Northern Dogs: Rehomed and Rambling!
The Northern Dogs Project is about creating humane and sustainable dog management programs with northern communities, but what fun to plan a walk for a dog family that we rehomed through the project!
In June of 2009, the team brought Myrtle, a husky corgi (yes, it’s true!), and her litter of puppies home following the Northern Dogs vet clinic. One of the pups went straight home from the north with one of the vet techs and in the end, after two weeks of socializing, I had to add Peapoddy to my family, our humane educator fostered Ollie and had to keep him in her life so he went to a friend, Brody was rehomed through another friend to a family in Bancroft who fell in love with him on sight, Hudson just couldn’t leave her ARF foster family in London and Freckles, now called Emery, was rehomed through ARF to a wonderful young couple outside Toronto. All the owners who were within driving distance wanted to come to the walk – who wouldn’t want to meet their dog’s littermates and mother?!
Emery, Mindji and Brody are the three long leggeds, as is Atiquila who is Myrtle’s last surviving “pup” from her first litter. Peapoddy and Huddy have a lot of corgi in their short leggedness and Ollie falls somewhere in between. Sometimes you can just see that dogs remember each other but I’m not sure these ones did even though they travelled 18 hours together in a van and then continued to live with, and depend on, each other as we worked to socialize them (quite the job!).
It didn’t matter… they took off down the snowy trail like they were on a common mission regardless of whether they knew they were related or not. They tore up and down the path, chasing, deeking, jumping, and cavorting with each other. Long legged, short legged, long haired, short haired, blue eyed, brown eyed, bi-eyed, they rambled for over an hour and a half. While finding homes for dogs is a small portion of the overall Northern Dogs Project, it never stops being one of the most gratifying parts of the work. It’s amazing to find a fantastic, committed home for a thankful animal and then hear how that dog is doing, let alone meet those people who have provided them with a safe and loving haven.
When the walk was over, we went back to Myrtle’s house for soup while the dogs carried on in the backyard. When push comes to shove, family is family and each one happily left with their new family but left their original family with a promise of another walk sometime soon.
For more information on IFAW efforts to save animals in crisis around the world visit http://www.ifaw.org