Today, it was a reunion of old mates from Thunder Bay. TJ, who was adopted in 2017, got to visit with his friends from his old foster home - Roo (his almost twin), Mary Kate, Apex, Calli, Flash and his foster mom Deb! Things were a bit intense at first - especially since all the dogs were on leash, but there was some good sniffing and a chance to hang out in the cool shade.
It was hot day here in Victoria, BC so there were a lot of long tongues and not a lot of running around, but TJ had some off-leash time which he was pretty stoked about!
TJ was adopted by the Umbrella Society and lives in a group home setting with one of the residents as his primary caregiver - in fact you can see TJ pop up on some of their blog posts! - and it's a beautiful thing to see a dog who has been so wronged by humans, learn confidence and know that he can trust again.
To see TJ's portrait from I Was A Sled Dog, please go HERE
Three former sled dogs + one Piper dog set out to romp on the beach at Kye Bay, BC.
Cane (formerly Hurricane) a Whistler survivor who I met back in September 2013 and who I wanted to bring home in my pocket. Cane has a bit of a wandering spirit so for his safety, he stays on leash. Colby (Colbs, the Imp) is the little man I met back in July 2014 when he came into care of the Victoria Humane Society. And Bella I first met her February 2018 when she was flown out from Thunder Bay, ON and whisked into the arms of a loving family here on the west coast. Piper, is Cane’s adopted sister and is the best photobomber dog around!
All of these dogs had fun running, playing and meeting new dog friends on a beach in the warm sun… happy dogs, cared for dogs, loved dogs.
Dogs who are being loved for who they are and have been given space to relax, learn and thrive in the safety of some incredibly loving humans.
You may not realize it, but I think about sled dogs - both former and working - every day of my life. I see their photos, I know their names and I remember their stories so it makes me burst with happiness when I get to see them in person - being loved and living a life where they are treated as a beloved member of the family.
Thank you to team sleddie… wherever you are!
The first former sled dogs I ever photographed, Magic + Cuddles on March 21, 2012.
Shortly after this we took them (and a few other sleddies) into the indoor gym for photos, but this was my first look... had I not known, I never would’ve thought they had been sled dogs. They looked and acted pretty much like any other of the 500+ dogs I’d photographed in the care of a rescue or shelter at this point... friendlier than some, more nervous than others. If it looks like a dog and acts like a dog, why can’t it just be a dog, protected under the same laws as the dogs we share our homes with? Why is protection different while they’re sled dogs but once adopted, they have (in theory) more protection? They’re the same dog aren’t they?
Welcome to the I Was A Sled Dog Blog!
The name is a bit of a mouthful so I'm hoping to come up with a shorter name for it (ideas welcome!) - in the meantime... here it is!
This site and blog is where I will now be posting my sled dog advocacy journey content - from photos and stories from my archives to stories adopters of sled dogs want to share. From action alerts to sled dogs in the news and whatever else that could help people see sled dogs as the sentient beings they are.
Most of the content on this site used to reside on my personal website and some old blog links still will track back there because I can't move them over in any way that seems reasonable (and there are some comments I want to keep visible), but I thought it was about time that the sleddies got their own site, their own domain, their own landing spot. When sharing links from this page, I want people to share, reference and remember I Was A Sled Dog.
Herein you will see the focus is on the after, the second chapters, the adventures and the rescued/retired/former/fired sled dogs that I've met and photographed along the way because each one holds a very special spot in my heart.
Please take a look around and join me on my journey to see the variety of breeds that make up the 'modern' sled dog, what other things they can do for fun (because there's so more to life for them than pulling sleds), and what kinds of remarkable lives former sled dogs can lead if given the chance.