January 20, 1996 - August 1, 2009
...even if we lived many more lifetimes, we would never meet his likeness again.
Spock, while not a sled dog breed, was all sled dog at heart...
He was rescued from the Valdez animal shelter adopted long before we knew what a dedicated path we were heading down in our work with rescue and those in need. He taught us so much, to both dog and human alike.
He was a natural teacher both patient and kind and led the team for many years. Out on the trail he seemed to have a sixth sense about the terrain and all that was in the environment. There were times when we were exploring a new route when he would stop and simply refuse to go. Upon further inspection there was always some sort of danger up ahead or trouble we would not be able to pass through. Even though he could not see it, some how he just knew.
It is no wonder that every dog looked up to him as a mentor in the team and in their every day life. Though not particularly fond of puppies, and their ever reaching attempts to earn their way into his good graces, he was always patient, quietly moving to another area of the yard for his own peace of mind.
The young never gave up on him though. It was his incredible confident energy they were drawn to, always looking up to him as if one day they hoped to absorb some of his greatness. Many a rescued pup was raised under his watchful eye, each one touched by the experience.
Spock helped so many rescues find their place. Once they entered the Sanctuary he made it clear who was boss of the yard and that he would not only be keeping the peace but also keeping them safe as well. His instincts as a herding dog came in handy when training new dogs how to come when called. If we had trouble bringing a dog in front the larger pen Spock was always on hand to direct them to the smaller areas where they could be caught.
His retirement from working in the team came early but he was by our side for many more years to come keeping pace from behind or heading up to the front to check the trail ahead. When he passed away in 2009 the loss was felt deeply by all. Right then we knew there would never be another one like him, even if we lived many more lifetimes, we would never meet his likeness again...
Read more about Spock in the July/August (2012) issue of Mushing Magazine...