Yes, you are reading that right... a sleddie puppy. They don't often retire before they start working, but Bamboo is one of the lucky ones. He was born in August 2021, and aside from knowing he battled parvo early on, not much else is known about his lineage. But if his gangly body, gait and hooves for paws, are a 'tell', he's sleddie offspring for sure. Being an outgoing little fella also meant he made the journey from Whistler to Victoria on laps and getting in as many snuggles as he could.
His travel companions included two seniors, Meso (me-so) and Saturn. Meso is a sibling to Ice who came in earlier this year. And Saturn, although he looks a LOT like Batman who retired back in January, is apparently a sibling to Mars, who was sprung from working life back in 2014.
Mars is still with us - although he's a tripod now after it was found he had some broken bones in his hip/pelvis area that had been left untreated so his leg had to be amputated. It hasn't slowed him down though.
Meso and Saturn originally came from that same kennel I've mentioned in previous posts. I don't know exactly what happened there - I've only heard some truly awful rumours - but every dog I've met that's spent any time at that kennel has been incredibly fearful of humans. These two have the visible scars on their snouts, and clearly some non-visible scars too. Meso has a big knot of fur on his neck (likely from a collar), and Saturn has some hair loss on his neck (also, likely due to a collar). Over the years, some of these fearful dogs have learned to trust, but some are still struggling... even 7 years later.
What I do know is that these Bamboo, Meso + Saturn will be warm, safe and cared for this winter. Saturn spent some time recently in a house, but this whole 'living in a home' thing will be all new for Meso. Some great fosters have stepped up to provide a landing spot and they've got a huge community of support behind them. When these guys get adopted, that support continues.
All three of these sweeties were game for treats when they arrived, however Bamboo was more interested in tossing his treats around and playing with them! Meso and Saturn took them very willingly and oh so gently. Their mouths lingered on my hand, came back in to check for more, and I even got a few licks. It took them no time to figure out where the treats were coming from so I'm guessing a little "cupboard love" will be a way into their hearts.
So, what's next for these heartbreakers? First some time to decompress and get to know them, then it's off to the vet for check ups and get any medical taken care of -- including neutering and dentals -- two of the most common procedures for sleddies when they arrive.
I'm sure "little" Bamboo (he's already a gangly 28 lbs!) will be adopted quickly, but Meso, Saturn and the other senior sleddies who are waiting for homes are just as special. And just because they were sled dogs, don't let the two biggest myths get you:
1) No, not all sled dogs pull on leash, in fact most of the seniors just amble along behind or next to you.
2) Though they may not have much (if any) experience living in a home, like any new senior dog you bring into your life, you find each other's rhythm, celebrate the ways you learn to connect and know you're helping a dog live out its twilight years in love and comfort.
Thanks again to Jillian (sleddies Jasper + Porsche's mom) and Victoria Humane Society for helping this intrepid trio into care!
Once again, I share many photos to so you can too can witness the nuances of their personalities on the first moments of a new life.