In the late hours of Monday, November 18th, volunteers Pam Odam and Valerie Green rolled into the GTHS parking lot in a cargo van that was generously lent out to our organization by the good people at Home Depot Collingwood. A total of 22 (13 canines and 9 felines) animals kept Pam and Val company during their trek from Thunder Bay to Collingwood, a 14 hour drive. Special dog, Frankie, was among the animals transported from the Northern Reach Rescue Network (NRRN); this transport, which brought in our 200th northern animal of the year, was generously sponsored by Lynn Gribben-March and Derrick March.
We want to tell you about Frankie. Before his retirement, Frankie worked as a “police dog” of sorts; keeping the officers company at the station. His former colleagues in the Police Service told us an amazing story of a day Frankie saved someone’s life! Leading the police to a person who was laying behind a snowbank freezing to death. What makes Frankie even more special is that following his assessment by our Dog Behaviour Coordinator, Courtney Hancock, it turns out that he’s a big ol’ softy who wants nothing more than to be loved by humans! He currently has little interest in toys and other dogs, but realllly realllly realllly wants you to pay attention to him. He loves to walk, although he keeps the walks short as his aging, hard-working bones only allow him to go so far. In the words of Frankie’s friends at the police station “It’s time for this hero to retire down south!”.
TEAMWORK + COLLABORATION = MAGIC
We have used this subtitle time and time again in 2019 to describe the joint effort required to make journeys like Frankie’s a reality, and we continue to employ it as nothing sums up our transport projects better. Without organizations such as NRRN, donors like the March family, community supporters like Home Depot, and a dedicated group of volunteers, from the team in Sault Ste Marie who helped us mid-transport with all of the animals, to those who dedicated their weekend to drive 30+ hours to positively change the lives of homeless animals, we simply could not make initiatives like this happen.