A Quick Flight to Calgary for a Husky Puppy

After a few days trying to adopt one of the husky-cross (a.k.a. “Alaskan Husky”) puppies from a rescued litter near Canmore, Alberta, it finally came together on Thursday. I booked a flight for the next day to go down and get her. Air North is well known for giving great service for this sort of thing in particular, and being an Air North shareholder helps to make last-minute bookings affordable.

Lining up for takeoff at 09:03 Friday morning. The weather called for deep cold both at home and in Calgary, with mixed sun and cloud for all 3 days of the trip.
The main runway at Whitehorse, Yukon
The view south over Lake Bennett, 7 minutes later.
Winter dawn over Lake Bennett, Yukon
There is some really intriguing geology in British Columbia – this is in the Dease Lake / Telegraph Creek area.
Aerial view of northern British Columbia mountains
Drainage patterns on Williston Lake.
Drainage patterns on Williston Lake
A broad view of part of Williston Lake, a 250-km-long lake created in 1968 by the building of the W. A. C. Bennett Dam on the Peace River.
Williston Lake, BC
Coal mining along Highway 40 north of Grand Cache, Alberta, with vapour coming from the H.R. Milner Generating Station, a 150 MW coal-fired power station. It’s always particularly interesting to an aerial view of places that I know from the ground – I last drove that road in May 2013.
Coal mining north of Grand Cache, Alberta
In the center is Mount Robson, the highest point in the Canadian Rockies at 3,954 meters (12,972 feet).
Mount Robson, BC
We flew down the eastern flank of the Rockies at 37,000 feet to avoid the turbulence that’s common over the mountains. In the centre can be seen one of the large icefields that gives the highway known as the Icefields Parkway its name.
Icefield in the Canadian Rockies
Descending into Calgary, looking down on Big Hill Springs Provincial Park in the centre, with the town of Cochrane in the distance.
Big Hill Springs Provincial Park, aerial view
Patterns in Alberta ranching country – the way this area is growing, there may be a mall there in 20 years.
Patterns in Alberta ranching country
The Bow River north of downtown Calgary.
This would have been prime property until the incredible floods along the Bow this past June – I wonder what prices are like now. Many businesses and homes are still being rebuilt.
Townhomes along the Bow River
The Aero Space Museum of Calgary is highly recommended for anyone with an interest in aviation.
Calgary International Airport (YYC) seems to have had major construction going on constantly for the past couple of decades. It’s one of my favourite airports, though access is a bit tougher than it used to be.
Calgary International Airport
YYC is trying out a cellphone waiting area, and it worked great for my daughter and I. Rather than circle around and around, she just waited for my call and then drove over from a small parking lot a few hunded yards away.
I had arranged to meet my pup’s foster parents at 1:00 Saturday. As we got close to their home in south Calgary, we pulled in behind this truck – with a plate like that, we thought that it might be them! It wasn’t – just a funny coincidence.
Alberta licence plate SHELTER
My first cuddle with “Cuddles”, the pup that we’ve named Bella. The black-and-white pup is Lemon, from the same litter. The rescue director sent me a message saying that she thought that we might like Lemon better, as she has a thicker coat and “looks more husky”. No thanks, we were already committed to being Cuddles’ forever home.
Alaskan huskies Cuddles and Lemon
Taxiing for takeoff at 1:10 yesterday afternoon. Getting through the airport took much longer than I thought – I got stopped over and over by people – airline agents, salespeople, passengers – with comments that often started with “OMG she’s adorable!” 🙂
Taxiing for takeoff at YYC
A great view of downtown Calgary with the Rocky Mountains to the west.
An aerial view of downtown Calgary in the winter
Looking over YYC to the northeast.
An aerial view of Calgary International Airport
Looking down on my daughter’s neighbourhood, with 2 more large subdivisions just starting to the south of it.
Airdrie, Alberta
Here’s a new subdivision south of Edmonton that leaves me wondering what the attraction is. It’s out in the middle of nowhere, with no lake, no trees, no anything that I can see. Different strokes, I guess 🙂
While the Air North flight from Whitehorse to Calgary is direct, on the way north there’s a 25-minute stop in Edmonton (YEG) to drop off and pick up passengers, many of them people who look like they work in northern Alberta’s booming oil and gas industry.
Edmonton International Airport - YEG
Looking down on downtown Edmonton at 2:50pm – our stop in Edmonton had been a bit longer than planned. The airport at the upper left is the former Edmonton City Centre Airport (Blatchford Field), which closed permanently in November 2013.
Looking down on downtown Edmonton
Highway 658 crosses the Athabasca River north of Blue Ridge, with the large Blue Ridge Lumber mill to the east of the road.
Almost home, over Teslin at 3:50 pm (we changed time zones going into BC and the Yukon, gaining an hour).
We made a very long, very low approach to Whitehorse. This has happened before when the guy who owns the airline, Joe Sparling, was flying the plane I was on, as happened yesterday. I love flying with people who love what they’re doing. This is the Yukon River Bridge on the Alaska Highway just east of Whitehorse.
That’s Bella’s crate being loaded onto the cart behind another, older Alaskan Husky.

Cathy saw first-hand the sort of reaction Bella got at the Calgary airport, because the same thing happened in Whitehorse. In Calgary, one of the Air North agents took a photo of her, in Whitehorse, one young fellow took quite a few.

Cathy and I were thrilled beyond words at how Bella’s first meetings with her new family went. Not only was Monty great, so was Molly (our cat), who walked right up to her and rubbed her head on her. The fact that Molly and Bella are pretty much the same size (for now) may help that relationship get off to a good start.

As I write this, my little “pocket husky” is napping at my feet. She’ll quickly realize that “the new guy” is her forever Dad. We’re going to have such fun 🙂


A Quick Flight to Calgary for a Husky Puppy — 6 Comments

  1. Hi Murray and Cathy! I have been watching your blog over the past day looking forward to an update on how your travels went with the sweetest foster pup that we have ever had! I am so excited for Bella’s journey with you guys. It sounds like things are off to a great start and she has settled in quite nicely already. Please keep in touch! It’s always nice to hear about how the pups are doing 🙂

    • Cathy and I can’t thank you all enough – she is absolutely perfect for us. Just had her to my vet for an introduction – Bella was in the front seat, Monty on his backseat couch, and it was so sweet how she was clearly looking to Monty for reassurance (she hates car rides, but will soon find out how much fun they are here). I’ll definitely keep in touch.

  2. What a great addition to your family and what a nice gesture on your part to fly out there and bring her back. She has a wonderful future to look forward to and happy footsteps to follow into.

  3. Gorgeous little puppy. Here is another one of my questions: why did you have to go to Calgary to get a puppy?

  4. That’s a question that pretty much everyone is asking, Rejeana. The only answer I can give is that we’ve been keeping an eye out for a long time for just the right dog, and Bella is the first one that has gotten a “that’s the one!” response from both Cathy and I. And I can’t even tell you exactly what went into getting that response from us. It may be mostly subconscious stuff, but has it ever worked out well – she is an absolute doll.

  5. Very, very interesting and a lot of great pictures. That was really enjoyable. The puppy is so cute….now let’s see what he can get into at home. 🙂