Want to hear a story? I think this one is going to become one of our favourite furrytail endings ever... Some dogs aren't ready to go up for adoption within the first month that they arrive in foster care. Some aren't ready in the first couple of months. Winta was definitely one of those. In fact, it's exactly 20 weeks today since he joined the SHAMROQ family. He arrived with his sister, Socks and it became apparent very, very quickly that the pair of them together were going to be too much of a handful for one foster home to handle.
These two were like nothing we'd ever seen. Think of the most out of control dog you can imagine...now double it.Remember Thing 1 & Thing 2 who wreaked absolute havoc in Dr. Seuss' 'The Cat in the Hat'? Yep - that was Winta & Socks...except that they were bigger, bouncier, more destructive, heatbutting, fence-leaping wild creatures that had never had any time spent with them, that had never been on a lead, that had no off switch and were incapable of calming down. What can we say? We like a challenge.
Initially, we kennelled them so we could gradually work on separating them, as they fed off each other's skyrocketing energy and anxiety. We took turns visiting the kennels and doing one-on-one basic training with them, but there was only so much progress to be made in that environment. These dogs needed to be integrated into family life. I chose to take Winta, while one of our fantastic carers, Bev, volunteered to foster Socks. I had two trains of thought - one was that there was something so special about Winta, that he had a lot of (very much hidden!) potential to be a great dog...he bonded to people strongly even at first meeting, desperate to make a connection. The other thought was that this dog was such a problem child that it wouldn't be fair to ask any carer to take him, so he would have to come home with me! Sure enough, with love and consistency and taking cues from the resident dogs in their foster homes, both Winta & Socks began to transform into really wonderful dogs. Dogs that had clearly been left in the back yard without any interaction somehow became pampered inside pooches!
Bev did a wonderful job with Socks who, equipped with new manners, was ready for a new family (and is still available if you're looking for a great dog!) Winta, however, needed more work and rehabilitation, so was not yet ready to be advertised for adoption.Winta's looks were intriguing...with his colouring, floppy ears, super-long body and lanky legs, my guess was Husky x Greyhound x German Shepherd, so curiosity got the better of us and we had him DNA tested. We were surprised to discover that he was Husky x Kelpie, but it explained his high energy and agility! Speaking of which, who was going to adopt this dog, that would happily walk 10kms a day and still beg for more and that could effortlessly scale 6ft fences???
We just knew that he'd be a natural at sledding, so we took him out to a Northern Exposure Gig Racing Club Inc. event to give him a go. Oh boy, was he fast! This kid had found his niche. Though I couldn't make it to the next gig racing event, Nicole, one of SHAMROQ's co-founders, was going and offered to take him along for the weekend. Imagine my surprise when she returned him the next day, only to declare that she wanted to adopt him herself! Off home she went and she and her partner, Luke proceeded to Winta-proof their fences (no small task!) so they could welcome the latest member of their pack.
I can say with all certainty that back when she met Thing 1 five months ago, she would never have imagined him moving in with her! I miss his sweet face around here already, but I'm thrilled that he's staying within the circle.So, without further ado, please join us in congratulating Nicole and Luke, Toohey, Sarge and Bazinga! on their speedy new addition. We can't wait to see what he does out on track next sledding season. Thank you to the Heremia-Tarau whanau (family) for their sponsorship of Winta, in honour of their deeply missed baby, Chompey.