Name: Apex (aka Goober, Big Buddy)
Age: approx 10 years old, male
Weight: 24 kg
Breed/Mix: husky/shepherd x?
Sled dog name: Apex
Age at adoption: approx 7
Adopted from: Victoria Humane Society - started fostering Sept 2014, adopted April 2015 (check out Finding Apex for what transpired between Sept 2014 & April 2015)
Coat - single/double: double
Likes: grooming, running, greeting people at the beach, eating
Dislikes: new people, unfamiliar things
Sleeping locations: living room, my bedroom, deck, gardenbeds, behind the sofa, outside in the next in the greenhouse
Off-leash time: yes
Escaped or lost?: yes… still record holder at 5 months, 2 other times for 10-15 mins
Medical conditions: hock injury (another dog ran into him)
Spayed/Neutered at adoption: neutered after adoption
Known history: not much
Anything else you'd like to add: so much fear but so brave
More retired sled dog stories at: wendynesbitt.com/retiredsleddogs
photographed December 27, 2017
Apex learned to eat process cheese slices this day. It was one of the cutest things I've ever seen.
As I watched him try to figure out the stickiness of it I marvelled at how far he's come.
Patience, love and time.
It's what a lot of these fearful dogs need.
For Apex it's been almost 4 years since he was rescued. The first day I met him I went to photograph Apex and a group of sleddies he came into care with on a group walk. Apex had to walk at the back of the group... and you couldn't look at him. If you did he would stop walking and look away. Made for some pretty tough photo ops.
That was July 2014. A few months later he was adopted and then escaped his new home and was missing for FIVE months on the Sunshine Coast.
More on that story can be found on my blog post from March 2015: Finding Apex.
After his solo adventuring, he came back to live with Debbie. He continued to shy away from me and my camera when we were out on walkies, but then something changed and he took a treat from me one day, he didn't run away from me and my camera and Debbie discovered he loved being brushed and getting tummy rubs. He's turned into a super sucky boy. It's not to say he doesn't have fears still, but around those he knows, he's learned to trust as best he can... it gives me goosebumps when I think about him - where he's been, what he's endured and how he's learned that not all humans are scary.
Although he was nervous when having to stand for his portrait, he could've hung out on my sofa all day while I photographed him and fed him cheese and rubbed his belly.