Nan’s Story

Meet Nan and Meagan!

“I somehow ended up adopting Nan on a solo road trip back from the West Coast when I stopped in Thunder Bay for gas and a coffee. The Thunder Bay & District Humane Society was located on the road where I needed to stop so I stopped in for a quick look. Initially I had been taken with Nan’s sister who had tri-coloured dots on her nose and had a hound look to her. Once I met her, I realized she wasn’t the pup for me – she was super hyper and somehow a little aggressive for a 7 week old puppy. Standing there, I asked the young girl working which of the dogs she liked best and she pointed to Nan. She said that Nan was by far the best behaved (she had got 3 needles the day before and didn’t even need to be held by a worker) and loved to cuddle into staff necks. There sat Nan staring at me just waiting for me to take her (she still does this intense stare). She came out and from that second forward, she followed me faithfully around the facility.

I really didn’t think I was going to be allowed to adopt a dog on the spot as I was from out of town and couldn’t wait the 1-2 day waiting period for them to process my application. After a quick ‘managers meeting’, it was decided that I was allowed to adopt Nan on the spot. And if I wanted, they would love if I could take two puppies (I politely declined).

Nan’s backstory was this: her mother was a young dog who lived with a family whose property was on the edge of an aboriginal reserve. When the family dog became pregnant, the family felt they couldn’t care for the dog and her pups so they dropped her off at the Humane Society. The dog gave birth in the shelter. As a grown dog, Nan has the appearance and personality of many of the well known Moosonee dogs – but she isn’t one. I have no doubt that both of her parents were true Northern dogs.

Jumping into the car, Nan kept me company for the remaining 14 hours drive home to Toronto. She quickly assimilated and was just happy to be with me – setting the tone for our relationship.

The impact Nan has had on my life is truly immeasurable. To say that I am her and she is me is the only way I feel like I can describe our embarrassingly co-dependent relationship. We are a team – most people are surprised when she isn’t with me.”

“Nan’s expressive face and eyes are funny to us. She has this odd, almost human ability to holds your gaze. Is it almost like she is talking to you without words.

Oddly, when Nan meets new people she will quickly become submissive – within a millisecond, she is on the ground, flips over, tummy bared before they even touch her. It is the funniest thing to watch because it makes even the most serious individual laugh out loud.

The same reason why I love Nan is the same reason why most people love Nan – except amplified. She is so friendly and loving. She greets people like old friends – she puts on a big show of kissing and giving the whole body wiggle. According to her dog walker (one of the most amazing humans in the world -Anne!) , she is a fan favourite of all the walkers at High Park. I feel like a weird nanny for a celebrity child when I go to the dog park sometimes.

There is this quality about Nan that makes most people fall in love with her – she has this incredibly un-censored joy when she meets people and she connects with them in a way that not all dogs do. It’s like she can talk to people with her eyes and body. She makes you feel loved.

I think most people think about rescuing as helping the animal – when really, it was a completely selfish thing for me and benefited ME way more than Nan herself! I was the one that won the jackpot by finding her.

I have met so many beautiful rescue dogs – each has it’s own story and reason why I love them. I think through normalizing adoption of dogs, we each have a responsibility to sing the joys of what a rescue dog can offer! And let’s be honest – some adoptions aren’t smooth and take more work. Some of us are up for the work, some aren’t. But there are sweet dogs of every variety looking for homes out there.

You cannot put a value on the intense (personal) value of saving an animal’s life – and improving your own life while improving a dog’s life? Golden. Adopting Nan was one of the most selfish things I have ever done – it was entirely for me. And in that moment, my life changed forever – for the better. There is a dog sitting in a shelter or in a foster home for everyone, you just need to know what is best for you and your lifestyle – and that dog exists and needs you.”

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