Life on the “streets” is the way it is for most dogs in Natuashish, and with 800 other dogs to contend with, life is tough; in fact, it is true survival of the fittest, and the stakes are high. Thus, imagine our delight when, on our arrival at the clinic one morning, we found that three of the most memorable patients seen by the Chinookers of the previous year had found their way back to the fire hall and were doing well!
Farley’s smile (left) implies that the feeling was mutual – perhaps suggesting that, surprisingly, their excitement at receiving our treats far outweighed any negative memories associated with their operations the previous year. The scars on Blue Eye’s face (right) are a testament to the battles fought by these dogs, and we witnessed this first hand as they chased off another group of dogs who came to check out the fire hall and its treats. The third dog, remaining wary of the intruders, completed the pack and never left his vigil. These boys greeted us at the clinic every morning from that day on, and we were happy to receive their blessing to continue our work in their community – and of course, happy to continue serving up the welcomed treats in return.
(Amy Lowe was a student participant on Chinook 2011; this post is a response to a short assignment where students were asked to choose a meaningful photo from the trip and explain its significance in no more than 250 words)