Nanook (aka Nook, Nookers) ?? to May 11, 2007
estimated age when we said goodbye: 9-11 years

We called this the "chicken leg"

Our very own
"Red Hat Lady"


Nanook.........what a character she was. She was one of the first dogs taken in after Golden Years opened in the fall of 2000. Seems her owner liked the newer dog they had just gotten so they dumped Nook at a kill shelter. A short time after arriving she got a tad too carried away with the "Malamute scoot" and tore the cruciate ligament on her left back leg. She required ACL surgery and fortunately some funding had become available to us. When taking x-rays we learned several things about Nook....sad things actually. She had been shot at (buckshot showed up), she had probably been hit by a car (based on some poorly healed bone) and she had ACL surgery on the other back leg at some point in her short life. She was estimated to be between 2-4 years old in 2000. Naturally this surgery required a long period of no activity other that potty runs. Nook was kept in Shirley's house and Nook proceeded to adopt Shirley's husband John. She was officially adopted by Shirley & John just in time for Christmas 2000.

Nanook had an incredible personality and boy was she opinionated! Never at a loss for words that's for sure. She made sure visitors knew that they must come and pet HER first before visiting any of the rescue dogs.

There was a bit of a scare as Nook started favoring her front leg. We learned she had early stage nerve sheath cancer and it was caught before it spread too far. The vet got all of the cancer and thankfully it never came back.

In July of 2002 we had an unexpected litter of puppies born to one of the rescue girls named Nikki. All but one died and the survivor was hand raised by Shirley's daughter. Nook didn't know what to make of that tiny little thing. Normally Nook was very dog aggressive but she must have known this little puppy had a rough start in life, so Nook became the puppy's big playground. Eventually the puppy found a new home and Nook had the house to herself again (with the exception of several cats).

As Nook got older arthritis really set in especially in her hind legs and hips. She had her stiff way of walking and it was pretty funny to see her making the rounds begging for food from any visitor eating there. I (Carol) told Nook I knew she was not about to faint from starvation so she wouldn't get anything from me.

As you can see in the "checken leg" picture this girl had some pretty bad hips. Looking down on her when she'd be sleeping like this was pretty funny they way those legs rolled forward like that. It was hard to believe she could be comfortable like that! In the winter she loved laying out in the snow no matter how cold it was. In the spring and summer she had her favorite lilac bush that she would lay under and snooze away.

Nook had been overweight and she started to lose a few pounds. We didn't think much of it. Then she couldn't keep food down very well and lost a lot of weight. Eventually no food would stay down, not even water. Shirley got her to the vet to see what was going on. Nook was there several days and nothing turned up on blood or urine workups. After being on IV fluids she did seem to improve a bit, but then took a turn for the worse. I (Carol) got up there (I'm an hour away from Shirley's) so we could go up to the vet. X-rays were done that morning. One look and we knew we would be saying goodbye to this very special girl. There was fluid build up in her lungs and chest cavity and there was a large mass in her was cancer.......we went back to where Nook was staying and the poor girl tried so hard to stand up..she thought we were taking her home. We got down on the floor with her and loved on her for the last time. She went very peacefully to the Rainbow Bridge, her head in Shirley's lap, where she was probably met by all of the Golden Years alumnai that got there before her. She is now buried at Shirley's under a lilac bush. Godspeed Nanook and wear that silver harness with pride dear girl............

Nanook will live on forever, captured so perfectly by Shannon Darch of Animates. Nook is the Mal at the end of the sled with her Geritol in her backpack ready to kick up her paws (this art is on the t-shirts and sweatshirts we sell each year). She is also on the holiday artwork we have used on our Christmas cards.

Nook is nanny for this little puppy (Shayna)

A memorial poem for Nanook by Margaret from the Mal-L listserve group


I walked her to the Bridge today.
I didn't want to do it.
She was ill, so very ill,
Yes, I knew that I would stay.

I held that big, beloved head
So gently in my lap.
I stroked, I cried, my heart had broke,
I said all that could be said.

Nanook left her pain behind
And rose into the sky.
She runs and plays, has happy days
With many of her kind.

My house is quiet, she is not here
Loudly telling me what to do.
The memories, though bittersweet,
Bring back smiles and tears.

And someday soon I know I'll see
My precious Nookers girl.
Back together again, both of us,
The way it was meant to be.