It’s anybody’s guess how long Enya might have been wandering the streets and beaches of a remote rural area on the lower South Coast of KZN; however she had planned her timing just right when she was walking the beach looking for scraps left lying around by the locals during a fishing competition. Her rescuers spotted her, managed to find a peace of strap lying around with which to fashion a lead, captured the then nameless little waif and bundled her into the car. A few phone calls later that Sunday afternoon June 13th, 2010, and she was on her way to Lebanon Husky Rescue in Hillcrest, a two hour drive away

Enya arrived and we were horrified to see this poor little mite’s condition, and a mite she was, full of mange and skin and bone. My father took her face into his hands and said, “Don’t worry; grandpa’s going to look after you now!” And so began our journey with a remarkable dog. We took her into the house after a little walk around the garden, gave her some food and water and settled her into her very own little bed in a safe dark corner of the house.

Enya was virtually hairless on many parts of her body. She had sores all over, around her ears, eyes and her tail looked like an old dried out piece of leather with scabs on it. She would go out for little walks to do her business, but did not tarry to read the daily emails, she would literally turn around and high-tail it back to the house as if to say: “thanks, that’s enough of outside for me already!”

A day after her rescue a cold front arrived with snow and rain. There were reports from AACL of other less fortunate dogs that did not survive that very cold Tuesday night. I believe Enya would have had the same fate. I went out to buy her a little blanket jacket, the girls in the shop laughed at me, wondering out loud why on earth I wanted a jacket for a husky. When I fetched her from the car they weren’t laughing any more.

The changes in Enya’s appearance and in her personality were remarkable, even after just 3 months. She pranced around like a Lipizzaner horse so proud of who she had become, a beautiful girl, still in the process of coming into her own outwardly but who has gained confidence and smiled all day because of the love she has received from every person whose heart she had stolen...! The photos speak for themselves...!

But the story does not end there...

The KZN Sleddog Club was established in February 2010 as an extension of Husky Rescue, firstly to get more people involved with Husky Rescue but most importantly to create an outlet of activity and stimulation for the rescues. During the course of 2011 the Club members decided to take their recreational sport of Dryland Sledding a little more seriously and participate in a National Championship, and so began our historical journey. The KZN Sleddog Club is the first Club of its kind in our province and this would be the first time a KZN Club participates in a National Championship in the 20 year long history of this sport in South Africa. There are several classes namely beginner, intermediate and advanced as well as several disciplines namely Cani-cross, Bikejoring, Scootering and 4 to 8 dog Team Carting that ‘mushers and their dogs’ can participate in.

We had a young lady join our club but without owning her own husky – no problem as Lebanon Husky Rescue has many to share. And so our young musher started training with Enya to do a 5km Woman’s Cani Cross Event. Finally, after several months of slogging while watching the early morning sun rises we were packed and ready to embark on a 12 hour journey to the Northern Cape to a little town called Colesberg (Coldsbrrrrg is more like it!) early August this year. We had 11 entrants in the various classes and 17 huskies (9 of which were from Lebanon Husky Rescue).

It was an awesome weekend filled with frost bite, meeting amazing people, frost bite, enjoying new adventures and – wait for it – more frost bite! And our dogs did us proud – beyond expectation! We returned home bursting with joy having earned 2 gold medals, 1 silver and 1 bronze. And what does this have to do with Enya you must be asking – well, she was one of our gold medallists!

Enya’s story underlines our Club Motto, “Never underestimate the inimitable spirit of a Siberian Husky”. But it also underlines the fact that we should never give up when we believe strongly enough in something. We believed in Enya’s ability to recover from her ordeal, and she most certainly did not let us down.

Enya, we are proud of you, and Rachel, thank you for giving her the opportunity to prove herself!