[PART FIVE of a series chronicling the re-homing of Whistler sled tour dogs.]
And they're off!
Dogs that had been deemed unadoptable. Dogs that people thought could never live in a home. Dogs that had even been called feral. Dogs that people thought were too old or sick and no one would want.... dogs that are proving these people wrong.
I spent the afternoon with 21 of them... that's right TWENTY-ONE! Ranging in age from 2 (Mister) to 16 (Sonny), these dogs, along with their new families are showing that with time, patience and love, some incredible things are possible.
Retired sled tour dogs from Whistler and their families got the chance to romp, play and RUN RUN RUN in the (fully-fenced) yard of Penny Stone. A woman who has been instrumental - both during her years as manager at the Victoria SPCA and and after she was let go - in helping to re-home somewhere in the neighbourhood of 100 of these amazing dogs. But this afternoon was not about the past... it was a chance to look to the future. I have always maintained that it takes a village when you adopt an adult rescued dog. There is so much unknown. So many questions. What was their past like? Who do you ask for help? Does anyone else's dog do this? But the community that consists of families who have adopted these dogs retired from the sport of sled pulling, is evolving into a support group for both the humans and the dogs. From talk of leashes, food and harnesses, as well as the sharing of stories and experiences - some that are unique to the retired sled dogs - these reunions offer up a chance for the dogs to visit, play and RUN (did I mention they love to run?) with their old pals... and for their humans to make new friends - of both the two and four-legged varieties - themselves.
So here are: Sonny, Pique & Shrek, Cain, Griffindor, Stella & Shazam, Tucker, Chief & Cleo, River , Whistler, Chi Chi, Niv & Siku, Ash, Silly & Sun, Lady & Manny and Rocky (sorry if I spelled any names wrong), their families, a couple sled dogs siblings (Shelby & Lucie), and some people who have loved, walked and supported these dogs along the way.
And YES!, there are still some retired sled dogs available for adoption at various BC SPCA Branches, including Victoria, Burnaby, Sunshine Coast and West Vancouver... check them out!