Rescued Animal of the Month: April 2016:
Each month we will feature a rescued animal success story.
Before July 2009, my wife and I had quite the zoo of family members. We started with betta fish, and then got Chinchillas, followed by hedgehogs and a bearded dragon. All of these were because my wife, Kari, was allergic to dogs and cats. Since we realized there was such a thing as allergy meds, and I knew how much my wife missed having a dog in her life, we decided to check out the Edmonton Humane Society one day.
After reading about the flights of dogs coming from California, and the fact we were living in a townhome at the time, a small breed pooch was the route we wanted to take. We went one day and there weren’t any small breeds left on the floor. The staff told us to be there when they open the next day. We decided to play hooky from work to meet our future family member.
There we met so many cute little dogs, mostly Chihuahuas, terriers, etc. Kari was in another room, when I decided to wander. There I met Danny. He was bigger than the rest of them, but still considered small. His mouth was wide open with his tongue and tail wagging. His golden eyes kept my stare. He ran up to the window and wanted to meet ME!
I tapped on the window of the other room and told Kari to meet me in the next room. It was truly love at first site. We quickly grabbed Danny’s kennel card and asked the staff what we could do to adopt him. We went through an in depth interview with a dog behaviorist to talk about our lives, what we did, and if we could truly provide Danny a good home.
We were told he would mark everything, and not be good with children. That’s okay! That’s what paper towel is for and we don’t have kids! It seemed like forever until they brought Danny into the room to see us again. We brought a red little blanket that would be his (we read about this on the internet) in which he jumped up on it and laid down immediately!
I guess we sold ourselves pretty well to the EHS, because we got to adopt this sweet guy and soon we left the building and we went home. Of course, we changed his name to Charlie (yeah, yeah, it’s common…we didn’t know at the time). We ended up writing a “Thank you letter” to the EHS and inside the letter we mentioned that we had a webcam pointed at our living room couch, so we could see what he did while we were at work.
The lady who fostered Charlie in California contacted us. We developed a friendship, in which we learned why the EHS brought dogs from California. We had no idea at the time, but the Central Valley in California euthanized 60,000-80,000 dogs per year, mostly small breeds and pit bulls. We felt something needed to be done to help more.
Charlie’s California foster told us about this little dachshund mix she was fostering that was attacked in the shelters. Because he was all banged up, he had zero chance in California. We decided it was time Charlie had a brother, so we did extensive research on how to import dogs, and brought up our Petey.
The day after Petey came home to us, I was talking with Kari saying we really should do something more to help the small breeds in California. At the time, we were fostering dogs for another rescue, and at adoption events, many people approached us asking “where are all the small breed dogs?”. There were none….but we knew a place that had too many.
CaliCan Rescue (well, the idea of it) was born that day. We did a lot more research, gained some contacts, asked many questions to Canada Border Services, and really did our homework. Our first rescue flight was in January 2010 and six years later, we’ve helped more than 500 dogs. All because we decided to play hooky from work to meet that golden eyed pup named Danny - our first dog ever.