Monday, August 15, 2011


This blog is a great place for sharing information that helps our friends keep up to date with the kennel and our life changes but for the most part I have found that these entries can be very therapeutic.

This month the therapy part is most important because while all the other dogs are doing super, thriving and looking forward to fall and an exciting winter season we were shocked to find that our foster/rescue dog (one of our first) was very sick. With no apparent symptoms she went in to the vet for her routine check up when it was clear that surgery was the next step that very day. When the vet opened her up the exploratory observations were not good at all and it was decided not to let her wake.

So on Friday we were forced to say goodbye to our dear beloved Mandy who touched so many lives in positive and negative ways. Her first was biting a rescue worker when they were trying to save her from a severe neglect situation which immediately landed her into a special category for euthanasia. It was then that Ronnie R stepped in (our guardian angel for so many foster and shelter dogs) and through her kind gesture and extension of love for this dog that nobody wanted Mandy was brought to us.

In reality Mandy was not just one of the first foster dogs but she gave us the courage to save even more dogs and to extend our help to the Fairbanks Animal Shelter which in turn inspired us to start and build the Sled Dog Sanctuary (a process that is still ongoing and growing).

There is so much more to Mandy's life that I want to touch on but wont for now since it looks like she may get more of a spot light in Mushing Magazine in an upcoming article centered around shy dogs and what they can teach us. I am still rolling around the ideas of what will be in that article, which shy dogs will be the focus, etc... but I am certain that Mandy will be there front and center.

Like all the dogs who pass through here into new homes (if they are fosters) or who pass away from old age (our own dogs and some fosters as well) seeing that empty house in the dog yard is so very hard. Its so hard not to hear her barking for food at dinner time, one of her all time favorite things, or sounding the alarm when one of her neighbors slipped their collar.

No matter what was going on we could always depend on her to tattle tale if anything was wrong. That made her an asset to the kennel but not always every dog's friend. No one liked to be called out but they accepted her quirks just the same...

As we go through the process of grief we continue to look at the positive and realize that her empty house is not something of sadness but a wonderful hole that can be filled with another dog who needs our help. Its hard to make that jump but where there is positive we must go.

God bless you Mandy and Dog speed...