Sometimes former sled dogs take baby steps, some take smaller-than-baby steps. They're more like blink-and-you'll-miss-them steps.
Bruno is one of those sleddies. The three times I've hung out with him - once when he first arrived, another in October and most recently, today. I can see the wheels in his head turning and he tries to sort out what's going on around him. He watches, he'll inch closer and then he'll stop himself and back up. Sometimes he does that again. It's like he has an internal "road closed" sign seemingly preventing him from going forward. But for all we know, it's an internal "detour" sign and he's going at his own pace, doing his best to navigate his way through this new life.
Bruno's now in foster with my friend Shannon (mom to the tiny wonder, ChiChi) and her happy-go-lucky-but-just-keep-the-cats-away former street dog Tica so today we went for a little walk around their neighbourhood. He's been with them a couple weeks now and he's started to take treats from her hand. And when it's walkie time, once he hears Tica's leash being put on, he makes his way to the door, peeks around the corner and gets ready for his turn to be leashed up up.
Shannon showed me how she gives him treats at the start of our walk so I tried with the treats I brought. He wouldn't take it.... but then he took one of her treats from my hand... and then he took one of my treats from my hand. And as long as I didn't try too hard or make too big of a deal about the amazingness going on, he continued to take them. He trotted along behind Shannon very politely and when the sound of the leaf blower worried him, he quickened his pace so he was closer to Tica. He then got another treat for being such a champ and making it past that noise.
Bruno putting on his "brave dog face" today navigating his internal blocks and detours is another reminder of the resiliency of former sled dogs. Their legacies don't have to be steeped in the human ego attached to running 1000-mile races or being exceptional athletes, designed to be run for human gain and livelihood.
It can be as simple as savouring those blink-and-you'll-miss-them baby steps towards a life as a beloved dog.
Bruno isn't officially adoptable quite yet as he's got a dental coming up, but when he's ready, you'll see him on the Victoria Humane Society's facebook page.
Well done Bruno and team!
Here are some photos + vid taken with my phone as I didn't want to worry him by using my usual gear. ;)