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New den for Beaver

Shy former Whistler sled dog finds new home in Vancouver

It took more than 300 days but Beaver the former sled dog now has a comfortable new den in Vancouver.

Beaver’s story is one of success in a world that isn’t pulling for happy ever after results for dogs that were part of the dog pack that was tragically the subject of human-induced violence three years ago. The Sled Dog Co. handed Beaver over to Whistler Animals Galore (WAG) last July so a new home could be found for the dog.

Shannon Broderick, WAG’s executive director, said Beaver was a very nervous 7-year old dog that was “misunderstood” by people when she came to WAG. Beaver is still a very nervous dog but Broderick said the transformation Beaver went through in three seasons with WAG was significant.

“When Beaver came to us she had been her whole life at that kennel,” said Broderick of the dog’s working career. “That’s the only life she had known at that property and when she came to WAG, everything was overwhelming.”

According to Broderick, Beaver was experiencing new people, new smells and new sounds so something as simple as when a text message alert came from Roderick’s phone Beaver shot away in fear.

“She had never heard those kinds of noises,” Broderick said.

After about six months at WAG Beaver was comfortable enough that Broderick felt it was time for the former working dog to get a taste of life with a foster family. Beaver spent her days at WAG while her evenings through to mornings were spent in a foster home.

Louise Nasmith was looking for a new pet this spring and she decided a shelter dog would be perfect for her and her husband.

Nasmith was in Whistler skiing and she decided to check out the WAG website. Beaver wasn’t at the top of her list until she learned that the dog with longing, dark eyes was part of the pack that was culled in April of 2010.

“When I heard that my heart just broke,” said Nasmith from her home in Vancouver. “I just thought if we were the right family we’d be willing to bring her to us and really care and provide her with the love she so deserved, this dear little creature.”

And so it was done. There was a short visit that was described as going “just okay” and a decision was made that Beaver’s long-term stay with WAG would come to an end through an adoption by Nasmith and her husband Jim.

“I think its a hard leap, I think its hard to see a dog nervous and not approach you, to imagine then bringing that animal into your home takes a special kind of person and it was a lot of time before this family came along that were willing and ready to do what needed to be done for her,” said Broderick.

The family that fostered Beaver was sad to see Beaver leave Whistler but Broderick said the delivery to the Nasmiths went well.

“The foster family drove her to her new home in Vancouver,” said Roderick.

Nasmith said Beaver started eating, drinking and adjusting to her new home very quickly. Beaver enjoys her back yard, Nasmith said, and she added a male husky in the neighbourhood met the new dog while out for walks and the pair hit it off nicely. A few of the dogs in the neighbourhood have welcomed Beaver into the area and made her feel welcome in her new home.

Check back on Thursday for more on Beaver’s transformation and to see more photos of Beaver.

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