I have been silent about the Whistler 100 slaying as I didn’t, and still don’t, have anything constructive to say. Shock, anger…imagining 100 Rocco’s having their face blown off, what is there to say?
However, today, I came across this e-mail posted on Advocates Against Outdoor Adventures Whistler Facebook page. It is a long read, but I do encourage you to read through the whole e-mail, to learn about the dogs and put a face and a name to some of the possible victims. As each of the 100 dogs was important and very, very special.
Each one important
Each one special
Date: Thu, 3 Feb 2011 14:15:15 -0700
So here are some pictures for you. I know I have more some where….But I have moved to ______ and can’t seem to find the disk that has them all on. I will keep looking. I know there here some where 🙂
As for me, well, I worked there for 4.5 years before coming to _________. my last season was 2007. When I first started they had around 100 dogs. By the time I left it was over 300. I am not going to get in to the details of my time there as I could go on for ages. You know what life as a musher involves, just imagine that but on a much larger scale, but still only being one person. I worked year round for them and I was there main kennel staff over the summer. I spent every day feeding, watering and attempting to be everything that they needed. When you are one person, sadly you can only do so much. I got to know every single on of those dogs like they were my own. i knew all there names, where they came from, who they were related to, how old they were, what medical issues they had, ect, ect. All things that he didn’t want or care to know. He claims to have known all the dogs killed…..I disagree 100%. As you know, the dogs become your life when you become a musher. Everything that I did over those 4.5 years where for those dogs. Four years later and I still think about them every day, remember all of them like it was yesterday, and dream about being back on the runner again. When I heard the news on Monday I was absolutely heart broken. As were you I imagine. Not only for the dogs but for Mushing as a whole. I am angry and sad and I want answers. Like many people do right now.
He may have taken your dogs and done horrible things to them, but one thing that I know is that the staff that worked there loved them all so, so much. The staff were what kept those dogs alive, and are what will continue to keep them alive in memory. I have included some memories about each of your dogs to go with the pictures. Sorry I have ranted on a bit. It makes me feel better to think of the good times I had with them. I will keep looking for those photos to send to you.
I hope this email helps and gives you some better things to think of during this horrible time,
(name witheld by me – not requested)
What the fate of most of your dogs is, I can only hope. I know that Blackcombe (male) (que j’avais nommé Grover)went to live with Jaime who now owns Trappers Run dogsledding in Whistler. He is living as her house pet and goes to the site every day with her. He is alive, happy and healthy. As for the rest I dont know 🙁
Cher (je l’avais nommé Holly)-She was a funny one. She was sweet and charming and lovely to look at….but you did not want to be on her bad side. She was great at holding a grudge and remembering which dog had pissed her of the day before or even the week before. As a staff member the hardest thing when dealing with her was remembering this your self! She mostly ran wheel and point because of this. She could not be trusted in lead half the time. Cheeky girl! She went on to have some beautiful pups the last few years that i was there.
Sonny-(Fo-fum, frère de Fee-Fi, qui a été tué par mon voisin)He was the male version of Cher 100% The only difference was that he a bit thick (Cher seemed to have the smarts in that litter!) He was like that kid that was told not to do something cuz it would hurt and then he’d just keep doing it over and over. And he loved the mud! I spent a lot of time in the summer pouring buckets of water over him to try and make him white again.
Vale (je l’avais nommé Banjo)-Vale…what can I say about her?!! She was the craziest dog in the lot. Absolutely lovely personality. Beautiful to look at. Friendly with the clients. But when you hooked her up, she was wild. It was like something out of old Jack London stories. Wide, wild eyes, salivating at the mouth, and just hungry to run! She was the first of your dog to have puppies. She was breed by male named K-9 who was just like her….boonkers! And my god, there puppies were nuts!!!! But is a good way. They are known as the chocolate bar litter. 9 in total. Each one harder working and wilder then the next. They were like little hurricanes trapped in dogs bodies. Most of these pups went on to the ‘race team’. It was this litter that made Bob want to breed Whistler, Aspen, Cher, and Whiz.
Whiz- She was the sweet heart of the group. Kind eyes, calm demeanour, and always a hard worker. She was so soft I couldnt stop cuddling her. She took such pride in grooming, Ive never seen a dog like it before. All the dogs would be filthy from the rain and there would be Whiz lying on top of her house, glossy and shinny. I dont know how she did it! She was a very reliable leader, so much that I used to to train the new pups. She was always kind and fair and would only get upset if it was needed. She knew what her role was and she did it so well. She was a very special dog to me.
1/2/10- We called him Galoot…but I think you knew him as Freeman(?). When I first started in 03/04 no one knew he was mostly blind! And the first day I was there I tried to convince them that he was. It was mad….how could you not tell. You come up behind him or from the side and he wouldn’t see you at all! Finally after much pressure I managed to convince Bob to let me get him checked out. Turns out it was true. Not much I sight for this cuddly lump of fur. But you know what…..he went on to become an occasional lead dog!!! You should have seen him running. He pulled like there was no tomorrow. And then one day we were having a mess around at lunch and decided to try leading some dogs that, lets face it, pretty much were born to stay in wheel. And Galoot was paired up with this little golden girl named Chi Chi. She was about the size of his head! It was the funniest match you’ve ever seen. Sure enough that girl kept him in line and gave him the sight he never had. He was one of my favourites. He was always so happy. Partly I think cuz he couldnt see that well so he never knew what was coming. As a result he just got really excited about everything….just in case 🙂 He was lovely.
3-This was taken of Bucket when I first started too. He was very shy and quite at first. I always thought of him as the philosopher of the kennel. He was always watching you like one of those Mona-Lisa paintings. Trying to decided if you would be let in to his little world. He only ran for 2 years before he retired. One of the staff (the one who had Blackcombe) took a strong liking to him so Bucket often went to the site, but spent the day in the truck and on the drop lines. Involved, but not so that it hurt his joints.
4/7-Whistler (je l’avais nommé Daisy-Mae)! Not sure what you had named her but that’s what I knew her as. She was lovely! Out of Whiz was she not? Whistler was loved by all and became one of the ‘Poster’ dogs for Whistler Dogsledding. She embodied everything the company was trying to pretend to be. She was beautiful, friendly, social, and occasionally a hard worker 🙂 She was the lazy one out of the four siblings. Any promo things that we did, Whistler went. She went on to become the mother of many litters of pupps. Infact I would not be surprised if half the remaining kennel are from her, Whiz and Cher.
5-This dog is not one of your, however I put her in because she was very special to Moose’s life in the kennel. Her name is Suzie…..yes, this is THE Suzie. The mother of his house pet, the one who’s face was blown off. Suzie was a very, very special dog. She came from Hans Gatt. Suzie loved, loved, LOVED her sticks. She knew the command ‘Go get your stick’ better then Gee and Haw. When Suzie came to us she moved in next too Moose. Suzie was in season. Moose spent the majority of his time for the next week standing on his hind legs, trying to hang himself just to get near her. No matter where we moved him, Moose was there hanging in Suzies direction. The start of that winter we learnt very quickly that Suzie was a ‘feisty’ lead dog and she bullied her partners so much that they refused to run any where near her. Moose and Suzie were then paired together. He was sooooo happy. This bitch that he had spent the summer trying to get to was now all his. First thing he did…..tried to mount her. First thing she did…..attacked him and pinned him to the ground. I was crying I was laughing so hard!! Poor Moose never saw it coming! After that all she had to do was look at him and he would smarten up. This worked well as a lead pair because although Moose was a great leader in the past, because of his size, if he wanted to go some where, he went. No questions asked. Now if he wanted to go some where he had to ask Suzie first! And she usually said no. They ran together for 3 winters that I was there and there relationship never changed.
6-This is Tank.Tank was the naughty one out of the group. Although he looked beautiful, he like to think of him self as a tough guy. He would try to pick fights and bully his running mate. Then he met Glacier. She was like Suzie. Very particular in her ways. They were paired together for this reason and because they were beautiful together. The picture doesnt do it justice really. The guide that is hooking them up is Jason. This was his team mainly and he loved Tank. Jason was a pretty small guy and Tank was very large. I always laughed when I would see Jay trying to get Tank in to a top box on the truck.
11-This is an action shot of Schubert.Schubert is in the middle on the right side. He was always a below the radar kinda dog when with us. He never caused any problems, always ate his food. drank his water, was happy to work, never lazy, ran all positions, quite, and just generally well behaved. He was run by a guide named Jonas most of the last season I was there. Jonas pestered him to no end by dressing him up in goggles, sunglasses, hats, scarves, you name it, Schubert wore it at one point. And he was always so patient and calm. Just would put up with it. As long as he got fed at the end of the day he was happy.
12-Not sure if this picture will turn up on your end. This is a photo of me on a sprint sled for the first time. Aspen(je l’avais nommé Peanut)is my leader with a dog called Cement. Aspen was exactly likey Whistler in all ways except that she loved to pull! Aspen went on to populate a large portion of the new dogs in the kennel. She was taken along always with Whistler to PR events and was the favorite of many staff over the years. She was the type of dog you could give to a rookie and you never had to worry. Aspen would get them through ok.
I will do my best to try and find out what has happened to them, but it may take a while. People are still not comfortable talking about things yet. When I know, you will know.
(NAMES APPEAR BELOW EACH PHOTO)
Peanut, Moose et Schubert
Schubert, noir, au centre.
Suzie (pas la mienne)