Canadian Community Clinics: Welcome to Summer Beaver - One of the resident dogs in the Canadian community of Summer Beaver

We left Cat Lake to head over to Summer Beaver, another fly in only community about an hour’s hop away. Logistics are not the most exciting part of the trips to talk about but to those who have to organize, they are the backbone of a successful journey. You are always thinking about time, place, transport, food/lodging and then when you think you have it all down, it changes.

In the communities, logistics can definitely be your downfall. If you fly into a community, you are totally dependent on the community to pick you up from the airport, drive dogs or people around, make necessary arrangements provide internet access (if possible), and so on.

Last year it took Ann and her team nine hours to get the keys for the buildings they were to work in...So this year, half the team flew in to start the process while the other half stayed behind (as well, Ted’s plane can only accommodate so many people and supplies so ferrying everything required two trips).

We arrived into Summer Beaver at 12:30 and expected to be picked up around that time. 1:00 came and went. 1:30 came and went. We sat on the ground, munched on snacks and finally spread out our sleeping bags to lie down waiting for a pick up. There is no phone, there is no one there and you can’t walk from the airport to the community.

It’s way too far.

The second half of the IFAW clinics team arrives in Summer Beaver.

At 2:30, Ann finally flagged someone down (they had come to the airport to catch their flight) and asked if they could drive her back into the community to organize transport for the rest of us. She was back in 10 minutes with a truck and driver who took us into town to begin the talks about logistics. Fingers are crossed that it’s not a nine hour negotiation.

I won’t go through the details but it was four hours before we had a place to stay and a place to set up the clinic and even this took some badgering, following people around, phone calls, sitting, pushing and pulling. By the time the rest of the team arrived, we were ready. Welcome to Summer Beaver.

The team will be here for about two days. The clinic will be set up in a house and we are staying at the lodge which is perfect. Separate rooms, common area and kitchen. We are ready. Tonight we’ll walk around, tomorrow we begin in earnest.

-- JH

For more information on the International Fund for Animal Welfare effort to save animals in crisis around the world, visit

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