Success stories

Kassy (formerly Crystal)

Kassy (crystal) is doing great!

She is really getting used to people a lot more then she was – not that she had a choice with all the neighborhood kids. She will also run to some adults because she wants to go see them. She loves our one human neighbour so much she bows and wants to play with her.

She has had some dog aggression but we have been working with her and she is slowly getting better with that as well. She no longer feels the need to growl bark and lunge at every dog that comes in sight. She has actually made friends with one of our other neighbour’s dog and loves to wrestle and play with him. We are slowly working on getting her out of her crate and she is no longer crated at night or if we go out for short periods of time of about 2 hours. The door is always open if she ever wants to go in.

Above all, her favorite past time is still tormenting and bugging her brother. She loves to antagonize him into playing but if she hasn’t bugged him for a bit he will be the one to start with her. All in all she is a pleasure and has brought a lot of joy to all of our lives.

Angela

 

Keena

I loathe having my photo taken; but couldn’t say no to Alan on Keena’s Gotcha Day.

She was picked up by Alan (of SHARP) in his huge Volvo truck in Manitoba and driven across Canada to the south coast of BC at the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal. As I came out of the terminal, I could see Alan standing across the lot with his handsome Siberian, Dakota, and 5 year old Mal-berian, Keena, waiting for me. Of course, while they were waiting, his charges had attracted the attention of a few at the passenger pick-up.

After a ride to a pet supply store nearby, good conversation, and a little paperwork, we were dropped off back at the terminal to catch our ferry home to Vancouver Island as foot passengers. They have a special dog room in the middle of the lower car deck that Keena and I hung out in for the 1 hr 40 min sailing. A couple of engineers walking by the room saw Keena through the window and came in to hear her story. They then turned off the blasting heater for her and tied the doors ajar so she had some cool breeze off the ocean. Although we were not able to go upstairs to the other part of the ship, I was so appreciative of those ferry workers.

As Keena and I had to walk off via the lower car deck ramp, one of the ferry engineers came there and gave me a wrapped pack of sliced roast beef for her from the upstairs buffet. She may not have a pedigree or fancy ribbons to impress; but it doesn’t matter to me one bit. She loves learning to run in harness and gets excited when the gear comes out. Kuma loves his sweet co-lead dog girl so much and is glad she likes a younger guy.

I adore her to bits and am happy everything aligned just right to bring her on the long journey into our lives. ❤
Denise Hansen

 

Gunnar

About 3-4 moths ago I adopted Gunnar the Siberian Husky from your organization, SHARP.

Gunnar is a happy health dog, he has really warmed up to us and is now getting spoiled like crazy. He has 3 new husky friends he sees almost every day and two poodle friends he’s with about 4 times a week and he loves them all!

Gunnar used to have aggression with his food but now waits so nicely till I say “eat”. He listens well and loves talking. He still gets sledding time but on a bike (not to much right now because it’s too hot during summer). He also is such a cuddle dog, he sleeps with us most the night and takes up most the bed!

He’s very happy in his new home and me and my boyfriend love him so much and couldn’t be happier. We are actually planning on getting another one when we get a bigger place.

Thank you for everything. He’s our family now.
Jacky Miller

Bandit

Growing up, I always knew that I wanted a Husky. Sometimes I think perhaps it was my high school mascot that instilled this desire, but upon deeper reflection I know that my fondness for dogs (and huskies in particular) developed far before entering my teenage years. But I also knew and understood quite well the commitment and devotion required to be a proper parent. I’ve seen far too many negligent owners adopt only to toss away once the novelty wore off. I waited a long time to finally take the plunge and adopt my first dog. In fact, I spent a good two years looking at the SHARP Husky Rescue site before finally coming across what I saw as the perfect match. I couldn’t pinpoint it exactly, but my instincts told me that he was the one.

Bandit initially came to us with what was deemed a ‘severe separation anxiety disorder’ and Melissa tried her best to warn us off taking him. She even used the adage saying ‘the dog picks the owner and not the other way around’. Even though Bandit may have appeared somewhat aloof around us, I just knew in my gut that we were a match. That first day visiting SHARP, my wife and I spent 3 hours discussing the variables. I was stubborn and did not feel the same about any of the others. At the same time, I was feeling anxious of what may occur should we fail to rehabilitate Bandit. We agreed to sleep on it. The next day, we returned to SHARP with a dog behaviorist in tow. It really was more for me than for Bandit as I needed some reassurance that I wasn’t being crazy in taking on this great challenge and responsibility. Despite Bandit’s history of destructive behavior and psychotropic medication, I was up to it. So we loaded Bandit in the truck and off we went.

Upon bringing Bandit home I took a couple of weeks off work in order to acclimate him to his new family and environs. I promptly went out and purchased 3 books on dealing with and treating separation anxiety in canines. We also enlisted the services of that same behaviorist who accompanied us to SHARP. Those first two weeks weren’t that bad as there was always somebody home with Bandit. The tricky part was leaving the house in very small but regular increments to go to the corner or around the block and back. We had to teach Bandit that we were going to always return home. However, with each day that passed, I became ever more dreadful in facing that very first day when I had to return to work and Bandit would be alone for a longer block of time. In preparation for that day, I had purchased every tool and natural calming aid available. Bandit has a Thundershirt with pheromone spray; various calming treats; and all new gear as I took the decision to not keep any of the items that came with him. I wanted a fresh start for Bandit so any poor memories would be left behind. That said, I also acquired a wifi camera that I could use to watch him on my phone while away. This neat device also shows me the room temperature and allows for two way communication.

Lo and behold, that first morning did not go as well as I’d hoped. Bandit knew something was amiss as there was a change to the routine and he succumbed into a panic partway through the morning. I could hear a commotion and quickly left work to drive home. I found him at the scene of the crime. Bandit (what a fitting name), had ripped off the trim to our front door in a valiant effort to escape. Casey and I put him in his crate which we had tried to get him to accept (to no avail) in the weeks prior. I was driving back to work and was almost on the other side of town when I looked down at my phone and couldn’t believe what I was seeing. Surely my eyes were deceiving me….Bandit had escaped the crate! So turn around I went.

3 months have now past since we took Bandit home and I’m happy to report that with much care, effort and attention, Bandit no longer shows signs of isolation anxiety. He is a happy, healthy and well adjusted member of our family and we couldn’t be happier to have him. He is quite the character and the neighborhood star as everyone loves Bandit (well except for maybe the Doberman down the street). Bandit’s favorite foods are fish, cucumber and watermelon (‘Can Dogs Eat’ is a great app!). He prefers wet to dry and absolutely loves Greenies dental treats. His favorite activities include jumping through tall grass and terrorizing squirrels, rabbits and cats. He generally gets along well playing with others including puppies and children. He has a very even temperament and we’ve been told he’d make a fantastic service therapy dog. He has brought much joy to our household and we’re eternally grateful to see the change in him.

In closing, we’d like to thank Melissa and the team for allowing us to take ‘Bandi’ home with us. I’d further like to extend my gratitude to Savannah, Dana and Doug Brady of ‘Ain’t Misbehavin’ who have all played a role in supporting our success. Please continue with all the wonderful work that you all do. May every sled dog story have a happy and everlasting ending.

Regards,
Adrian & Casey

Penny

So happy for Penny and Stephen – the video speaks for itself!

Thank you for the update Stephen, we look forward to seeing many more trails and fun together.

Tekken

It’s been ten months since we officially adopted Tekken and we can’t believe time has gone by this quickly. It feels like it was only yesterday, that we pulled into Peterborough with him in the car, taking him in as a foster family from SHARP until he found his forever home elsewhere.

It only took us a few weeks to fail at fostering the sweetheart, but who could blame us? While he had some interesting idiosyncrasies about him at first, his innate kind nature and immediate bond with our husky mix Burton made it hard to imagine him going anywhere else, and we’re pretty certain that Tekken would agree that this is where he belongs 🙂 his skinny, scruffy appearance has changed dramatically; he’s filled out nicely, his coat is shiny and soft, and he’s calmed down in a way that indicates he feels safe and protected in our home with us. Though, like all huskies…Tekken is a high energy pup who requires ample exercise and stimulation, which we continue to work hard to provide, and Burton is a tremendous part of that regime. The two are inseparable and play all the time, showing no competition with each other, even around food, bones and toys. Truly, Tekken is unique and special and was meant to come live with us.

Our days with Tekken and Burton mean tandem 5 km runs every morning along the river, and evening 1 hour city trots along the inner city pathways. Our neighborhood dogs friends meet up with us for play time nearly every day, and a few times a week we go hiking at nearby wilderness and conservation trails. Tekken is extremely playful- we have never met a dog we didn’t like, and over the past ten months we’ve never witnessed any signs of aggression or uncontrollable prey drive. I wouldn’t trust him near a porcupine most definitely, but he was quite compassionate around the litter of kittens that inhabited the household last fall, even cuddling and grooming them at times. He plays marvelously with even the smallest dogs, and approaches pets with his curiously kind nature.

Tekken loves all people and children and can’t help but try to say hello to every stranger walking by us on our walks. He loves affection and shows no discrimination towards men or women (though we think he flirts with pretty girls the most) but he is particularly gentle with children and those with special needs; a trip to the farmers market last week had him leaning against wheelchairs for love and surrounded by crowds for pets and cuddles while he calmly basked in the attention! It made us think that one day in the future, he could have the potential to be a therapy dog (once he learned not to jump up and give obnoxious hugs to everyone he meets). He walks wonderfully on leash. Brother Burton pulls like crazy, but Tekken is happy to stay by your side (until we see another four-legged friend, when he quietly whines to catch up with them for socializing).

Tekken is also a cuddler. He’s always on top of house guests, he sleeps ON us at night, and would curl up on a stranger’s lap if it meant he’d have his ears and neck scratched. He loves to lounge on the second-floor patio bench so that he can be sure to howl at any sirens that may go by during the day, and is easy going enough to chill out at social gatherings, fall asleep by family fires, and camp in a tent in the wilderness. It’s hard for us to believe that this guy was once homeless at a garbage dump in the middle of Manitoba, as his disposition is so kind and laid-back, in spite of his past. Admittedly, he had some trust issues when he first arrived; slept at the door, cried when we touched his paws and neck, howled and snapped if we attempted to brush his coat, and ran away at loud noises. Over time however, all these little issues have disappeared. While Tekken cannot tell us that he’s happy, we’re sure that his strengthened trust, his bond with us and his calmed demeanor are all evidence that he’s happy, safe, and feels loved in his forever home, right here. We know that Tekken loves us, too, and we feel blessed, honoured and rewarded to have him in our life.

We are truly grateful for SHARP and all of the work that Melissa, Alan and Marilyn do to find homes for huskies like Tekken. This experience has forever changed us! And we’ll never regret our decision to foster or adopt a rescue dog, which has brought enrichment into our lives since the moment he arrived. We are now huge advocates for fostering and rescue adoption programs, and will continue to share our positive experience with animals lovers everywhere, in hopes of finding homes for all the others out there, in need of love, safety and kindness. Thank you so much for everything

Love,
Shelby, Kristin & Burton