[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!
Well it took a bit of re-working once I got my proof copy back , but alas, it is FINISHED and I have done my vodka shot in celebration!
All proceeds from the sale of SHELTERED DOGS will go towards helping animals in need... maybe some spay/neuters, or contributing to a surgery, or food, or a groom, or another advocacy or education project, or paying for some rescue rehabilitation... however I can help.
And I'm casting a wider net with these funds - choosing to help the animals in Victoria directly, to respond to the stories - because I see and hear everyday just how many animals are in need... the dogs in this book are just a drop in the bucket.
For ordering details, go here!
Got my copy of SHELTERED DOGS back from the printer and, well, let's just say there's a few problems that I have to fix before it's ready - have no fear, it'll be ready in the next couple of days... However, I also got back THREE other books I'd been working on that ARE ready... so, yay!
ALL are available for purchase through this handy-dandy page, here!
As I have no idea how many books to order to have on hand, like with my last book, I'll be taking pre-orders THIS WEEK and will put the order in on Saturday, Nov 23 and the stock should be here within 2 weeks (Dec 7)! At which time I'll contact you to arrange delivery!
A sampling of pages are viewable through the blurb.ca site, but if you'd like to see the books in person, drop me a note and we can set up time to meet.
[PART FOUR of a series chronicling the re-homing of Whistler sled tour dogs.]
At 6 1/2 years old, it was his first time in a home. A warm home. A home with a fireplace, two humans, two cats, and another dog. Dandy (Dandelion) did very well according to his foster mom. He slept a lot, ate like a champ, watched what was going on around him and curled up both on the couch by his new friend, Saru, the Shiba Inu, and by the fire. He had a couple accidents, but that's not a surprise... everything was new.
With a number of retired sled dogs awaiting homes at the Victoria SPCA, the volunteer dog walkers are an integral part of the equation. On stat holidays, with prior permission, they can sign out a dog for the day, and sometimes overnight. It gives the dogs a change of scenery, gives them company at bedtime, and for dogs like Dandy who are very good with dogs and people, but know nothing about life in a home, it's an opportunity to see how they react to various goings-on which ultimately, will hopefully match them up with new forever families and homes.
But not only was this a sleepover, but today some of the other "sledders" who were on passes as well as a previous adoptee and a couple seniors who have been living in a foster home came over for a sledder romp.
Along with Dandy, there was Wiggles (a.k.a. Mr. Wiggles), Reggie, Joffre, Lady, Manny and Chi Chi (who was adopted last year). The dogs all got along famously and it was evident that they want to live with other dogs - it seems to help them come out of their shells. And besides... living with two dogs is *pretty much* like living with one!
When I saw Mr. Wiggles arrive, I teared up. I remember visiting with him up at the kennels in Whistler just two months ago and he'd just hang out in his little dog house. He seemed to only come out when the other dogs went into their runs for dinner, then he and the seniors (Lady, Manny and Sonny Boy) would take over and show us just how much energy and spirit they have left... which is tons!
I took a lot of photos today. I couldn't help it. I guess I somehow hope that in my lack of editing images out, someone may come across a photo and think, "I want to meet him/her"... and hopefully have that lead to an adoption. Plus, I wanted to show the succession of photos of them running, or of Joffre trying to engage Lady in play, and hopefully share the amazing spirit of these super special, soulful dogs.
And to see them out of a shelter environment and in their element - the outdoors... relaxing, having fun, or just doing what they do... what makes them comfortable - whether it's laying in a corner on the gravel (Manny), or finding a cushiony, cozy spot in the bushes (Reggie), or sitting and observing (Dandy), or following the girls (Joffre), or making the rounds to get loves from everyone (Wiggles and Lady), or showing the nervous ones how it's done (Chi Chi) - I hope I'm able to share a bit of their sweet spirit with you.
Thanks to Heather for the use of her amazing, sledder-friendly yard and to Saru for being so cool about sharing it with seven other dogs. Also to Holly, Mike, Shannon and Chi Chi, for bringing over their fosters and to Penny... because if it weren't for you, these dogs would still be living outside without anything to do and wouldn't have had the chance to run and play with us here today and then go home to a warm bed... whether it's in a home or in their home away from home.
To see the rest of the images, please click below...
SHELTERED DOGS - a home away from home book will be available for pre-order next week!
As with my last book, all proceeds will be going back to helping animals. Although this time I'm widening my net and helping animals who are in the care of, or need the care of shelters and rescues as well as funding advocacy and educational programs.
Stay tuned for ordering details!