Welcome home, Sabre
Husky pup makes round-trip from Fort Simpson to Nahanni Butte

Derek Neary
Northern News Services

FORT SIMPSON (Oct 22/99) - Jennifer Thistle was beginning to wonder if she'd ever see her puppy again.

Sabre, her three-month-old husky, went missing three weeks ago while she was staying with her aunt and uncle in Fort Simpson. She arrived at their house after school one day to find her dear pet missing.

"My uncle assumed I had took him, but I didn't," she recalled.

Jennifer, 13, had picked out Sabre from a litter of 10 and brought him home at around six weeks of age.

"He was the fluffiest one," she said.

Distraught, she began making flyers that read, "Lost puppy. Male dog named 'Sabre' (husky). Please let Sabre come home.'"

Two weeks passed without a word.

"I thought someone in town had him and they wouldn't give him back," she remarked. "I still wanted him back."

Jennifer's mom, Liza, remained philosophical about the situation.

"My opinion was if it was meant to be, the dog might show up," she said.

Then a phone call came. Not from within Fort Simpson, but from Nahanni Butte. Liza's niece, Delores, called to tell her that someone in the community recognized the dog from a recent trip to Fort Simpson.

"She (Delores) asked if it likes to bite your shoes," Jennifer said. "And my mom said, 'Yes.'"

But how did he get there? Well, apparently someone from Nahanni Butte who was visiting Fort Simpson drove off with him.

"I guess he thought he was just a stray so he went and took it," Jennifer speculated.

Since the dog matched the description and answered to the name Sabre, Delores put the energetic pup on a plane to Fort Simpson. When Liza and Jennifer arrived at Wolverine Air, there was no doubt about the puppy's identity.

"I was so happy. I said, 'Oh my God, it's Sabre,'" a smiling Jennifer recalled.

Liza added, "Even before we saw it, we heard him howl. He has this really distinctive little cry ... it was pretty emotional for her (Jennifer). This is the first pup that she's really brought up on her own. She's pretty happy with him."

There's one last thing that Liza and Jennifer have planned to do...

"Now we get him tagged and collared," Liza said.