Saturday, September 22, 2007

A "Ruff" Situation

There is no question I love my dog. He is my child, the light of my life (Norman too!). So it's hard for me to see the homeless dog situation up here.
There are no vets in this community so I am sure Tallinn is one of the few that has been neutered. This is why there are so many dogs running loose and seem to not have homes. And because there is no doggy protection there are puppies running abundant (anyone want one?). It totally breaks my heart and I "die" inside a little when I see a dog body at the dump. The only way to control these loose dogs from packing up and eating little children is to put them down. Local bi-law officers put down stray dogs and then lay their bodies to rest at the dump. It's sounds nasty, but it is the way of life up here. And I also don't want to see any children get bit.

I remember before I came up here I heard a story about an RCMP wife getting mauled by northern dogs and dying because of it. I was totally freaked! But now that I have spent time here I realize like any dog, if you act afraid, it will be apprehensive of you and may bark or growl. I have only received much love from local stray dogs and I desperately want to take them all home...DESPERATELY! I want to feed their bony bodies. Everyone thinks Tallinn is huge compared to most dogs up here..um yeah it's because he is fed a regular diet. I am glad they think he is a beautiful dog, but I want to say you can have one too...take in one of these dogs, brush him, feed him, love him...and BAM you have your own prize dog. The strays here really are beautiful, they aren't just ugly muts.

The problem is what do I do? I can't adopt them all, we don't have the space or the money. One nurse here graciously adopts in dogs and then sends them south to be rescued (I think you are doing a wonderful thing)! She does this all on her spare time. I have a dilemma though. When I first came up here I heard that the dogs here never went inside(as far as my southern attitude was concerned a dogs places was inside on a couch being worshiped). The northern dogs all stay outside even during the worst blizzards, I thought this was horrible! Until I met Tallinn...a dog who only wants to be outside, even during blizzards...he wants to be there. It's too hot inside for him and he would just prefer to stay outside, even though I insist on him being inside during night time (I just couldn't bare for anything to happen to him while I was sleeping). So now my attitude has changed about keeping dogs only inside when it's cold. Some dogs are better in the cold (but for those few up here who have southern dogs like poodles...they need to go inside during cold weather and I hope to not see them this winter). So what should my attitude be about "rescuing" these northern strays? Should I go against the ways of the north and inflict my southern mentality? They look so free and happy roaming the country side, how could I put a chain on them, even if it will prolong their life?

I just can't adopt every dog I see because I would end up with my own personal dog sled team and I could never go on vacation, not to mention Nathan has pretty much put his foot down on getting another dog. We take Tallinn south with us every time we go and let me tell you it's a pain (we have to rent a van, and don't get my started on Air Canada), I can only imagine the pain with two dogs. I live comforted that when we finally move south I will get the property appropriate to rescue a few dogs and give them a happy life.

But for now I pray that those dogs that are on the super short chains, get a little longer lead. The stray hungry ones get something to eat and the lonely ones get a little lovin'. If you are already in the North and are thinking about getting a dog, do it! They are the best companions, security guards, protection against bears(for some reason they don't like dogs) and they will understand you like no one else.

Here is to a best friend and a true love.

6 comments:

Kate Nova said...

One of the airlines flies a few dogs a week from Iqaluit down to the Ottawa Humane Society for free. It's too bad they couldn't do that in your community too!

Jen said...

They do, one of the local nurses does that. And I think it's great, but I have to wonder if the humane society is better then the fate they face up here. It bothers me to think of them all alone in Ottawa in a cold puppy cell.

Kara and Matt said...

It is tough isn't it! Last year we were driving home and passed a puppy. It was sitting in the middle of the road on a piece of cardboard. It ears and paws were all frozen and wasn't going to last the night. My husband had to drag me away because I just wanted to take it home with me. There are so many dogs here that we have never seen off of their short chain in over 2 years. What is the point of owning a dog if you just leave it chained up and neglect it?

Jen said...

Kara,
I know! Sometimes I think the ones that are running loose and eating garbage on the beach are living the better life, even if they don't live as long.

Julie said...

Tallinn looks especially like a stupid in that photo. "A stupid" meaning an incredibly cute doggiekins!

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