Issy’s Story

Issy was brought into SADN’s care in March of 2018, when he was an unintentional victim of a fire at a garbage dump located on a remote, fly-in first nation community in Manitoba. When it was realized that he had been injured and had escaped the fire, individuals within the community worked together with our volunteers to capture the frightened dog, who was hiding and in distress due to his injuries.

The pictures above were taken by a resident on the community who forwarded them to Save A Dog Network Canada, advising that this dog had been badly burned and attempts to capture him were unsuccessful.

A SADN volunteer sponsored the cost of a net to assist with the capture, and on March 18th, 2018, Issy was finally rescued and boarded a flight into Winnipeg where he was then received by SADN volunteers at approximately 8:00PM that same day. The wonderful staff and volunteers at Tuxedo Veterinary Clinic remained open after-hours specifically for Isgwideh, where he was immediately brought after arriving in the city.

Successfully captured, the burned dog (named Isgwideh, meaning “fire” in Ojicree) is being received and transported into veterinary care by SADN volunteers.

Issy went into the careful hands of Dr. Watson, where he was cleaned, sedated and had surgery to remove the badly damaged skin and tissues that resulted from his burns. He also received a plasma transfusion, donated by the Canadian Animal Blood Bank! By March 24th, Issy’s wounds were healing nicely, one of his eyes (damaged in the fire) was blinking and he was already standing on his own! His appetite had also returned, and he was taking food and even wagging his tail for veterinary staff and SADN volunteers.

He sustained extensive surface wounds to his face and side, but thankfully no muscle or underneath tissue was damaged as a result of the fire. Raw honey from Faith Apiaries, together with a hydrating cream, was used to enhance the healing of his sensitive skin.

(left) Save A Dog Network Canada’s President & Founder, Katie Powell, visits with Isgwideh at Tuxedo Veterinary Clinic.

(right) Pictured above is Dr. Stuart-Altman, receiving kisses from Issy (photo taken on March 26th, 2018.

By March 25th, his IV was removed and he was eating and drinking comfortably, and on March 29th, he was transferred to Central Veterinary Services to continue his healing under the care of the amazing Dr. Stuart-Altman, who spent the next week helping Issy regain his health and strength so he could leave the hospital environment and finish recovering within a foster environment.

On March 29th, Issy was finally permitted to break-free from the veterinary environment and went into foster care with one of SADN’s most involved fosters and volunteers. Though still requiring checkups, routine changing of his bandages, and carefully administered medication and antibiotics, Issy is was recovering well within a home setting!

A day after arrival at his temporary foster home, Issy is already feeling playful and is enjoying the attention, yummy food and plentiful toys at his disposal. (Video shot on March 30th, 2018.)

Throughout the month of April of 2018, Issy continued to heal and flourish, while making sure to fit in lots of cuddle time with his foster mom as well as play time with his two fur-sisters, Puppers and Smalls (fosters own dogs). Despite having four different beds to choose from, Issy claimed one of the living-room chairs as his own loft, and was caught snoozing away on several occasions.

Isgwideh has been recovering amazingly well and it warms our hearts so much to watch him improve every day – he has been growing into the most wonderful dog he can and we could not be more proud of him!

On April 29th, 2018, Issy has healed enough to try out a harness – he has been enjoying the fresh air and helping out with yard work.

Looking good, little one!

Although healing remarkably well, Issy still requires routine changing of his bandages and protective shirts to keep him from worrying at his healing skin – Dr. Stuart-Altman got in contact with a wonderful lady named Phyl from Cupcakes Pommy & Friends Rescue, and when she heard about Issy’s clothing need, she created a custom fitted medical shirt especially for him! We were so grateful to receive this incredible gift and our heartfelt thanks goes out to Phyl and our friends at Cupcakes Pommy & Friends Rescue – thank you so, so much!!

Issy shows off his new custom medical shirt to veterinary staff and volunteers at his favourite clinic, Central Veterinary Services! He has made so many friends here and it was exciting for him to visit with them for his check-ups.

Our friends in Ontario at The Animal Guardian Society (TAGS) reserved a place for Issy in their care, and with both delight and sadness that it was announced Issy would be leaving Winnipeg on the first of June. This will be the next phase in this beautiful boy’s story and we are so excited to see him so close to finding his forever home.

Issy’s foster mom created a lovely video tribute to Issy – the hardest part of fostering (and the most rewarding as well) are the emotional bonds that are formed with the innocent lives taken into care.

click here to view the video tribute created in honor of Issy.

On May 25th, 2018, Issy’s foster mom and SADN Coordinator Nichole Porth was interviewed by Global News and had the opportunity to share Issy’s story! Click here to read the article.

Click here to read the article on Global News.

On May 26th, 2018, the day after his feature on Global News, there was a Goodbye Party hosted in honor of Issy, inviting those whose lives have been impacted by this brave dog with the opportunity to pay him a final visit and say their farewells. Issy thoroughly enjoyed an afternoon of pets and attention as his friends here in Winnipeg said their goodbyes.

Taken during the May 26 Goodbye Party, SADN’s Fire Dog enjoys some adoring attention from volunteers who have been involved and/or impacted by Issy’s story.

Less than three months after he was seriously wounded, Issy had finally recovered enough to leave SADN’s care in Winnipeg, and continue his journey east to our rescue partners at TAGS, where he would continue his recovery and find a forever home. On the morning of June 1st, 2018 (a Friday), Issy was driven to the airport and loaded onto a flight east-bound to Ontario, where volunteers would be waiting for his arrival.

Issy’s final moments in Winnipeg, already secured inside his crate with a blanket and a teddy.

His departure was bittersweet to those involved with this sweet boy’s recovery, and a touching post was made by Issy’s foster mom the day he left:

A short flight later, we received confirmation from our partners that Issy had arrived in Ontario! He arrived safely and in good humour, eager to meet new people. Issy has been one of our bravest rescues and demonstrates on arrival that he knows he is in good company – we could not be more happy for Issy!

After arriving in Ontario, Issy was taken straight home by his (eagerly awaiting) foster mom, and was settling in quite nicely by the end of that first day. He still has a ways to go before he has fully recovered physically from his injuries, but that has not dampened his enthusiasm one bit! Within twenty-four hours of arrival at his new foster home, Issy was having a blast exploring his new family’s house and yard, playing with his foster-owned dog and had even taking a dip in the swimming pool!

(left & center) Relaxing in the warm afternoon sunlight, Issy poses for some photos in his new backyard.
(right) Posing (again!) Issy relaxes inside with his teddy-bear. This is the same bear that was given to Issy when he was first brought to hospital in Winnipeg, and was a gift from two sweet girls who were moved by Issy’s story and wanted to do something for him. Issy’s foster mom made sure to pack the teddy-bear with him for his flight to Ontario.

You are going to have such an amazing life, sweet boy! Issy currently remains in foster care but we look forward to news of his adoption soon – watch this page for updates.

Thank you for reading Issy’s Story – please visit our Happy Tails page for more stories on dogs who have come through SADN’s network and have since found their forever homes.