Four years ago my life changed when I rescued my 60 kilogram, big brown eyed Alaskan Malamute, Butch.
This is where my journey really began.
Butchy is a beautiful, spoilt, happy and loved boy but four years ago it was a different story. He was dumped on the side of the road by his 'owners' and instantly became homeless. He was living on the streets for months and was eventually picked up by the local pound. He was malnourished, injured, starving and heartbroken. He was put on death row and was given a small chance of survival.
For many unfortunate dogs across Australia this is where their journey ends, through no fault of their own, but due to human's letting them down time and time again. Luckily for Butchy, he was not going become another statistic but he was to become a success story which is unfortunately all too uncommon.
TheAlaskan Malamute Rehoming Aid Australia(AMRAA) is a group of animal lovers who are so passionate about this breed that they spend their lives, day in and day out, searching pounds across each state hoping to find an Arctic breed dog to rescue and to take into their care. They don't do it for the money or the recognition, they do it because they want to, they love to, and it is their passion.
They soon stumbled across Butch in the pound and immediately knew he needed saving. They took him into their care, took him to the vet and rehabilitated him so he was ready to find a new loving 'furever' home. A few weeks later I stumbled upon AMRAA's Facebookpage and after seeing their plea for foster carers I got in touch and offered to help. I told them that I didn't care who I fostered but I wanted the dog that needed the most love. The next day AMRAA turned up at my door with a very frightened looking Alaskan Malamute and they introduced him to me as 'Butch'. It was love at first sight.
Taking Butchy home for the first time
Butchies very first walk
I took Butch home, showered him with love and affection, fed him, gave him endless treats, praised and reassured him, took him on long walks and spent endless hours interacting with him. He began to slowly realise that we were not the same kind of humans who once mistreated him and abandoned him, he began to trust us and he began to enjoy life once again.
The transformation Butchy made was incredible
Butchy even got a modelling gig!
It didn't take long for me to realise that Butch had come into my life for a reason. Butch taught me compassion, he showed me that every animal deserves respect and a second chance at life, he made me feel that I was doing good in the world, he gave me purpose, he opened my eyes to the world of saving animals and he made me feel a love I had never experienced.
It was from here that my journey of being an advocate for saving animals started. I owed so much to AMRAA for bringing Butch into my life and without any hesitation I was soon volunteering to help them, by fundraising raffle tickets, holding stalls at my local markets, putting up posters around my local shops and cafes to bring awareness to their cause, calling every pet shop I could think of asking for donations so I could deliver them to AMRAA, helping with yard checks for potential new owners - you name it, I tried everything. The volunteers at AMRAA were so grateful and for the first time in my life I felt so fulfilled to be able to contribute a small part to the lives of the dogs in need.
Butchy and I holding a stall at our local markets for AMRAA
One of the many aftermaths of calling Pet Stores asking for donations
Representing AMRAA at the PetStock National Santa Paws Day
I soon realised that if I was able to help AMRAA in the smallest way, I could also help endless animal charities, and so I did. From signing petitions, making financial and physical donations, sharing posts on my social media to bring awareness to charities in need, attending charity workshops and galas to raise funds for the groups. It was through this passion of wanting to help that I found myself learning so much about the world of animal rescue and meeting like-minded people along the way who taught me about the struggles and triumphs of working in animal conservation.
It is from these experiences, lessons and encounters with fellow animal advocates that have brought me to where I am today and I am so thankful. But more importantly than anyone I owe it all to Butchy. As the well known saying in rescue goes 'I didn't rescue him, he rescued me' - truer words were never spoken.
If you would like to learn more about the fantastic work AMRAA do, click hereto find ways you can help.
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!