Veronica Ells, AVC 2020, traveled to Nain and Natuashish in 2019 as one of the student participants on the Chinook Project. As part of the experience, the students craft various pieces of reflective writing.
Upon returning to Nova Scotia from our trip to Labrador, I decided to paint a picture to reflect the incredible dogs we met and landscape we were so lucky to experience. In the background is the breath taking view of the mountains and lake we saw in Natuashish and in the foreground is a dog named Blue. Little did we know how much Blue would come to mean to use throughout our time in Natuashish.
Blue was brought to our clinic by his owners to be neutered. By this point in our trip we were becoming much more comfortable and confident in our surgical skills and Blues neuter went without a hitch. It was incredible that in such a short time there could be such a positive change in our skills. Apparently, Blue was also pretty happy with our service and pleased with how the procedure went. He turned up outside our clinic in the fire hall (without his owner) two days after he had been neutered. All day, Blue waited for us outside the fire hall and sat in the bed of our truck until we were ready to go for dinner at the motel. We all piled into the truck with him and off we went. Unfortunately, the cook at the motel was not as fond of Blue as we were and chased him out when he tried to sneak in with us. This didn’t seem to bother Blue very much as he simply waited in the bed of the truck until we had finished eating. Lucky for him, we were taking a trip to the dump to hopefully see some bears. To Blue’s excitement, as well as ours, we spotted a bear lumbering across the dump.
Blue represents so many of the friendly and trusting dogs we met in both Nain and Natuashish. His brilliant blue eyes embodied the beauty of the sky and water that was so important to both communities. For me, Blue represents the joy of learning with and trusting a wonderful group of new people, the Chinook team, as well as, the community members. It was the people I worked with and met along the way that made this trip such an unforgettable experience.