Letter to the Editor

It is coming up to a year since Arctic's rescue. I feel obligated to let everyone who showed concern for, and aided in the rescue and care of Arctic, how she has flourished since her release. Especially Brooke and Ashley, who were crucial to Arctic's survival, taking immediate action to save her. I am sure Arctic would have succumbed to the conditions of her existence if she had been imprisoned much longer.

Arctic is doing well and enjoying her new home. Her coat is now thick and long. I used a leash to train her to go into the back yard, which is not completely enclosed. Being a very quick learner, she was following the other dogs in and out of the house without a leash within weeks. She enjoys her freedom, bolting fence to fence, and thinking maybe, just maybe, if she really jumps hard, she can actually get that squirrel that teases her from the tree.

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Arctic initially suffered separation anxiety, even with 2 other dogs around. Our heating massaging recliner is now just a plain old recliner because both cords have disappeared (thinking maybe this was a joint effort with the other dogs).

The humidifier bothered her, so that cord disappeared a few days later. And no, she did not get in trouble for these actions, we simply cleaned up the pieces left on the floor, and chuckled about it (we have had worse happen from other rescue dogs). Her actions while we picked up pieces, told us she knew she had erred. Oh, and the "wireless" speakers - well, are completely wireless.

She plays tug-of-war with the other 2 dogs, and because of the size differences, Arctic's hardest pulls never win. She pesters the mastiff, chews his ears and haunches, but he tolerates her. She drops toys in front of them to tease them. To relax after a hard play, she enjoys stretching out on top of the coffee table to watch t.v., animal or action shows preferred.

Arctic remains very timid of objects like brooms or shovels, loud noises, and unfamiliar people. She has yet to attempt stairs, being quite content to watch any activity from the top. It took a significant amount of time to regain her trust of the human touch, but she now loves to snuggle and tummy rubs. She will nudge your hand if you stop.

Her leg doesn't bother her when she runs in the yard, or jumps around the furniture. She did favor it on extremely cold days. It is shorter than her other front leg, so she does limp and is clumsy at times.

All factors taken in to account, Arctic is a loving and beautiful dog. She is very active, which is partly her breed (American Eskimo), and partly the pup remaining in her. My last 4 dogs were rescue dogs, so I am well aware of the time and patience required to regain a mistreated dog's trust.  

I still cannot understand how anyone can harm or neglect an animal. Dogs are such loyal animals and would do anything for their owner, but some are so easily discarded when the novelty wears off or the puppy grows up. PLEASE research the type of dog you want. Identify the personality, activity level, and the care required. And if you have to relinquish ownership of your pet, and have exhausted all avenues to find them a new home, PLEASE take them to a shelter, where they get a chance at a healthy and happy life, instead of almost certain death when abandoned.

Rescue dogs seem to have a heightened sense of loyalty. They just seem to know when they have been given that second chance, and maybe this loyalty is their way of showing their appreciation, and saying "Thank You". I conclude with a single word, which I am sure Arctic would echo if able to speak.


Ruth Gammack

© Copyright Weyburn This Week


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