Wiley's Rescue Road Trip
On January 25, we embarked on a 1,600 mile journey through the mid-west on a mission to find a better life for a long-term shelter dog.
Wiley, a proud and beautiful Husky mix, had been overlooked and misunderstood longer than any dog should endure. We were determined to go the distance to find a forever home for Wiley, the pup who had become family to us at Buddy Dog. Read his story and follow our mission to find a better life for a deserving dog.
Scroll down to read about Wiley, the adventure of his life, and photos of our journey
Update: Wiley has been adopted!
Wiley's dream has come true; he has officially been adopted! His story has been an inspirational journey through human kindness and respect for life - even (..especially) the life of one dog in a chaotic world.
From his foster family in Nebraska: "Wiley's (and all of ours, really) dream has come true. He is adopted! He has his very own forever dad, and his very own forever home. We’re not even going to pretend that there were not tears, both happy and sad. We will miss him terribly - just as all his friends and shelter family in MA undoubtedly still do. But sometimes rescue is about tears. In Wiley's case, the happy tears far outweigh the sad. They say there is “someone for everyone,” and after this weekend I could not be more convinced of this. Wiley knew it too. He befriended - in his own Wiley way - his new dad in less than 2 hours. It has been such a joy to be part of his journey. We may have given him a foster home, but he gave us so much more. He gave us a challenge. He showed us what can happen when seemingly unconnected rescue operations work together. He reminded us why we foster, and most of all he reminded us that every life deserves a chance. Thanks to everyone at Buddy Dog for not giving up on him. Thanks for reaching out to Taysia Blue Rescue, and thanks for trusting us to do right by Wiley. Wiley is going to be loved and spoiled, and will get to keep learning new things."
After being rescued from euthanasia due to space constraints in a New York City shelter, Wiley was brought to Buddy Dog where he had forged many strong bonds among both people and dogs. However, after an unsuccessful adoption, we learned quickly that he was not going to be a typical house pet; this proud and intelligent dog needed a home committed to breaking down his emotional wall that barred him from accepting leadership from people and developing trust. Wiley was his own boss, and he expressed this status in no uncertain terms. Perhaps steeled by the unexpected changes this dog had been subjected to in his young life, Wiley would let few into his heart. Only those who he interacted with on a daily basis and provided his daily care could enjoy his friendship, but never a stranger or hopeful adopter.
In the time that Wiley waited for the right person to come along, we spoiled him as best we could: long walks through the woods, off-site training classes, special diets, soft beds and new toys daily, kiddie pools to splash in, and countless hours of play with the many dogs who came through our doors. But that fabled adopter never came through, and the longer Wiley remained with us, we knew his chances of finding a forever home would diminish. It pained us that the Wiley we knew - an affectionate, athletic, dignified, and incredibly honest dog - continued to be buried in the adoption pool behind his "tough-guy" act, while his chances of finding a home diminished. But we loved Wiley, and through the hours, weeks, and months we spent with him, he began to feel like a family member and less like a shelter dog. We were determined not to fail him.
In a cloud of emails, phone calls, and web searches, a thread of light broke through: a Husky rescue and re-homing group based in Omaha Nebraska accepted our request for help.
Taysia Blue, a non-profit network of experienced foster homes specializing in huskies struggling to find homes, graciously and enthusiastically embraced Wiley's rescue mission. Through their behavioral expertise and experience, they were confident they could provide Wiley a foster family that would pave his way to finally be adopted into his forever home. It felt as though this program was made just for Wiley.
And this is how a 1,600 mile journey began to find Wiley a better life. Due to various complications with flying Wiley in airline cargo, driving became our safest and surest option. From Boston to a rural town south of Omaha, Wiley's road-trip would be an adventure of a lifetime, and an experience in human kindness and generosity.
This may seem like a lot of effort for one shelter dog, but we strongly believe that every dog has intrinsic worth and deserves our best effort to provide them a good life. They depend on us for everything, as we have designed dogs to be, and deserve the most we can give them.
Friday, January 25, 2019
Buddy Dog Humane Society; Sudbury MA
The Journey Begins!
Here is Wiley's last photo at Buddy Dog Humane Society! After saying farewell to all his friends, packing the car, and firing up the GPS, Wiley and 2 Buddy Dog staff members hit the road. Wiley may have left Buddy Dog today, but his fond memory will always remain there - in the hearts of the people and dogs who bonded with him. It's been amazing to see everyone come together to help one dog make a journey of a lifetime. Thank you to everyone who has rooted for and contributed to this cause, we are eternally grateful and uplifted by the outpouring of support!
Scenic Hudson's Long Dock Park; Beacon NY
As the sun set 3 hours into the first leg of the journey, we stopped at Scenic Hudson's Long Dock Park to stretch our legs and take in the first sight of the journey: the immense and breathtaking frozen Hudson River. Wiley couldn't get enough of the sights and smells, and the eerie sounds of the ice churning and settling. This was the first scenery Wiley had gazed upon outside of his home in Sudbury, Massachusetts. There was no denying the excitement and joy in his body language!
Wiley eagerly led us around the park, happily sniffing the snow and grass (we wonder if there was something about New York, the state where he originally came from, that he recognized?) He was strong on leash (understandably excited!) but otherwise minded his manners despite the other people and dogs enjoying the park. When it was time to resume the drive, Wiley happily jumped back in the car and settled in for a nap.
After driving end-to-end through Pennsylvania with one quick gas stop and potty break, we arrived at our hotel in Elyria OH just around 1:30am. It was a tough, cold, and dark drive but we made it through sheer determination (and caffeine)! We couldn't have been prouder of Wiley's behavior; we would watch for his head to pop up in the rear-view mirror as he took a quick survey of the scenery every so often, before settling back down into the little nest we made for him in the back of our SUV rental. We knew this trip would be a test of endurance, but it was such a relief to know that Wiley was as willing and eager to make this journey as we were! After a quick walk through the enchanting snowfall that only happens in the sleepy early morning hours, we settled in for a much needed rest.
Saturday January 26, 2019
Indiana Dunes State Park - Lake Michigan IN
A couple hours after leaving Ohio, we took a short detour to see Lake Michigan at Indiana Dunes State Park. It had us measly humans chilled to the bone, but Wiley could've enjoyed the park for hours! He is truly an indomitable husky. The lake was a beautiful arctic scene - the white snowy beach blending into the ice shelf, black freezing water in the distance. It was our last stop before plunging into farm land that would lead us all the way to Nebraska.
The Final Haul!
Wiley is Home
Sunday, January 27, 2019
"Wiley is home.
Words are hard to find. This whole adventure has been a heartwarming experience. On the road, we got to know Wiley as a companion and friend, not just as a "shelter dog". He was amazingly well behaved; he did not make a fuss in the car and was able to enjoy our hotel room off leash. For two days, Wiley was just our dog, our pet, on a road-trip.
I think we were all anxious about introductions, but when Wiley began to play with his foster friends right away, we knew he was home. And his usual tough-guy guard crumbled quickly after spending a few minutes with his husky-loving foster parents.
We left Wiley on 15 acres of Nebraska farmland surrounded by streams, orchards, the noises of chickens clucking in the distance, a fenced play yard, and (my favorite) a cozy crate to sleep in beside a wood-burning stove. Months of planning, hundreds of dollars raised and spent, and 1600 miles on the road - we would do it again in a heartbeat.
Thank you to the truly kind-hearted and devoted people of Taysia Blue Husky & Malamute Rescue for giving Wiley the loving home he desperately needed and deserved. We will be forever grateful."
~ Julie & Corinne, Buddy Dog Humane Society
January 29, 2019
"As Wiley settles in for night 3 in Nebraska, he and we, his new foster parents would like to give huge heartfelt thanks to Corinne and Julie, and everyone else from Buddy Dog who never gave up on this boy. He has integrated into our pack well, and it is all because of your dedication and work with him. Thanks for letting us help him find his forever."
~ Foster Mom @ Taysia Blue, Nebraska
Thursday, January 31, 2019
"Today I was able to scratch Wiley’s ears AND scratch his neck under his collar (on the back, not his chest.) I love that he is letting his guard down. Some time next week we are going to try meeting a new person! We are all glad the Midwest deep freeze is over for now. Although Wiley loved his sub-zero walks!"
~ Foster Mom @ Taysia Blue, Nebraska
Tuesday, February 5, 2019
"Wiley has mostly settled into our routine, and what is his “new normal.” He LOVES his daily walks - no matter the temperature or wind chill! He quickly learned that meal times and bed time are in his kennel, and he goes in willingly and settles down quickly. He still loves to play with his foster siblings, but is becoming more bossy as he feels more comfortable. Fortunately he is taking our verbal corrections well and learning that bossy is not ok. We can touch and pet him freely, and he loves to be where we are. This weekend he will be meeting some new people. We know that will be a challenge for him, but we also know he’s up to it! His house manners are excellent for a dog that hadn’t been in a house in years, and he has finally decided it’s ok to really relax every once in awhile!"
~ Foster Mom @ Taysia Blue, Nebraska
Saturday, February 9, 2019
Wiley is officially an adoptable pup through Taysia Blue Rescue! To see videos and photos, check out his profile page!
Thursday, March 7, 2019
"Hey guys, it’s me... Wiley! Sorry I haven’t posted in awhile, but I have been so busy having fun and learning new things! Did you know that in Nebraska it snows EVERY weekend! My foster parents say my leash skills are excellent, so now I am learning a new way to walk. Belt walking with my BFF (best foster friend) Mika. Today was my first go at it, and foster dad said I did amazing.
Apparently there is something called adoption, where nice people take doggies like me home to live their forever. And there is a nice man coming next weekend to meet me, and maybe do the adoption. I am unsure of this, but foster mom & dad say I am ready. Taysia Blue has amazing adoption counselors and have fully vetted this human, so I guess it might be ok. Either way, I know foster mom & dad got my back. I’ll keep you posted."
Photos of Wiley in his Foster Home
@ Taysia Blue, Nebraska
Click on the video to watch. Click on each photo in the album to see a bigger version