“Once you have been given and you have gifted another with trust such as the three of us did, there is a part of you that forever travels with each other” we wrote in our blog entry about Tamar, our hitchhiker. We have thought about Tamar often through the past couple of months as we traveled through Alaska, the Yukon and the Northwest Territories. We thought about her so much, we decided to make a 1,000 mile detour to visit her once more before we headed back south.
Tamar lives in Delta Junction, a town of around 900 hearty souls of deep faith and fortitude. Her family of three (Mitch, Nora and Sibby), came from Oregon about 4 years ago to carve a home and life out of the challenging back country of Alaska. The work that they have done on their 900 acre property is impressive. They live in a comfortable log cabin made from poplar logs, cut and peeled by their own hands. The caribou roast, salad, potatoes, and pesto bread they fed us all came from food they had harvested and it was special as was the fellowship at their table.
We were curious to see if Tamar would welcome us as we had been part of what was undoubtedly one of the hardest weeks of her life. We were happy when she came to us with friendship and enthusiasm and showed us around the wonderful yard and world she was seeking on the day we met her.
One of the hotly debated issues in animal behavior is whether animals have emotions. Neither of us has ever felt any debate as we know that animal emotions are powerful, real, and one of the most enriching parts of our relationship with the natural world. In the final two photos below, look carefully into Tamar’s eyes in the photo in our van just hours before she was to be reunited with her family and look at her eyes in the photos from our visit. She is, now, a happy dog as she found the people she loved and the place she calls home.
As we hugged our new friends and hosts goodbye, Tamar barked happily and the sound she made was not remotely related to that lonely howl in the Visitor Center that had drawn us back to her side in July. As we got ready to drive away, Nora asked if we might want one of Tamar’s puppies in the future. We laughed and said to call us if we were back on the continent as we know that this Husky’s lineage is special. In fact, there is a part of her that will always travel with us and a part of us that belongs to her.
Posted in the town of North Pole, Alaska