Icy Bond: Father Constructs Custom Snow Forts for Cold-Loving Rescue Husky

“I think she would have laid there all day” ❤️

When Amanda Killen and her partner, Phil, first met Sakari, they could see she hadn’t had an easy life.

“Phil and I went to see the potential dogs that this person was rehoming as we wanted to add an older dog to our home,” Killen told The Dodo. “We had no idea what we were walking into.”

Sakari had spent most of her days in a cramped kennel with 40 other dogs. Sold to a notorious breeder as a puppy, playing and enjoying the outdoors had become a distant memory for the husky.

Amanda Killen

At the time of their visit in December 2021, the breeder was already being investigated by the New Brunswick SPCA, and, luckily, the remaining dogs at the mill were seized and rescued shortly after Killen and Phil visited.

“When we arrived, the first dog she brought out for us to see was Sakari,” Killen said. “Sakari immediately laid down at our feet on her back in a submissive state. We knew in the back of our minds that this was the girl for us.”

Amanda Killen

Although Sakari was shy and scared, she was immediately affectionate towards Killen.

“We decided we’d take Sakari home with us,” Killen said. “I opened the back hatch to my vehicle, and she immediately jumped in.”

“We knew Sakari was our soulmate as soon as we brought her home [because] she showed us so much love and trust so quickly,” Killen added.

Amanda Killen

Sakari was nervous when she arrived at her new home. But after realizing she was finally safe, her personality shifted, and she’s become so much happier.

“She is still very concerned with any change in our house,” Killen said. “Small changes scare her, whether it’s a piece of furniture moved or something new added to the house.”

She’s also not a fan of loud noises or fast movements and is a bit wary of adult strangers. But Killen said she’s great with kids and other animals and loves taking care of her new baby.

Amanda Killen

But two things Sakari loves are her dad and snow. Killen told The Dodo last year that Sakari immediately bonded with Phil when she first came home and looks to him for comfort when she’s feeling uneasy. And the two of them really bonded over their love for playing in the snow.

“Phil just kind of started putting snow on her [one day]. She just laid there, so he kept burying her!” Killen said. “I think she would have laid there all day.”

Unfortunately, last winter in New Brunswick, it was too mild for a lot of snowfall, and Phil wasn’t able to build Sakari another snow fort.

“She still loved rolling in the snow and sticking her face in the little we did get through!” Killen said.

And Sakari is lucky enough to have parents who love to spoil her in other ways, too.

“Sakari gets spoiled with cuddles, treats, a cozy bed and the freedom to be in the house or outside running in her fenced-in yard,” Killen said, adding that Sakari’s favorite place to be is snuggled up in her bed behind the couch — “close to her humans but out of the way of any foot traffic.”

Husky in the snow

Killen said Sakari has come such a long way since her days in the breeding pen, adding that it took her and Phil a lot of time, commitment and patience to earn her full trust and make her feel comfortable in her forever home.

“It’s not always easy rescuing [dogs] — sometimes they can be destructive or suffer from severe separation anxiety,” Killen said. “Once you overcome the issues, the love you get from them is so incredible.”

“It’s so rewarding to watch rescues open up and realize that they don’t have to be scared or worried anymore,” she continued.

Amanda Killen

Sakari is finally getting the life she deserves — one filled with family, love and lots (and lots!) of snow.


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