Things Start Happening When The Northern Dogs Team Arrives

The puppy safe in her crate.

We made it!  Well, half the Northern Dogs team made – the other half is still to come by plane on Wednesday night.

Margaret, Heidi and I each drove our own van the 8 hours to Rouyn Noranda where we stopped for the night.  Even though I felt like I could drive further, there are only two places to stay and after that you essentially have to travel another 6 hours which is not doable or safe when you find yourself tired and driving through moose territory at night.

We took advantage of our relatively early arrival by going over clinic procedures, specifically intake where Margaret and Heidi will be stationed.  When people bring their dogs (and cats) to the Northern Dogs clinic for vaccinations or vaccinations and sterilization, these are the first people they will talk to.  Here is where all the information is gathered on both the dog and the owner – dog’s name, age, colour, breed, weight, gender, vaccination status, whether spayed or neutered and any other concerns noted by the.

The author's co-pilot and travelling companion.

Owner info is also gathered at the same time and all this information is recorded on the intake sheet.  The dog is then given a physical exam by the vet technician and from there, prepared for surgery (dogs are vaccinated post surgery), vaccinated (if they have already been spayed or neutered or the owner declines surgery) or if there is another concern (e.g. a cut, porcupine quills to be removed) that it is taken care of here or the vet is called.

It took about two hours to go over Northern Dog protocols and background, and then we had a quick bite and went to bed.  We were back on the road this morning at 8:30 for another 7 hours of driving (with my trusty travel and school presentation companion).  The temperature reached 13 degrees C by lunchtime which is good news for those dogs who will be recovering from surgery in their porches by the end of this week.

When we drove into the community, we checked into the lodge and immediately headed over to visit a friend who has helped out tremendously with the clinics over the years.  I was barely out of the van when Public Safety drove up, threw open the back doors and pointed to the puppy who was cowering there – she had just been run over.

There were no cuts and no blood and I gently palpated her to find any obvious broken bones or sore spots.  While she didn’t want to weight bear on her back leg, there didn’t seem to be any obvious damage and her colour was good.  I lifted the skinny pup out of the back of the truck and only then did she yelp.  As my friend said, it only takes a minute of my being in town for things to start happening!  For now, the pup is in a warm crate, safe and with a full belly, where she will stay until the vets arrive to have a better look at her.  Stay tuned.

-- JH

Read Jan's previous post talking about the assembled for this specific effort here.

For more information about the International Fund for Animal Welfare efforts to help animals in crisis around the world visit

Comments: 2

7 years ago

[...] 8:30 for another 7 hours of driving (with my trusty travel and school … See original here: Things Start Happening When A Northern Dogs Clinic Arrives … Share [...]

7 years ago

Wonderful job!

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