|"Blessed is the person who has earned the love of an old dog."
- Sydney Jeanne Seward
|On the evening of April 27, 2006 Dakota closed his ice-blue eyes for the
final time. With him were two of his loving friends from Tundra Spirits and
one of the kindest humans we have met in many years - Dr. Bart Forlano,
Dakota, like thousands of his fellow canines, was a “lost rescue”. He was a
dog that no one really wanted, including most rescues. If not for this story
he would only be a memory in the hearts of his friends.
Dakota came to Tundra at the request of another Rescue. They asked that
we save him from imminent euthanasia and to foster him for a “few days”.
Of course they immediately forgot him. He came to us in poor physical
condition, and barely able to walk. He had been chained in a back yard in
Troy, NY for most of his 11-plus years. He was pelted by stones and
firecrackers by neighborhood kids; and the humans responsible for him
refused to pay the shelter fee after he had escaped and had been
It took a year of gradual exercise, good diet and TLC to bring him around.
Soon, he was trotting with the best of them. His prospects for adoption
were dim. After all, who wants to adopt a senior who has limited time left?
But the fire in Dakota’s piercing blue eyes proved us all wrong. He actually
was almost adopted by a super lady who later became a great friend of
Tundra. Donna Quante, an award winning film maker, inquired about
taking a senior into her small pack of huskies. We discouraged her
undertaking, because of her busy schedule and frequent trips around the
country. Little did we know at the time the wonderful friend our Dakota had
made for us personally and the Tundra Pack!
He soon became the resident mentor at Tundra. New rescues learned
some stoicism and patience under his piercing glare. His displays of
affection never became effusive, but once in awhile you would catch the
softening of those blue eyes as if to say, “You’re not half-bad for a human!”.
He greeted children and strange dogs on his walks with dignity as a
Dakota began walking more slowly and occasionally lost his footing. Only
Aniuk would accept his slow pace. With heavy hearts we knew that his
time was coming.
Dakota was returned to the earth in a peaceful, dignified Native American
ceremony. During the Mic-Mac pipe ceremony, a hawk circled overhead.
He will always be a “lost rescue” to we who love him,
because we lost our hearts to him.