On the evening of April 27, 2006 Dakota closed his ice-blue eyes for the final time. With him were two of his loving friends from Tundra Spirits and one of the kindest humans we have met in many years - Dr. Bart Forlano, DVM. Dakota, like thousands of his fellow canines, was a “lost rescue”. He was a dog that no one really wanted, including most rescues. If not for this story he would only be a memory in the hearts of his friends. Dakota came to Tundra at the request of another Rescue. They asked that we save him from imminent euthanasia and to foster him for a “few days”. Of course they immediately forgot him. He came to us in poor physical condition, and barely able to walk. He had been chained in a back yard in Troy, NY for most of his 11-plus years. He was pelted by stones and firecrackers by neighborhood kids; and the humans responsible for him refused to pay the shelter fee after he had escaped and had been impounded.
It took a year of gradual exercise, good diet and TLC to bring him around. Soon, he was trotting with the best of them. His prospects for adoption were dim. After all, who wants to adopt a senior who has limited time left? But the fire in Dakota’s piercing blue eyes proved us all wrong. He actually was almost adopted by a super lady who later became a great friend of Tundra. Donna Quante, an award winning film maker, inquired about taking a senior into her small pack of huskies. We discouraged her undertaking, because of her busy schedule and frequent trips around the country. Little did we know at the time the wonderful friend our Dakota had made for us personally and the Tundra Pack!
He soon became the resident mentor at Tundra. New rescues learned some stoicism and patience under his piercing glare. His displays of affection never became effusive. But, once in awhile you would catch the softening of those blue eyes as if to say “You’re not half-bad for a human!”. He greeted children and strange dogs on his walks with dignity as a Tundra representative. Dakota began walking more slowly and occasionally lost his footing. Only Aniuk would accept his slow pace. With heavy hearts we knew that his time was coming.
Dakota was returned to the earth in a peaceful, dignified Native American ceremony. During the Mic-Mac pipe ceremony, a hawk circled overhead. He will always be a “lost rescue” to we who love him, because we lost our hearts to him. Mitakuye Oyasin, Dakota.
Nika Blue Eyes - Rescues Rule!!!!
Nika was rescued after being abandoned by evicted tenants. Those same people had left her tied outside for months w/o shelter and little food or water. They actually had done her a favor, because the next day, Maureen and Tom deHaan made her part of their family. She has been with them for 4 years now and they couldn't imagine life without her.
After getting Nika vetted and groomed, the real work of teaching her how to live with humans in a house began. First she had to learn how to share with Kodygirl, a Mal mix rescue already occupying a piece of the deHaan's hearts. Nika has passed her therapy dog and CGC tests, and loves to compete in agility. They often hike with her off-lead. She has started harness training to carry on her sleddog legacy. We at Tundra Spirits know how much work went into making the Nika story a success. The short story can never give credit to the hours of love and devotion that were invested. Unsung heroes like Maureen and Tom are the real reason that the "tough cases" are won. We are proud to know them and to have met Nika. The deHaan pack calls the Kingston, NY area their home.
WHY RESCUES GET STRESSED
The following ad appeared in a local newspaper the last two days:
AKC Siberian Huskies
Mother & Father.$200/ea.
6 Pups, $500-$600.deposits now
rdy 6/20. 393-*****
Let’s take a look at the ad through the eyes of a rescuer. Why are the parents for sale along with the pups? If they were champions with lineage, they would be sold ( by word of mouth) to another registered breeder instead of thru a local newspaper ad. Why such a reasonable price when the pups are going for three times the amount? Of course the asking price for pups was arrived at by pricing pups on the internet or trade magazines. No information is offered on any tests (glaucoma, dysplasia) performed on the pups. Nor is any offered on the parents. Why is the whole brood being sold at once? Well, that’s easy.........either the parents are worn out, or the profit-making scheme proved more trouble than it was worth. In any case, a quick profit and they (the back yard breeders) are out of it. Just about anyone can get an AKC Certificate, in fact the AKC has recently adopted new procedures that actually encourage back yard breeding! Advertising puppies or dogs as “AKC Registered” is no guarantee of any kind regarding the health, disposition, or lineage of any dog. Rescues have been cleaning up after these back yard breeders for many years. Before buying a dog or puppy, check with a breed-specific rescue first.
Many surrendered/rescued dogs are pedigree, or come with papers. Think before you deal with any breeder. Check out rescue websites that work with the breed you are interested in. Those sites will at least give you a list of questions to ask the breeder. Legitimate breeders work with rescues of their breed, and they are there for the pups new humans long after the sale. They also will not sell a puppy to a home that they do not feel is suitable for their canine charges.