Second Chance Animal Rescue Society (SCARS) is dedicated to reducing the number of homeless animals in Northern Alberta, Canada

We believe that there is a suitable home for all homeless animals: young or old; large or small.

As a volunteer-run, registered charity, we care for these animals by providing veterinary care and foster homes for animals in need until a permanent home is found. These private foster homes provide the animals with warm shelter, food, exercise, and tender loving care (something that so many of the animals we receive have never experienced).

SCARS does not practice selective intake procedures and operates in a triage manner: taking the animal in most medical need first. As a result our medical expenses are enormous. Please consider donating to our rescue efforts.

Look At Us Now!

To date, SCARS has rescued and rehomed over 3,000 animals.

Because these animals live in our homes, we deveop a very deep bond with our fosters. Many of the adoptive families keep us updated on how well their new companions are thriving in their new homes.

To all the wonderful foster homes, all the tireless volunteers, all the compassionate furever-homes: we say a heartfelt thank-you!

Please support your local rescue society and consider adoption as opposed to buying your new friend.

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Nikki (AKA Tuff, Niko)


Niki is four now and the vet is so amazed at his progress. He is my constant companion.

Thank you all for your tireless work!

Wishing you and your families a very Merry Christmas and all the best in 2009.

Christie and Niki

May 29, 2008

It all started when I kept trying to ‘steal’ my daughter’s beautiful dog ‘Sasha!’ My daughter told me to get my own dog! My younger daughter, Kimi, discovered SCARS and said she was amazed at the variety of pups and dogs on this rescue site! I didn’t want a new puppy, they were easy to adopt, I wanted a dog that would be a great guard dog, large, tough and powerful.

I was immediately drawn to Niko. Not the picture, (the photos never do these beauties justice) not really the story, but something drew me to him, a feeling maybe. He had already been rescued once before.

Now he was back, rescued again.

Niki had spent the last two and a half years in very unfavorable conditions to say the least. Without going into details, I can only say this sweet boy did not learn the social skills puppies need to as they would when they grow up in calm happy homes. It was just the opposite for this pup. Needless to say, his social skills are lacking.

I am so grateful for the patience SCARS has with dogs like him. When Niko was rescued, for the second time, he was too close to being sent to canine-heaven; they came in the nick of time.

When I took him for his first walk, he saw a Doberman, and he ‘reacted’ like an “explosive bolt of lightning,” tore after the other dog, dragging me onto the road into oncoming traffic. (I cannot imagine what happened to him to make him react this way, but whatever occurred, I KNOW it was not his doing!) This is when I decided the 100 pounds of powerful Boxer-Lab and I were not going to die tonight! I tackled him, and rolled onto the sidewalk with him, thankful we were alive. (So were the man and the Doberman who kept running!)

The next day, we started our walks with a full harness, halter and collar, and I attached Niki to my waist with three leads. There was no way this would happen again! I would be ready! As soon as he saw another dog and started to growl, I gave him the very sharp and stern “LEAVE IT!” command. I made sure I was prepared and he knew I meant business. After months of walks, love, talking, love, commands, treats, love, training, love, treats, consistency, and building trust day in, day out, I realized I have a comical canine genius, who is 100% protective, wanting so much to please me. He is loyal, loving, neat and tidy (but I can’t get him to vacuum), great in the car, extremely Mr. Prefect in the house (not so much outside) but improving every day!

I can hardly wait to come home daily so we can play. I had to go to Sleep Country to buy a larger better bed, so we could both be more comfy! (YES really!) He follows me everywhere when I am home. (I’m at home a lot more than ever before because of my sweet Niki!) He has a new girlfriend next door. He adores my daughter and her boyfriend. He has a bed in almost every room and the best organic food money can buy.

He does not bark, rip furniture, make long distance phone calls, whine or destroy anything in the house. He is extremely content when I go to work (why not he gets the great bed all to himself!).
After our walks, he is happy to put his head on my lap as I read in bed or as I sit on the floor. (He never goes on the couch, as it is leather and he slides off! Too funny!) He is so patient and calm. During the night he gently places his large beautiful head on my hip and is so grateful for a warm place to live. (I can see this in his beautiful brown eyes!)

Considering he is lacking social skills, he is amazing with my four little grandchildren. Gentle and sweet and slurpee. (Babies drool, dogs don’t mind wiping it up – isn’t that great?) He loves women, he loves children, and sometimes… men. Niki has three times taken a protective stance in front of me during a walk when a male came too close, each time; rightfully so.

I may never be able to take him to a dog park, and he may not have the same skills other dogs have, but I would never give him up, not for any money. This beauty is a miracle.

So although my right arm is three inches longer than my left, it is no big deal. I can help reach for the cans at the top shelf at the store, so it’s all okay!

Niki would never be the right dog for every family, but he is the perfect dog for me. I am crazy about him. He may protect me, but I will protect him too! He will always have his freedom with me. He will never be chained up again, he will never be hurt in any way, and though he is still head-shy and ducks as I walk by to pat him, I lift his sweet face and let him give me kisses and eventually the pain of the past will start to fade as the love he is getting comes to the surface and drowns the memories he never deserved in the first place.

Thank you so very much SCARS!

Niki’s Mommy


Anonymous said...

It is so wonderful that you two have found each other. Too bad that Nikki had to go thru so much to get to you though. Happy trails!!!
Love, Yvonne who has had many absolutely wonderful and loyal pets from the SPCA. They have enriched my life so very much and I know they loved their lives too as they had so much love as well.

Anonymous said...

It is awesome you grabed him up, we seen he came back and considered taking him, we have his sister Glory, she is almost the same as Nikki (great watch dog)
and loves to give our new baby lots of kisses.
Hope you enjoy each other.
Murray Holinaty

Anonymous said...

You and Nikki sound amazing together - and you sound like you have been very patient! you are so lucky to have found eachother!! Dogs truly are a 'womans' best friend!!

Anonymous said...

your story made me change the way i view my dog now,especially when you said he may not be for everyone but he is for me. I got a canadian eskimo/st bernard at five weeks, from a place where she probably would not have a very good life. She is 3 now, beautiful,loyal, funny and
loves people. But she bit my niece on christmas day requiring 25 stitches.My niece leaned over her from behind and she reacted with a bite. My dog is in quarentine for 10 days now and my poor niece who is in her thirties will be afraid of dogs forever, and she is an animal lover as i am. I feel so bad.
We are cuttenrly trying to research and retrain our dog, we think she is too dominant. We will try our best and keep her away from people. your story
made me realize that my dog may not be able to play with kids or other dogs but we can love her and give her a safe place. She loves her walks
riding in the truck,going in the boat and playing with us.i thank you for your story and wish you a very happy new year.

Anonymous said...

I cried when I read your beautiful story.....Nikki is so fortunate to have found you. Thank you for sharing this....my tears are tears of gratitude for people like you.