are you going with Dad?” “Arf! Arf! Snuffy replied. “That’s right Snuffy. You’ll get to see Shamu first hand. I have to go to school so I can’t see Shamu right now” David said sadly. “Come on Snuffy! You ready?” Frank said. “Arf! Arf!” “Good boy Snuffy. Shamu is retiring to Florida in a large aquarium. He’ll like it there!” Frank told Snuffy.

When Frank and Snuffy got to Orange County, they encountered dolphins that needed shipped to the Florida Aquarium as well. It was a good thing they brought the one ton truck as well as the flatbed truck which Shamu, inside his crate, would be rolled onto. Vicki drove down to Orange County also. She and her sister Jann got to pour water over the dolphins after the marine biologists had placed them in their slings. The whale and dolphins were rubbed down with some type of gelatin to keep them wet and cool. The marine biologists traveled right next to the whale and dolphins keeping them watered down. “All went well, eh Frank?” Snuffy said. Frank told Snuffy the delivery of the whale and dolphins would be right on schedule for their special aircraft where they would be positioned in the belly of the plane. After seeing Shamu and the dolphins off Snuffy was ready for bed. It was too bad he couldn’t keep his eyes open long enough to see the thoroughbreds coming off of a British Airways flight from London. “Good night” Snuffy yawned. Then, he walked into Frank’s bedroom and lay down on the side of his bed. Pretty soon he was snoring away.

“Squawk! Squawk! Squawk!” “Stop pecking at me you bloody fighting ****. For heavens sake I’m not the one you should be fighting!” yelled John. Snuffy ran into the holding room and exclaimed, “What’s going on in here?” John was unhinging the nails from the wooden crates, and he was grabbing the birds by their necks and legs while trying to avoid their spurs. Spurs are the extra toes on a fighting ****’s claw. “Be careful there John. Reynaldo came running in to help John. “Thank goodness Reynaldo! You’re here.” Snuffy yelled over the squawking. There were fourteen crates in all. The birds needed fed and watered and then they would exercise in a wire cage until they were shipped to Mexico. “Oh well, I’ve seen enough.” Snuffy walked out of the holding room while whistling. He was trotting along whistling a tune he heard one of the grooms whistle while brushing the thoroughbreds.

It was a gorgeous day and the ocean breeze cooled the animals in their runs. The windows to the kennel were open and the dog and cat kennels had just been cleaned by Pedro. He always talked to the dogs when he cleaned. Samantha, a shorthaired terrier needed a bath and Jann would see to it. If a client wanted baths or check ups for their pet, Jann, Vicki or David would bathe them or take the animal to the veterinarian. Snuffy hated baths. He slipped out of the bathroom to check Pedro’s’ work, then he yelped to Frank, that it was satisfactory. Frank gave Snuffy a treat.

Then, Snuffy smelled something sweet. It was someone’s birthday and Vicki was in the kitchen over at the apartment baking a chocolate cake. Snuffy licked his lips. He could hardly wait to have some cake. Also, Cathy was in the kitchen whipping up the butter cream frosting. “I think its Kevin’s’ birthday today” said Snuffy to the other dogs. They all barked and then they went about their business chasing rabbits. “I’ll go check on the cake to see if it’s done.” Snuffy whispered so that Frank and Jann wouldn’t here. They were in the office answering non stop phone calls and needed Vicki and Cathy to help them.

“Look at that” Snuffy said aloud. “Cathy and Vicki are leaving the apartment to help answer phones. I’ll just check on that cake for Kevin and see if it’s good. Hmmm Hmmm.” Snuffy let himself into the apartment by pushing the glass door open with his nose. Speaking of noses, Snuffys’ nose was going crazy. He was sniffing and smiling as he entered the kitchen. “The cake! Why it’s beautiful! I’ll have just a little lick.” Snuffy stood on a chair at the table in front of the cake and licked it and licked it and then he bit into it. “Kevin won’t mind if I share his birthday cake. He’s one of my closest friends” Snuffy said. So Snuffy took bite after bite and got carried away until almost all the cake was gone. Now he could go tell Frank and Cathy the cake was a success. So he meandered over to the office.

“Help! Help! Look at Snuffy! His whiskers are covered in icing!” yelled Cathy. “Quick! Let’s see if he ate the whole thing!” Frank scolded Snuffy when all Snuffy was doing was trying the cake out to see if it was good. He was just coming over to the office to tell Cathy and Vicki that the cake was one of the best cakes he’d ever tasted. Jann said “Snuffy obviously had quite a bit judging from the amount of icing and chocolate crumbs on his face and goatee.” Cathy and Frank followed the trail of crumbs to the apartment. There were a few crumbs left on the platter, but that was all. They’d have to buy a cake for Kevin.

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Jan 22, 2013