Kuruk: The Little Bear that Could

We have the pleasure of featuring a guest post by Kuruk (with Julianne Victoria)   

I was born near Wasilla, Alaska into a large pack of 170 Alaskan Malamutes.  That’s much bigger than wolf packs, but we haven’t been wolves for thousands of years. We much prefer to be with people, helping them work and lounging with them.  But my pack was trapped in this place that humans call a puppy mill.

I vaguely remember playing with my siblings when we were very small and free to wrestle in the snow and explore a little.  Mostly, though, I remember being on that four-foot chain, like all of my pack family.  I tried to make the most of it by learning how to play without getting all twisted up.  I must have learned well, because my Mama now says I am like Houdini (whoever that is) and can get unwrapped no matter how tangled I might get my leash.

My puppyhood was not easy.  Often we didn’t have enough to eat or drink and survived by eating snow with a little dirt.  I didn’t like it, but I didn’t know anything else.  When I was about one year old, things got even worse and some of our pack started to die.  The grandparent pups told us kids stories about warm, dry homes where pups lived alongside humans and got lots of food, water, and best of all…treats!  I didn’t know what that was, but they made it sound awesome.

One day when all seemed hopeless, some humans came and put us all in crates and trucks.  I was terrified.  I had never left this place I called home.  They took all of us to a shelter where we were inspected by doctors.  My anxiety was so severe that I was put on medication.  I don’t know if it helped because I was still very nervous and shy, but at least I now had food.

After a few months, four of us were put into crates and flown to Seattle by the Washington Alaskan Malamute Adoption League (WAMAL).  They gave me the name “Kuruk,” which means “Bear” in the Native American Pawnee language.

After a short stay in a kennel I went to live with Foster Mama Miss Cindy and her two snow pups, Tara and Timber.  She took us hiking a lot, but everything was so new that my anxiety was bad.  After about a month I started to understand the leash thing and even like the hikes.  Tara was my shining star—she showed me to trust humans and enjoy nature.

And then a lady named Mama and a big Malamute named Simba came to visit me. They asked if I would like to live with them.  I was shy and nervous, but I said ok.  The day before my new Mama took me home, I approached Miss Cindy for the first time and crawled on her lap to say thank you for all she did for me.

My Mama took to my very own home.  The stories the grandparent pups had told us were true—I couldn’t believe it!  I still needed lots of healing, but over time I got better and better.  Big brother Simba taught me everything he knew, and Mama poured lots of love into me.  I gained 50 pounds since being rescued, was quickly off the medication, eventually stopped pacing all the time, and slowly got used to people.  Children were especially frightening, but now, two years later, I like to give them kisses.

It’s been a long journey.  Sometimes I’m still a little shy around strangers, but usually I will say hello.  Mama is very proud of me.  I even had the courage to start my own poetry blog, www.haikubyku.com.  I am also working on completing a book about my rescue story, including some haiku, and will donate a portion of the proceeds to animal rescue groups.

I am so thankful for being rescued, and I want to help other animals like me.  We all deserve to be loved!  Wooooowooooooo!

• When you buy dogs from pet stores (and some private owners), you are likely buying from puppy mills.  The exceptions are PetSmart and PetCo, which feature adoptable pets from local rescues and shelters.  Please adopt from rescue organizations/shelters.  One in four pets in shelters nationwide is a purebred.

•• To view a video about Kuruk’s rescue, please view: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IZeBOs9gqXQ

•••  To be a guest blogger, please contact us via our contact page or at untoldanimalstories@gmail.com   We’d be delighted!