BY ROLLY A. CHABOT

Preparations had been going on since mid-August to prepare for yet another winter in the Yukon. As famous as they were reported to be in the south, they were a way of life for those who were willing to call the Yukon home. He had heard all the stories before he arrived four years ago, and yet he decided to call this home – and home it had become.

His cabin was located just across from the Wolf Creek Campground, barely visible from the Alaska Highway. It was a simple place, a three-room bungalow, an upright log cabin and a palace compared to some of the places he had lived over the years.

It was nestled in the trees overlooking Wolf Creek, and to the west was Golden Horn Mountain, as it was called. Sunrise gave the mountain its name as it would golden in colour, a breathtaking sight most days.

Tonight, as he looked out the window, the cloudy grey skies were already starting to release the first snow of the year. Environment Canada had just released a heavy-snowfall advisory and they were calling for 12 inches of snow before morning.

He was glad this was Friday night and he would not need to put his old van through the morning test. His faithful friend, “Tannis Mountain”, an American cocker spaniel that he had rescued a few years ago, sat at the window as well.

He had been working with the Yukon Humane Society when he received a call one night that if someone did not come and get this dog, they would destroy it themselves. As the story unfolded, some friends had left the dog with these people while they went on holidays. That had been three months prior and they had just learned that the couple had divorced while they were Outside.

When he arrived, he found the saddest-looking dog he had ever seen, stuck in a small enclosure, covered in her own mess. He had taken the dog home that night and had suffered several bites as she was not overly friendly.

He later learned that she had been badly abused while in their care. The following morning he took her to the local groomer to be cleaned; after all, who would ever adopt her in the state she was in.

It was when he saw her after she had been groomed that he decided to call her his. She turned out to be a great dog that loved to fish and travel. She lived for another 14 years after that, had a love for life and they shared many great fishing trips together.

Never give up on an animal as they will love you no matter what you do to them. She was so faithful; because of her love, he had made it through some difficult times. Today, Tannis rests in northern Alberta in a special place that she loved. Do I miss her? Of course … she was a huge part of my life.

Rolly A. Chabot is a pastor and a freelance writer who lives in central Alberta, but who has travelled throughout the Yukon for many years. Stories from these travels will be told in a series of novels. Contact him at [email protected]