Watson Lake to Whitehorse with a Jeep load of rescue puppies

Some of my regular readers have been wondering when rescue puppies were going to appear on the blog again. Here are the first, and there will be lots more coming over the next few months 🙂

On Saturday, there was a request on the Yukon Animal Rescue Network (YARN) Facebook page for someone to shuttle 5 or more puppies from the Watson Lake shelter to foster homes in Whitehorse. I offered to do it on Sunday.

Just before 08:00, I left home for the shelter 425 km down the Alaska Highway. With my preferred dog hauler, the Tracker, still in the shop, I took Cathy’s Jeep Cherokee. The Jeep has a lower rear cargo area, but is a lot more comfortable. I shot this photo as soon as I turned onto the Alaska Highway.

The Alaska Highway from our Jeep
The weather forecast called for a bit of everything along the way – sun, cloud, and showers.

The Alaska Highway south of Whitehorse
I made a stop for fuel at the commercial cardlock in Watson Lake, stopped for lunch, then went over to the shelter.

North 60 fuel cardlock in Watson Lake, Yukon
It took a while to figure out crates for the 7 puppies I was going to take, from 2 litters. I had misjudged, and the large crates I had taken were an inch too high to set up. Four crates may actually be safer, but it’s harder to comfort the puppies if that’s needed.

Four rescue puppy crates in the Jeep
Here are the puppies I took – this is Benny and Joon, about 10 weeks old. Joon has a shoulder injury of some sort. It doesn’t appear serious to me, but she needs to see a vet about it.

Yukon rescue puppies
The other 5, the Marble litter, are about 8 weeks old, and quite small. Judging by my Tucker, they’ll be about 25 pounds. This is Aggie.

Yukon rescue puppy
Boulder.

Yukon rescue puppy
Peewee was the favourite at the shelter.

Yukon rescue puppy
Scout.

Yukon rescue puppy
And Steely. Getting everything set up takes a bit of time. It was too busy to get any photos (most of the puppy photos here are by YARN), but I did get some puppy-snuggles in.

Yukon rescue puppy
Poor Joon was not happy, and she let me know about it in very clear tones. She cried and howled for half an hour or so. I stopped and brought her crate up to the passenger’s seat, we had little chat about how awesome her life was going to be, and she calmed right down. Every now and then I could feel her looking at me, so I looked at her and reassured her, and it was okay for the rest of the 4 1/2-hour drive. She is so sweet.


Once I got Joon settled, it was a quiet trip. With great scenery and a good Blues station playing on Sirius, helping these fur-babies was a really fine way to spend an afternoon.


I dropped Benny and Joon at their foster home in town, then brought the Marbles out to a family near my home. Benny was adopted immediately – love at first sight – and the other 6 are available through the YARN Web site.

My contribution to these puppies was a total of about 12 hours. In mid-October, once the camping season is over, Cathy and I will start watching for another litter to foster. Letting some of the last litter go to new homes was so heart-breaking that we weren’t sure that we could do it again (I still sometimes get wet eyes thinking about the one I called Peanut), but we’re going to.




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