To this day Remus is still very connected to us and a real asset to our team...
We received a call out of the blue one day about three sled dogs living in bush Alaska who were in dire need of rescue. At six months of age their owner had deemed them unfit to be sled dogs and decided to 'dispose of them' if someone didn't stop in and take them off his hands.
With the quick action of a few other people all three were able to get a plane ticket out and the chance at a new life. Since there were only two homes lined up for the group we decided to take a chance on the third one and bring him into the Sanctuary.
When he was dropped off we were shocked at his condition. He was a tall leggy boy whos ribs and hips stuck out at all angles. His coat was ragged and while we could tell he had the ability to grow a thick coat, in his malnourished state it was all he could do to use his calories just to survive.
This boy was connected to us from the moment he entered our lives. Whether he was grateful that we had saved him or bonded to us for some other reason, before long it was very clear we would have serious trouble finding him a home.
He was scared of strangers and the mere thought of leaving the kennel and our side terrified him. As he grew, put on weight and a brand new coat, he transformed into the most fluid effortless working sled dog we have ever had the pleasure of running in our team. Remus could pull with the strength of ten, run for countless miles on end and never break a trot while the rest of his teammates struggled to keep up at a full gallop.
This boy was a miracle and as we caught up on the progress of his siblings we were shocked to find that his brother and sister had done well in their own recovery but in no way matched up to the size and speed of their brother. They were solid sled dogs in their own right but in watching them work it was hard to tell that Remus was related in any way, much less from the very same litter.
To this day Remus is still very connected to us and a real asset to our team. No matter what the terrain or how hard the trail if Remus is in our team we know we will not only make it home but make it in good time!
Our experience helping him through his recovery reinforced the fact that dogs are amazing creatures not only capable of such deep love and devotion but a strong will to thrive and survive. Remus also reminded us to look past a dog's appearance, especially those who have been through so much trauma and pain. This is always the best thing to do when welcoming a new dog into rescue.
They may not all turn into amazing fluid creatures like Remus but every one is a shinning star in their own way. We never tire of watching a dog down on its luck, with so many odds against them, rise up and with a little time and food turn into who they were born to be.
You can read more about Remus in the January/February issue (2013) of Mushing Magazine.