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Meet Macadamia, the one-year-old mom and WAG resident who’s looking for a home to call her own

Whistler Animals Galore to host open shelter day on Feb. 11 from noon to 4 p.m.

Imagine the chaos of taking care of 10 newborn puppies by yourself.

Now imagine caring for those same 10 tiny, entirely dependent creatures without access to the indoors, or even a regular food source.

That was the reality for Macadamia, an approximately one-year-old shepherd-collie mix that has been in the care of local animal shelter Whistler Animals Galore (WAG) since late November. Now, with each of her 10 puppies now adopted out to families scattered across the province, it’s time for Macadamia to find a home of her own.

A “concerned citizen” working in the area first noticed the small, then-heavily- pregnant black pup roaming around near Williams Lake, a community in B.C.’s Interior about 400 kilometres northeast of Whistler, “farther than where we normally get animals from,” explained Kendall Benbow, WAG’s marketing, events and fundraising coordinator.

“Then this concerned citizen noticed that she had her puppies and was like, ‘It’s

going into winter; it’s too cold to be outdoors with puppies,’ so managed to collect her and all 10 of her puppies, and drive them [the seven hours] from past Williams Lake all the way to us—which is a journey in itself with 10-day-old puppies,” she added.

Macadamia is a young mom—“she might have only had one heat cycle before she got pregnant,” explained Benbow—and smaller than most dogs that welcome litters of that size. Coupled with the fact she was unaccustomed to life inside four walls, Macadamia took the transition to shelter life in stride and “was such an amazing mom to all 10 of the puppies,” said Benbow.

She added, “We didn’t know if she had had any experience in a house. She didn’t really know how to do the stairs in the shelter, so we [realized] everything is going to have to go a bit slow, and go at her pace, remembering that she’s a puppy who might have never been exposed to these things before.”

The pup did verge into critical-care territory after developing mastitis during nursing, and required some additional help from WAG staff. With her pups now settling into their new homes and the responsibility of feeding 10 tiny-but-growing mouths behind her, Macadamia is finally getting the chance to be a puppy herself.

She is adjusting well to the comforts of life indoors (as well as to potentially spookier elements, like vacuums and blenders) in her temporary foster home while she awaits her adoptive family. That foster “has done such a great job,” said Benbow. “In the last week already, she’s already mastered the stairs ... She’s just trying to figure out what the world is because it’s just so different than what she’s used to.”

While the “super-smart,” “highly food- motivated” pup is working on her basic commands, Benbow said Macadamia’s ideal adopters will continue on a training program, with enough patience to progress at her own pace.

Those interested in learning more about how WAG staff care for animals like Macadamia can drop by WAG’s Nesters Road headquarters when it hosts an open shelter day on Saturday, Feb. 11 from noon to 4 p.m. Anyone wanting to support WAG’s efforts—especially for those not able to welcome a new pet into their home at this time—can also look forward to WAG’s upcoming “Month of Love” fundraiser, including a Valentine’s Day photo booth.

Head to WAG's website to submit an adoption application or for more information, and keep an eye on the shelter’s social channels for details about upcoming fundraising events.