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Penny, the Miracle Dog of the Yukon Territory


Although she has now crossed over the Rainbow Bridge, this gentle dog was the most famous dog in the Yukon for several years due to a combination of the miracle that saved her life and her position as "hostess" at Penny's Place in Pelly Crossing.


Penny's miracle occurred at Miles Canyon in Whitehorse on Easter Sunday 1996. While chasing a squirrel, she lost her footing and fell 40 feet off a cliff, landing on the still-frozen River River. Her fall was slightly cushioned by a small pool of water on top of the ice, but she appeared to be badly injured. A few minutes after Penny fell, a man and his son came along walking their dog. Incredibly, he was an experienced mountain climber and had his gear in his truck.

The difficult rescue took about an hour, with 2 men hauling the harnessed dog up the cliff. Once at the vet's, it was determined that she only had a bruised lung and pulled tendons in one leg, but was badly in shock. Two days later, though, she was released after breaking out of her kennel!

When Penny's Place opened in about 1998 to serve highway traffic with food and local crafts, Penny quickly became a celebrity. Always visible, she was never pushy about getting treats, and travellers loved her. A brochure telling her story was printed, and no doubt are in travel collections around the world now.

Rest in peace, Penny.

The Yukon is "dog heaven", with adventures around every corner and thousands of passionate dog-loving residents. Obituaries of the type seen at the top are fairly common in Yukon newspapers - I like what that says about my home.