A simple fantasy fulfilled, Canadian Northern Dogs work continues
As long as I have been leading the Northern Dogs Project, I have always wanted to take a walk out the back of where we host one of the vet clinics.
The clinic takes place in a light filled, wooden building that overlooks a huge sandy area used for dirt biking.
My dream has always been to walk it.
So when we were finished in the schools and on the street of our first community, I texted a couple of people I know who live in the community that houses my fantasy walk and asked if they wanted to meet me there.
Both my dog, Gracie, and Jessica’s dog, Abby, had accompanied us on the journey north to visit the kids in the classrooms so I actually had one of my home dogs with me to share my dream.
We arrived to find two people, six of their dogs, two community dogs, two Youth Fusion staff (a project based in Montreal that aims to keep kids in school) and one Youth Fusion dog.
I know I have commented many times already on the sociable nature of the Northern Dogs and their ability to accept and flow with new dog friends who they have never met before.
Abby and Gracie, both of whom came from communities that the Northern Dogs Project works in, were easily accepted into the gang and the group looked like one big fluid ball of fur as they ran at lightning speed, jumping at each other and travelling like a migrating group of birds – in formation and as though they were all going to the same place (which is impossible since Gracie and Abby have never been there before).
We walked and watched the dogs cavorting over the sand hills, into the surrounding forest and back out again, talking about things that had changed in the community since our last visit and looking at overlapping areas in all of our work where we could help each other.
The Youth Fusion staff talked about their projects, one of which is putting together a book on the dogs of the community. The book was to include photos and maybe some stories and we decided that they would do their work in the community and the International Fund for Animal Welfare would contribute the design and production.
When we circled back to our cars, the dogs were all sporting big, tongue lolling, toothy grins.
Every one of them had lived this life for at least a few months and each one had the spirit of the north still very much present in their temperament. I also had a big grin.
My fantasy walk was all I thought it would be.