Retired Sled Dog Coco: ‘We Can’t Believe How Lucky We Are’

Today, we are excited to share a lovely adoption update from Coco and her new family, Audrey and Dave! Coco is a retired sled dog from the Snowy Owl pack. As her designer name suggests, she’s an absolute icon and was known around the kennel for having some of the wildest hair in the pack.

Audrey and Dave are ex-Londoners who planted roots in Canmore and embrace mountain life to the fullest. They both work remotely, which gives them lots of time to pursue their passions in photography, hiking, and exploring every corner of the Canadian Rockies. “Be it well below or well above freezing, we’ll be out exploring, camera in hand!” they told us. Don’t they sound like a match made in heaven for a retired sled dog?

Dave and Audrey adopted Coco back in December 2023. They joined us for a Kennel Tour that summer and immediately volunteered to start walking the Snowy Owl retirees. Of course, they found themselves falling in love with a new sled dog every week.

“After fostering dogs in the UK, and with Audrey having worked as a sled dog guide in Norway a few years ago, we’d talked about adopting for a long time, and it didn’t take us long to realize that a Husky Hero would be the perfect fit for us,” the couple shared. “We started to narrow down who we could give a great retirement to, and it wasn’t long until Coco was joining us for sleepovers and hiking adventures.” As you can assume, Coco found herself a permanent place in their hearts and their home soon after.

“Coco’s temperament around people and dogs was already fantastic (she came pre-trained!), and she adapted to house life so quickly! She’s very affectionate and will accept scritches for hours if we’d give them to her, but she’s also more than happy to take herself away to her bed (and now the sofa) for her own downtime,” Coco’s parents explained.

“It was great to be able to interact with her for weeks prior to the adoption, going out on walks and having sleepovers. We all got used to each other and then when it came to the (inevitable) adoption we were completely at ease knowing how we’d all fit together.”

In this new phase of Coco’s life, her favourite things to do are “jumping around in the snow like a land dolphin,” sleeping on the sofa, and “knocking her treat bowl around her new home.” While sled dogs are brilliant, their skill sets are a bit different from house dogs. So, Coco’s been doing a lot of learning in her new home.

“Coco knew sit, very well before we adopted her but she didn’t know “paw”. She’s picked that up super fast, though, and now she’s learning the ‘which hand is it in’ game, sniffing at each hand, then pawing at the one she thinks the treats are in! She doesn’t always get it the first time, but she’s getting better!” Dave and Audrey said.

The couple told us that adopting a retired sled dog met and exceeded all of their expectations. “We can’t believe how lucky we are with Coco – she’s a su-paw-star dog!”

Want to learn more about adopting a retired sled dog? Explore our program here.