*Name: Tracey Boutilier
*Origin: Cape Breton, Nova Scotia
*Years in Fort McMurray: 6 years as of June (2013)
*Animal(s) (age, breed, name): I have three dogs; Caeleb, Daisy and Piper. A Quaker Parrot named Elliot and several salt water fish.
Caeleb is a neutered, year old Old English Sheepdog mix who will be 15 in December 2013. I have had Caeleb since he was 8 weeks old, adopted from the Sydney SPCA. Caeleb looks like a big white fluffy teddy bear.
Daisy is a spayed, Pure Bred Jack Russell Terrier who turned 5 in June 2013. I have owned Daisy since she was 4 months old. My husband and I rescued Daisy from being dumped at the SPCA here in Fort McMurray.
Piper is a neutered Pure Bred Jack Russell Terrier, We are not sure of Pipers age, at the time of adoption the vet said he was about 6-8 months old when we adopted him, which will make him about 14 – 18 months old in November 2013 . Piper is the newest rescue in our pack. We adopted Piper from the FMSPCA in November 2012 (he was named Tarantino at the shelter). Piper was found wandering around the Rotary Park area and picked up by Animal Control.
(Honourable Mention) Sophie. I adopted Sophie from SPCA in Newfoundland in 2004. She was a small black terrier mix. Someone found her wandering around an isolated dirt road used by recreation vehicles. She weighed about 7 pounds, had a bad case of mange and was extremely frightened of people with little or no trust. I took Sophie home with me and nursed her Mange and developed her trust. Shortly after adopting her I took her to the vet to be spayed, the vet estimated her age was 7-8 years old. It was at this time they diagnosed Sophie with breast cancer (common in female dogs that are not spayed). Shortly after being diagnosed, Sophie went through a complete mastectomy as well as being spayed. Sophie was a loving, quiet, loyal dog who proved to be very tough and resilient. Sophie died last March (2012) from a brain tumor at the age of 15 ~ 16. Gone but not forgotten, I am pleased I was able to give her a life better than roaming around alone.
Elliot. I got Elliot in August of 2013 from a family who was looking to rehome him. Having always loved birds and wanting a parrot, Elliot was perfect for me. He is 10 years old (with a life expectancy of 20-30 years) has quite a large vocabulary, is very particular when it comes to people and hates toys. He does love rice, bread and butter, grapes, strawberries, nuts and tea.
*Interesting Facts about your animal(s):
Caeleb is a very unique guy, he use to go everywhere with me in the car, I even took him to work at one stage when he was younger. About 5 years ago while hiking with my dogs on one of the trails in Fort McMurray I broke my ankle. As I was lying on the ground Caeleb lay next to me nudging me with his nose and would not leave my side. Without a phone and nobody nearby I was forced to hobble out of the woods. I couldn’t find anything to use as a crutch so I used Caeleb to lean on.
What’s interesting about Daisy is how obsessive compulsive she can be. She will only play with toys that are plush and have squeakers in them or the small round balls that have squeakers. She gets so obsessed with these toys that she actually knocked a shelf out from the wall by continuously jumping to get at the bag with the ball in it, which was hanging from the shelf. She is also known for getting through any baby gate you install in the house. She also has hoarding issues, her kennel requires weekly cleaning. Every week I find about a dozen balls, several bones, toys, treats and anything else she deems as a treasure in her kennel.
What is unique about Piper is he doesn’t bark he tries to talk. It is quite funny to hear actually. If he wants to play, go out or whatever he doesn’t bark at you he lets out a series of moans groans and howls that actually sound like he is trying to talk. Wish I could insert a video clip because it is really funny. We have had Piper in agility classes since we first adopted him and he is doing fantastic.
*Animal(s) Favorite Treat: The three of my dogs are spoiled and will only eat certain treats. They use to enjoy the Chicken Jerky treats but since I saw the report on TV about these treats causing kidney problems in dogs we stopped giving them to our babies. So now they get the Pedigree Marrow Bones or peanut butter tucked inside of a hollow bone.
*Animal(s) Favorite Trick: Caeleb’s favourite trick use to be hiding. You tell him to hide and he would lie on the floor and put his paw over his face. Daisy’s trick is kissing, she loves to give kisses and you have to watch her because she has a sniper tongue that can get you expectantly. Pipers trick right now is giving high fives.
Perspective on Adopting a Rescue: I am a sucker for the dogs nobody wants. The ones often overlooked by the public or considered “problem” dogs, the ones labeled “hard to train”, “too Old”, “too big”, “stupid”, “too noisy”, etc. To me they have more to offer and more of a personality than a puppy does. Don’t get me wrong, I love puppies just as much as the next person, but it is gratifying knowing I can give a dog the life he / she deserves, regardless of their label.
I often look at my dogs and the other animals in rescue homes and think, if you could talk what kind of story would you tell me about your life? Then I think, sometimes, I am glad you cannot talk because I probably would cry if you told me. What was going through Sophie’s mind when she was left on the deserted road? What did Piper think when left at a campground? What’s going through their minds in the cages at the shelters as people walk past them, going for the cute, soft, plump, little puppy that licks their face and smells so nice, or the younger, well behaved dog that is quiet, doesn’t have matts and sits on command?
*Favorite Quote: Don’t really have one. I do like: “Don’t litter, spay or neuter your pet”.