'They're going to bring smiles on peoples faces,' says Truro foster mom
Dana Calder of Truro recently became foster mom to four puppies that came to Nova Scotia from an animal shelter in Happy Valley-Goose Bay. The pups were among more than 60 flown to Nova Scotia by Fed Ex because of an over population issue in the Labrador community. Permanent homes have been found for the pups. HARRY SULLIVAN – TRURO DAILY NEWS
TRURO - Displaying the type of boundless energy that only a puppy can muster, the four young huskies yip and yap and bounce around in a frenzy of playful activity.
Standing in the middle of it all, with four leads in hand and trying to contain them as best she can, Dana Calder wears an ear-to-ear grin and talks to the young pups in a soft, loving voice.
"Puppies, puppies everywhere," she coos. "Puppies, puppies, do you want to play...?"
"It's amazing," the Truro resident had said, in an earlier chat with a visitor, while trying to describe the transition over just a few days in the dogs' personality and also the impact they have had on her.
"When these puppies came, you driving in the yard would have terrorized them. Any sound, they were scared to death. To watch them be puppies, to play and interact and give hugs and kisses and dig in the dirt and follow us around. To see them happy and to know ... they're going to go to forever homes, they're going to make wonderful additional members to peoples families."
The four pups are recent arrivals from the Happy Valley-Goose Bay SPCA in Newfoundland and Labrador, which has been rescuing an over population of dogs in that region for the past four years.
The pups were among more than 60 dogs that arrived at Halifax Stanfield International Airport last weekend after Federal Express Canada volunteered to fly them to Nova Scotia when an employee learned of their plight on Twitter.
Calder is dealing through Halifax-based Litters 'n Critters Animal Rescue, which has been working with the Happy Valley-Goose Bay SPCA for four years to help it deal with its over population situation, finding them both foster and permanent homes.
Despite having three dogs of her own, Calder said the joy she experienced earlier this year while looking after another pup that needed special care, made her decision to help this time very easy.
That dog, a poodle-Pomeranian mix called Minnie Mae, was born in April as the runt of the litter that required special medical attention, "unfortunately," Calder said, Minnie Mae died two weeks ago, but her lasting legacy will be in the loving memories she left behind.
"She had her own Facebook page and was an inspiration to everybody," she said.
"And it was such a joy doing that with her, all the family was involved, all the kids, and we realized, not just was it a miracle that she lived, but that there's so many other dogs that are suffering and that need someone to give them that care and give them that fresh start."
Calder is happy to be providing a temporary refuge for the pups now in her care. Following a careful screening process, permanent homes have been found for the dogs and on Saturday they will travel to Halifax for a meet and greet with their new owners.
And while Calder knows the parting will leave her somewhat saddened, she is encouraged by the fact that the pups will be going to loving homes.
"They're not going to have to ever worry about being beaten or how they are going to get food or anything. They are going to have love every day. They're going to get to be dogs, they are going to be happy," she said. "They're going to bring smiles on peoples faces. They're living creatures and they shouldn't be penalized because other people didn't do the right thing."
A fundraising effort is under way to generate $100,000 for the rebuilding of the SPCA in Happy Valley Goose Bay. A total of $40,000 remains to be raised for the cause and anyone interested in contributing can contact Shelley Cunningham at Litters 'n Critters in Halifax or shelter president Lee Hill. Information for both can be found on Facebook.