Adoption Update! With Husky Hero, Denali
In this edition of the Snowy Owl Sled Dog Tours ‘Adoption Update,’ we catch up with the recently adopted husky hero, Denali!
We’re The MacDougall family – Brennan, Deise, Mariana and Liam. The beloved Husky Hero we adopted was a beautiful Alaskan Husky named Denali.
Where do you live?
We live in Calgary.
When did you adopt your retired sled dog?
After a 1-week sleepover party, Denali officially became part of Clan MacDougall on March 14, 2021.
Describe your family, partner, kids and other animals?
We’re an average family of 4, with proximity to the mountains which means we like doing outdoor activities like snowboarding, skiing, hiking, canoeing, camping and ice skating.
Our kids Mariana and Liam have always wanted a dog, but mean-old Dad always said no. Liam started falling in love with Husky dogs after receiving a Husky stuffy after breaking his arm. Liam kept collecting more and more Husky stuffies and loved watching Husky movies like Togo (which features Snowy Owl Sled Dog Tours dogs!!), Iron Will, Eight Below, Snow Dogs and Call of the Wild. We surprised Liam and took him to a Snowy Owl Sled Dog Tour in January 2021 and the rest was history – everyone loved the dog sled tour so much that mean-old Dad finally said yes.
What do you love most about having an adoptee sled dog join your family?
It’s evident that Denali has been looked after all her life. She loves being around people, especially when they give her head rubs. She’s so kind and gentle, strangely she was house-trained upon arrival. Denali does not bark in our backyard even when the choir of neighbourhood dogs go wild each and every day. Even our neighbours say how well behaved of a dog she is. It has been so nice to see the once shy Denali open up to our family, to confidently strut around the neighbourhood complete with her tail up, and to lie down and accept belly rubs. She will never refuse to go on a walk or a hike, but at 11 years old, she’s not super active which fits our family perfectly. And she’s the star of attention wherever we take her – everyone has so many questions about what type of dog she is and where did we get her from.
What 3 activities does your adoptee enjoy the most?
First and foremost, Denali loves her beauty sleep. Whether it’s a fresh hole she just dug out in the campsite or her favourite rug at the house, she loves to nap. She also loves to go for walks in her neighbourhood and sniff out the local wildlife – whether it’s rabbits, birds, or squirrels. And lastly, she loves meeting people – especially when they rub her head. She is not too fond of most other dogs but loves the attention from people.
What new skills did your husky hero learn since living with you?
I think the biggest skill she learned was to relax – that she didn’t have to be pulling on the leash all the time. She’s a very strong dog, it took about 2-4 weeks to get that out of her system. Other than that, she has learned many vocal commands like sit down, lie down and go to bed. We’re still trying to teach her to go fetch, but instead of retrieving the ball for us, she would rather just chew it to pieces. She’s not too fond of water but I’m still working with Denali to get her more comfortable with water in the hope she will become my fishing buddy.
Did adopting a retired sled dog meet all your expectations?
For sure! Jereme was very strict about meeting us to get to know our family better, and see if we were a good fit with his dogs. He had a wealth of information about all his dogs and the Husky breeds in general. After getting the thumbs up from Jereme, Kennel Manager, Mckenzie was patient with us while we got to know some of the dogs. While we originally had a certain “look” to the dog we wanted to adopt, McKenzie reminded us there is more to looks in finding the perfect match – a lesson in life we already knew in the human world but quickly forgot about the dog world. MacKenzie was available to answer our questions before and after the adoption process, which helped us ramp up to be the perfect owners for Denali.
Are you interested in adopting a husky hero?
Take a look at our retired husky hero dogs available for adoption.