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Learning to live in freedom

In early July, I showed you a photo of a Siberian husky, one of the four twoyearolds that Tharinee "Carrie" Wipuchanin rescued in late June. Carrie doubts whether the dogs are actually Siberians. They look similar to Siberians, and they have the double coat, but they are more slender than a Siberian would be.



One woman tells her that the dogs are actually "golden Siberian huskies". In my books and on the internet, the only reference to "golden Siberians" I've found is a mention of dogs who are part golden retriever and part Siberian. I'd be interested if any reader has additional information.

As I study the photos of the four dogs (I haven't met them), I realise that they look amazingly alike. Even Carrie admits that she has to see their faces close up before she can tell them apart. They seem to be related, brothers and sisters from the same litter.

We will probably never learn the truth. Their previous owner might have acquired them from a "backyard breeder" who thought that it didn't matter if brothers and sisters were mated together, or even parents and children.

Purebred or not, they are beautiful creatures, white with gold markings and dark brown eyes.

The woman who says that they are golden Siberians wants to adopt them all.

She can't breed them - Carrie has had them all neutered - but she has a large farm in the Northeast, and she thinks they'll be happy there.

Although Carrie would love to rehome them as quickly as possible, she hesitates - not because of their health problems, which are easily handled.

Undernourished, they have been cleaned up and now enjoy healthful, hearty meals. The slight case of mange on the two boys is being treated and will soon be cured, as will their mild diarrhoea, which, Carrie surmises, is the result of stress.

The main problem, Carrie feels, is that the four don't act like dogs. They don't react to the other dogs around them, not even engaging in barking sessions.

They seem to like her, but they don't wag their tails when they see her. They won't leave their cages, either. When she forces them out, they immediately return, staying as close to one another as they can.

From their behaviour, you can guess what sort of life these dogs once led.

Allowed outside their cages very seldom, fed very little, they grew up finding comfort only from each other.

Would a farm upcountry be suitable for dogs like these four? Carrie doesn't think so, at least not right now. She doesn't know the woman who wants them, she's never seen the farm, and although the woman assures her that she'll provide large, comfortable cages where they can sleep at night, Carrie's not sure if dogs used to enclosed spaces would appreciate the farm's open areas.

They need time. After a few days, the dogs begin to leave their cages of their own accord and walk around, but they prefer to sleep together in one cage at night. For them, freedom has yet to equal comfort.

READY FOR THEIR CLOSEUP

Today's photo shows you two of the four huskies that Tharinee "Carrie" Wipuchanin has rescued. I'm sorry you can't see how beautiful their colouring is, but, trust me, the dogs are extremely attractive.

If any you of dogexperts have any suggestions for helping the dogs adjust to freedom, do phone Carrie on (089) 669 1690 or (081) 451 2233.

Melanee Petra


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