A couple weeks ago I posted about Daffy's Day - an informal gathering of retired sled dogs and their humans who came together to have one last romp and cuddle with dearest Daff.
On July 28, Daffy passed with her human mom, Deb and sister, Question by her side.
We all knew it was coming - we knew she was sick and her tumours were growing... too fast. But it's that blow. That final goodbye to a pet that no matter how prepared any of us think we are, punches us in the gut with the force of our entire emotional being.
I will remember meeting her in Whistler in September 2013. She had sap on her face so she stood out to me in the sea of dogs. She was always around, but on the outer edges of the 43 retired sled dogs that were awaiting adoption. I had no idea at that time that I would get to know her and spend so much time with her. She got adopted after arriving in Victoria, but it wasn't the right fit - she ran away. The network of retired sled dog adopters in Victoria set to work and a foster home came forward... she'd go stay with Deb. I didn't know Deb very well back then, but when I watched them together on a walk in East Sooke Park, I knew in my heart it was a good match - you could just see it. Daffy must've too, because once at Deb's, despite there not being a fenced yard, she never tried to run away again.
I am so thankful that she had the opportunity to spend her final chapter on such an incredible adventure in a home that understood her needs and had the patience to help Daffy trust. And Miss Daffery did such a great job paying it forward by helping other retired sled dog fosters transition to home life - namely Deb's! And her specialness was instrumental in helping find Apex - running and leaving her scent all over Sechelt in the hopes that it would keep him in the area. And it did... for 5 months. Until he was ready to be found. Apex and Daff had a very special bond so it made sense.
I will never forget her sweet, dark, soulful eyes, her lovely spirit, watching her run, and sharing my pillow and sleeping bag while she snuggled up to me - spooning her while van camping in Sechelt last January. It may have just been the warmth, but I took what I could get.
Thanks for the happy tails, Daff - here's to you and Deb. xo
I went through oodles and oodles of photos and have put together some of my favourite photos of Daffy - from meeting her in 2013 to just a couple weeks ago. From a sleddie swim date she would have nothing to do with, to UVic romps, beach adventures, Sechelt, hanging with sleddie peeps and pooches.