We are to be loaded onto the truck in our cages – stacked 3 or 4 high – the next morning in preparation for the 3-hour drive to the auction. I hope I will be at the top of the stack. Even having your cage tumble over on a hard turn is better than being on the bottom and suffering through all that rains down. I am nearly asleep on the hard wire floor of the cage. They throw blankets into our cage the night before so we don’t look so stressed. I couldn’t bear to lay on the blanket. It is filthy with multiple uses where a poor creature couldn’t hold it any longer and was forced to soil her cage. None of us ever do that unless there is absolutely no other choice. The punishment is severe for soiling your cage.
I hear a noise as I am drifting off to my torturous sleep full of fearful dreams – the click and clomp of rough-soled work boots. “Come ‘ere,” a voice growls as the man opens my cage. Am I’m being released from this hellish existence? Or would this be the end? I try to run past the growling man, but he is too quick for me. The rope is around my neck before I even realize it and I am jerked back hard to fall clumsily to the cold concrete. He grabs me and covering me with his jacket, throws me into the back of a small rusty pick-up truck. It smells of ancient metal, rotting garbage and dirty clothes. I try to stand, but am jerked off balance and crash to the floor again as the truck takes off with a jolt. My heart is pounding in my throat. I don’t know this man – oh I know who he is – I know him by his body odor. He’s the worker who has been walking past my cage, but I don’t know what his motives are. What is he going to do to me? He takes a turn fast and I slam into the inside wall of the pick-up’s bed. I pass out and when I open my eyes, the sharp sunlight makes my head pound.
The man drives for days. He lets me out of the back of the truck so I can do my business, but he never let’s go of the rope. There is no escape. The only food is he gives me is what’s left over after he eats, mostly French fries and cola. To my horror, this gives me diarrhea. This enrages the man and he routinely hoses me down at gas stations as punishment, in addition to screaming at me when he sees the loose stool. By the end of this nightmarish journey, he is so angry he just kicks me every time I go. He’s obviously too stupid to see that it’s the lousy food he feeds me that causes the diarrhea in the first place.