Posted by: Dave Neads | March 7, 2009

Bringing Home the Puppy

Klaus finally made his decision. He was going to get a Komondor. The new dog would replace his Great Pyrenees, Dia, who had been killed by a buck deer last fall. Choosing the new stock guard dog was the easy part, getting it into the Precipice was another matter all together.

There aren’t many Komondor breeders.  Klaus had found one in Whitehorse who was expecting pups at Christmas, so he ordered one.  When it reached 8 weeks the pup was old enough to be flown to Vancouver where another breeder from Aldergrove had agreed to be the transition point between flights, as the little guy would then be flown to Anahim Lake where we would pick him up and bring him home by snowmachine.

We headed for town Monday morning, riding two skidoos, one for back-up and my larger one to carry the dog crate.   The weather was okay but as we neared the logging road where my truck was parked, the snow and clouds started to roll in, obscuring the mountains surrounding us. The closer we got to Anahim Lake ,the thicker it became but just as we rounded the airport corner the clouds lifted a little, so we were sure things would be fine for the plane to land.  No tower at our Anahim airport!

The administration office is small, so we could hear the pilot talking to the ground crew as she was making her final approach.  Even though we had enough ceiling over the airport, a snow squall just south of the runway obscured visibility below acceptable limits and the pilot radioed she was going to abort the landing attempt and return to Vancouver.

So there we sat, eyeballing the lowering cloudbanks, absorbing the radio chat and the import of the turboprop’s thrum as it bore unseen through the slate grey murk above us, GPS-ing it back to Vancouver.  So near, yet so far.  Even worse, when I called Rosemary she told us that the sun had broken through over the Precipice. In fact, she had seen the plane go over on its way to Anahim.

Oh, well.  Back to the snow machines, a dash back to the Precipice to call Aldergrove, asking the breeder to turn around and go back to the Vancouver South airport, her second trip that day.

Combining the weather predictions and the thrice weekly flight schedule, we decided to wait until Friday, when the conditions were supposed to be cold and clear.   Sure enough, Friday we awoke to minus 25, with a few clouds scudding across the horizon.  Since we didn’t have to leave until 11, I had time for an extra coffee, letting the day warm up a bit.  About 10:30, as I was getting dressed in wool pants, sweaters and toques etc, Klaus roared up on his machine and hurried down to the front door.  He wanted to know why I was 35 minutes late…we were supposed to meet at the bridge, down below our place. He was cold from waiting and also was worried about meeting the plane on time.

It turns out that on our last trip out he had lost his watch on the trail, so Rosemary gave him an extra one we had kicking around.  What we didn’t know and Klaus didn’t realize was that it was set for daylight saving time, making him an hour ahead.  Once we got that sorted out we were on our way, bouncing along on the mogul-filled trail to the truck.

This time the sky was a clear blue, the plane landed smoothly and quickly, taxied up to the apron with the port engine exhaling puffs of blue smoke as it shut down. The pilot opened the hatch and nimbly scampered down the ramp, ducked under the wing and cracked the cargo door.  And there , surrounded by beige, black and blue luggage of all shapes and sizes was puppy, lying in his crate, blinking and yawning, without a care in the world.  With cool aplomb, scanning the new landscape with coal black eyes set in a snowy white face, he looked for all the world like frosty the snowman without the carrot nose.

After a short walk to do his business, puppy was loaded back into his crate and off we went to the trailhead.

We put the crate sideways on the back of my skidoo, then strapped it down with ropes and bungee cords, carefully wrapping it over all with a blanket for warmth and stuffing towels on the inside so puppy wouldn’t be jostled around too much.  As I slowly pulled ahead, Klaus watched to see the reaction from the passenger.  Did he jump and howl?  No way, not this dog. He simply laid down, put his nose between his feet and looked straight ahead.  I guess after four plane flights and several hours in the back of a car in rush hour, he can do snow machines standing on his head.

It was a very slow trip home on the rough trail so puppy was eager to get out of the cage, but do you know the first thing he did? He took off into the deep snow and got stuck trying to chase a cow on the other side of the fence, just his head visible.  No slouch, this pup!  He is going to be a great one.

His new name? Kosmo.  Kosmo the Komondor owned by Klaus , isn’t that Kosmic?



  1. Ohmygoodness! Send me more pictures!! I love that little guy. Congrats to Klaus and may Kosmo have a great life out at the Precipice.

  2. great story, and what a beautiful puppy – I can’t wait to meet him! d

  3. Now you have our interest . . . more please.

  4. What an adventure…….and many more to come I am sure.

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