OUR FOSTER HOMES
When we first began rescue work in 2003 every dog and pup lived in the house with us. The most we had with us at one time was twenty-two and the ages ranged from eight weeks to nine months. It was several years before we gave in and built a one room cabin with a wood stove and two doggy doors for the pups. A few years later we were on an episode of DIY Disaster called Puppy Palace with Bryan Baeumler as he and his crew added an addition to the cabin for the TV show. My greatest joy had been having all the dogs and pups in the house with us us, sleeping on the shelf under the coffee table or sitting on the stairs so they could be together and see out the window. Still, the numbers were so great that in order to accommodate them all we had to build more space. The doggy doors of the cabin lead to a large fenced in area outside but we still let them out several times a day to run in the bush and play with wild abandon. We are fenced in on four acres so it is the most amazing sight to see perhaps seventeen pups run from all corners of the property when called. They willingly re-enter the cabin for a treat and a long nap. Never are they caged or in runs. All dogs over five months of age still live in the house with us though and become part of our pack of seven.
It was several more years before we recognized the absolute need for foster homes. This is not as simple as it sounds for although many people are willing only a few can meet the needs of the amazing northern dogs. Many of the adult dogs have never been in a house before or contained in any way but on a chain. All too often the pups have been taken from their moms far too early so are confused and in need of nurturing. Volunteers may come through the Internet aplenty but only a few truly understand what is involved if they are to give the dogs all they deserve so we work with a handful of wonderful people who are greatly appreciated. None of us take being the caretakers of these remarkable dogs casually. We are a small group of dedicated people who are able to assess each dog in our care so we can make the right match with the right family or individual. We know personally just who each dog is before placing him or her up for adoption and none of the 1,400 dogs we have placed thus far have let us down. Each dog is assessed for health as well and at the very least they are vaccinated and treated for parasites. No medical decision has ever been based on money and no dog has ever gone without treatment because of it. We are especially proud of the care all our dogs receive and the cost is not passed onto the adopters as we are the original caregivers.