Jupiter, Iggy and Ivy
...knowing we had made such a difference in their lives made us want to help all that much more.
The conditions of Ivy and Jupiter were one of the main driving forces behind creating the Sled Dog Sanctuary. One look at Jupiter and we couldn't understand how this dog could still be alive.
Ivy was in similar shape, bone thin, not an ounce of fat on her body and very little muscle to help her stand and yet these dogs were the friendliest, outgoing, happiest huskies you would ever meet.
During all our years of rescue to this day we have never seen a case as worse as these two. It was a wonder and a miracle that both of them were still alive and able to eat on their own to grow healthy day after day.
As they put on weight, grew in glossy new coats and healed from their pressure sores, food remained their absolute favorite thing in life. Ivy expressed her love by parading around with the food bowl every time we glanced her way while Jupiter danced for attention every time she saw us coming.
But all through their healing process we couldn't help but think of those still left in the horrendous conditions in their old dog yard. At the time we didn't have too much space to work with in the dog yard but we knew if we shuffled things around we could possibly take in one more.
We looked carefully over all the dogs still in need who were living in a temporary set up until new homes could be found. It was a sad fact that while the future had grown brighter for these saved ones their time was still running out. If homes could not be found many of them would have to be put to sleep.
Choosing a dog under that kind of pressure is very hard. In a situation like that you want to take them all but you know its impossible, we had to focus on just one. The determining factor was weight, who ever needed the most TLC out of the group would come home with us. Since Iggy was still struggling to put on the pounds we chose him.
Like Jupiter and Ivy, Iggy LOVED food so it was a snap getting some weight on him. Over time he enjoyed so many regular meals that we had to cut back his rations or he would start to become very obese.
As the three healed up we decided to try them out in harness to see how they would do. Jupiter enjoyed it, Ivy just wanted to eat and sleep but Iggy jumped in with all four paws and became a pulling machine! He came with us on many mushing trips pulling hard all the way and barking non-stop when it was time for a break. He loved his job so much we couldn't get him to stop working!
Since the three were taken in as rescues with the intention of getting them back on their feet and into new homes, we started scouting for possible matches. Jupiter found her place in another dog yard where her light build made for great racing as she ate up the miles at the track, while Ivy found a great home where she could eat to her hearts content and sleep outside or in as much as she wanted.
Iggy stayed on with us for a few years pulling our sled many, many miles until he found his perfect home with a pair of malamutes who made up a two dog team pulling firewood and supplies to their mushers cabin. Iggy would help the small team do their work and even out work the other two. This was just the type of work Iggy was cut out for since, as he grew older, the years of neglect showed harder on his bones and muscle than it would on a normal aging sled dog.
Seeing these three thriving in their new homes was the best we could have hoped for. It was such a sharp contrast to the agony they were forced to endure in their old homes and knowing we had made such a difference in their lives made us want to help all that much more...
Before and After Photos