I’ve written about the difference between good and bad dog breeders and adopting shelter dogs. This week, I’d like to talk to you about someone who is one of the good ones, in more ways than one.
Kim Gibson is a very good friend of ours. We met her through work, when she helped us out for a few weeks in an emergency, and then stayed on for years afterwards. As skilled a professional as you can find in the grooming industry, she has fought for certification and regulations to help protect our pets from mishaps at the hands of the unqualified or undertrained in this unregulated industry. President of the Professional Pet Groomers Association of Manitoba, she regularly spearheads educational and professional development seminars for groomers. And she is always open and free with advice for those that care enough to ask, and rarely gets the recognition for this that she deserves.
My “good breeder” article featured a photo of a basket of her Sealyham puppies. She has a small pack of these adorable terriers that she shows and breeds. And at Halloween, some even get amazing dye jobs, white dogs being a wonderful canvas for creativity.
But today, it’s the rescue side of Kim I’d like to tell you about. Right now, her place of business is overrun by 11 puppies, barely a month old, and their mom, Hera. Atlas, Athena, Aphrodite (you get the theme) and their littermates are quite a handful, requiring multiple feedings each day, socialization, and lots of cleaning. Every time I visit, someone is in with the dogs, giving food, love, or just cleaning up poop.
Hera is a reservation rescue dog that Kim took in from SSNIP (Sakeeng Spay/Neuter Initiative Program), knowing she was due to whelp shortly. Kim does this regularly, taking in a stray, raising the litter, and finding a home for her and her puppies. Not an easy or inexpensive task, she does this for the love of the animals.
For the last month, Kim or one of her staff has to feed the pups 4 or 5 times a day, a special mix of goat’s milk, puppy milk replacer and a vitamin mix. And Hera is taking down up to 4lbs a day of raw food (yes, I mentioned her briefly in my column last month, about dropping off a batch of food for her), trying to keep up with all those hungry mouths. And cleaning up, well, you can imagine. But she has a 15’ x 15’ kennel that gives them plenty of room to roam, and the puppies are getting better at hitting the litter trays.
Now comes the fun part. A month from now, these little cuties will need homes. A few have been spoken for, and Hera may have a home as well, but we need people who are ready for a dog in their lives to step up and bring one of these little bundles of joy home. You can view pictures of them by searching for Vada’s Club K9 on facebook, or by going to our webpage. The contact information for Vada’s is on their facebook page, or you can drop in to see them at 628 St. Anne’s Rd. All adoptions will go through SSNIP, and Kim can arrange those details for interested parties.
Contact Jeff with your questions or ideas at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.aardvarkpets.com