Coming up in the next issue of Wunderdog Magazine... I Was A Sled Dog!
~ with photos and words by me and a cover for our girl ChiChi!
I get incredibly invested in my subjects and am very protective of how my sleddie images are used, what they're associated with and in what context, so I haven't really put this project out any farther than this website and corresponding social media pages. I've spent a lot of time musing and poring over dog publications over the years, but something didn't sit right or maybe I wasn't ready. There is an emotional toll that comes along with this work and although it's not about me, it had to feel 'right' to me. So when I happened upon Wunderdog on Instagram one day, within minutes of looking through their site I felt a kinship and decided that if I was going to reach out to a publication, this was it... and it was time.
The timing on this is also important as April 21 + 23, 2020 marks 10 years since the Whistler sled dog cull.
And with the world in a global pandemic and travel at a standstill, now, more than ever, it's important that these stories are shared.
The annual post-long-distance race dump of sled dogs to northern rescues is underway and operations who rely on tourist dollars to exist are now left without tourists. With no customers, no spectators and sponsors for the races, will happen to the dogs?
What usually happens after a season, will continue, but probably on a larger scale. There will be culls that we will never hear about. Dogs will be given away, sold, or abandoned. And some will end up with rescues and shelters who will then be tasked with getting medical needs met. From the basics like spays and neuters to any number of untreated physical issues- and they will have to foot the bill.
And then the dogs will need homes.
Those lucky enough to adopt a sleddie will need the support of other adopters of former sled dogs to understand that although it could take seven hours to seven days to seven years even for a former sled dog to learn new routines, new worlds and ultimately, how to be its real dog self, it's possible and we humans owe it to our canine companions to be there for them and help them along this next part of their life's journey.
Wunderdog Magazine is out of the UK and unfortunately isn't sold here (in Victoria, BC), so if you'd like to purchase a copy, I've ordered a few to help save on shipping costs. With the exchange it will be about $20(ish) CAD and I'll deliver within the Greater Victoria area.
I'm also going to be doing a draw (or two) so stay tuned!
Check out Wunderdog Magazine here!: www.wunderdogmagazine.com