Friday, April 29, 2016


Vacationers found them in a remote forest on the British Columbia coast. Three were young husky-looking dogs and the fourth was an older lab with a broken leg.

They were starving, and close to death. 

The vacationers tried to locate the owners (unsuccessfully), then spent many more hours searching for an animal shelter that would take the dogs.

Fortunately (for the dogs), these vacationers were savvy about crowded, underfunded animal shelters. They knew the older dog with the broken leg would have been terminated in a proverbial New York minute. 

They were able to find a safe haven for the dogs; it was also crowded and underfunded, but took the dogs anyway. Turtle Gardens Animal Rescue was 600 miles away, one-and-a-half-days' drive. 

The three younger dogs were re-homed within a few months. The old dog lingered for nine months until there was an application from the dream home. 

I published this story on Amazon: "The Bella Coola 4: Dogs in the Forest." Lou and Bonny Baird - the vacationers - recounted the details of their remarkable journey by phone and email. I never met them in person. 

In April, 2016, the old dog (appropriately named King) passed away after living in love for seven years with Del and Mark Aylett in their mountain home in Lillooet, BC. 

Around the same time, the vacationers (Lou and Bonny Baird) posted on Facebook that Lou was starting school in Vancouver and urgently needed 'a cheap room'.

'Cheap room in Vancouver' is an oxymoron. 

I live in the Vancouver burbs and I have a spare room that will work out fine for student Lou Baird, but isn't cheap.

It was paid forward by a 600-mile drive with four dogs.

Postscript: Yvette Labatte, manager of the rescue, has co-authored my short stories about amazing rescue dogs.