Although he was born only just this decade, Jake Lucas-Hamm. has already figured out that life can be unfair. He knows that he will be getting presents from Santa Claus soon, and he knows his dog, Spencer, will be getting presents, but what about the dogs and cats at the Mae Bachur Animal Shelter?
“There was this ‘Why?’ look on his face,” says his mother, Rebecca Lucas, when Jake first learned that Santa may not be able to visit the Whitehorse animal shelter.
“He was sad.”
So, this Christmas has found new purpose for four-and-a-half-year-old.
Handling public relations, his mother put the word out on Facebook and its Yukon Buy & Sell page looking for donations for Christmas stockings for the pets-in-waiting at Mae Bachur.
Jake’s father, Michael Hamm, has been driving around picking up the offerings of goodies, toys, and cash. One night was devoted to baking homemade biscuits.
“There’s been quite a few five and 10 dollar donations, just from local people, which has really added up,” says Lucas, noting that donations are coming in electronically, too.
“And Bailey’s Pub & Grill donated a really nice gift basket that was filled right up.”
Then there were donations from Epic Pizza, Midnight Sun Emporium, Cheeky Monkey’s Daycare, Front Street Clothing Company, and Industrial Electric Services.
The goal is to have a stocking that will be suitable for each dog and cat at Mae Bachur.
There is already a pile: there is one big stocking for a cat, and the rest are small. And there are various sizes for various-sized dogs.
Jake brings over a stocking that has been finished and pours out its contents.
There is a big bag of treats, a Kong chew toy, a toy rope-and-tennis-ball contraption, and a leash.
But not just any leash: this one has reflective tape sewn in. Jake explains that this is meant to keep the dogs safe while walking in the dark.
And, last but not least, a tennis ball, which Jake produces with a “Ta-da!”
Spencer thinks Christmas has come early and he bounds over to the table to see.
Lucas explains that Spencer is a “rescue pup” from Mae Bachur. The husky-cross was found in the forest outside of Watson Lake. Many of his brothers and sisters did not survive.
Not only is he the inspiration for the pet stocking operation, “Spencer’s taught Jake to be gentle,” says Lucas.
“He taught me how to play,” Jake chimes in.
Once all of the donations have been collected, and the cash has been used to purchase the rest, the stockings will be completed.
Then, wearing his very own Santa Claus suit, Jake will fill up a sack and take them to the Mae Bachur Animal Shelter for further distribution.
This will happen on Christmas Eve. Last-minute donations can be made by contacting Lucas at 333-0665 or at [email protected]