We’re cheering for Champ and you should too!
Who is Champ? This puppy’s a charmer! Champ was born in early April of this year, and as luck would have it, he was brought to us from a small Arctic community, the owner being unable to care for him. The truly sad part of this story is that he was struck by a very serious birth defect affecting his ability to walk. Right now, the only way he can move about is by scooting his bum on the ground, pulling himself forward with nothing but his front legs.
This is, of course, a grave disability, and he has much pain from it. Yet this tiny guy has shown great spirit and is a true champion. His indomitable heart has inspired many and even gathered a strong following of supporters in just a few days!
Thankfully, more luck did come his way… As some of you may have learned, on July 2nd, many animal lives were tragically lost in a fire at the shelter of the SPCA of Western Quebec in Gatineau. Through our partnership with them, dogs and cats from the Iqaluit Humane Society are weekly sent to them for rehoming. Champ was fortunately not among those who had recently been sent. Instead, he remained in Iqaluit, and he is very much alive!
While we are actively working with the SPCA to help them rebuild their facilities, the IHS is itself facing a number of important difficulties: over-stretched resources, a full shelter, high-needs dogs and the challenges now impeding a critical partner. The costs and efforts required to care for a dog like Champ are quite simply non-existent. With this, the IHS Board had come to a difficult decision : determining whether or not Champ’s “luck” had finally run out…
As it turned out—not quite yet. After the Gatineau SPCA fire, the IHS was reaching out to various people and had many writing us offering to help our partner. By absolute luck, a wonderful woman named Robbin wrote and, in the process, learned about Champ’s plight. She immediately reached out to the people she knew, especially those who had similar experiences with disabled dogs. She found two Ottawa residents who not only were willing to foster him, but also to get him to the specialists he needs. Every step along the way since receiving Champ has been a “wow” moment, but this one truly has made us go “WOW”!
Champ, as we found out from the veterinary diagnosis, has a deformed spine, and he needs surgery to correct it. There is no sugar-coating his situation: his prognosis is guarded, and while the surgery may give him a pain-free life, he may not regain the use of his legs. All the same, we in the animal rescue business have seen so many seemingly hopeless cases, only to be amazed at what miraculous recoveries even the worst off have been able to make. Champ is such a fighter, and he has a true heart of gold. If we can give him the chance of being free from pain and a chance at a better life, then we are going to try and put all that luck on his side!
Donations for the surgery are of course necessary, and we are reaching out to you now to make this happen. Any donation, large or small, will be profoundly appreciated and will have an immediate and real impact on Champ’s life.
Champ, for his part, has no idea that he has anything wrong with him—he is a 3-and-a-half month old puppy who has lived with pain from the moment he was born… But we see his pain; and what is more, we see his life right there in front of him, free from that same pain… As well, we see our chance and calling to help him. So, let’s together do what we can. With your help, Champ’s life will truly be as wonderful as possible no matter what happens.
Why you should be cheering for Champ, too!
Now, why does a little pup from Iqaluit deserve your attention? Well, every once in a while a story comes along that unexpectedly tugs at the heart. While it does nothing to address the large-scale injustices or conflicts in the world, these small opportunities for us to make a real difference feed the soul.
With the tragedy of losing 70 animals at the Gatineau SPCA and all the work rebuilding in the months to come, Champ is a little ray of sunshine in an imperfect world. We have come to know his personality through his fighting spirit and his determination. In spite of his challenges, nothing deters him from exploring, appreciating life and making new friends. In so many ways, Champ is both a reminder of how vulnerable we all are, and of how much joy and happiness a little help can make happen.
Check out his photos and videos and
Follow Champ on Instagram! https://www.instagram.com/champ.a.roo/
Notes from his foster and fan club:
“Our lives have been enriched since Champ arrived last week. Despite the pain, Champ is a bright little light in our daily routine. He enjoys playing with other puppies and pestering his doggie foster mom, Julie, who is also disabled. Tiny Champ bounces through each day, mischievous, affectionate, and playful. The prospect of a lifetime of pain for this special little guy is very difficult to contemplate and we hope that with the surgery proposed by his neurologist, Champ will know what it is like to live without pain, and with luck, regain some feeling in the lower half of his body.” –Susan
"Champ is a happy affectionate pup who soaks up all the love and attention he can get. He's a fun loving little scamp who does his best to keep up with other dogs and his caretakers. He hasn't had it easy, but has a very courageous spirit" – Sam and Evan
“To sum Champ up in to a few words or even a sentence is not an easy thing to do. He is a lot of dog in a tiny body. He is a feisty, tenacious, rambunctious, and determined little pup that has a heart and will to keep going every moment of every day. To me this is what makes a true Champion, and a Champion is what he truly is.” Katie