Sunday, September 11, 2011

Baker Lake, Nunavut - Day 7, 8 & 9.

Day 7 - This was our full day off!  Why this day?  Because Shane was willing to be our personal chauffeur and take us for a trip up the mine road!  Sounds exciting, eh?  But it really is - people have been telling us that the best chance we have of seeing wildlife - like caribou or muskox - is up the mine road!  The whole team is pretty excited about the possibility of seeing some live wildlife. 
So off we go... the mine road is a wee bit bumpy, and we only have permission to drive the first 53km,  but the sights are beautiful!  We made him stop a number of times for pictures, or to let us go exploring.  Our wildlife spotting didn't go so well... not a muskox in sight.  The only "caribou" we saw looked suspiciously like a prancing Carley with mismatched antlers on her head! 
We stopped at a particularly pretty spot and went out on another hike, Sue was doing her best to find us some animals, but to no avail.  Even without a muskox spotting, it was a pretty awesome day.
To make it even more awesome - when we got home - we had water!! Woohoooo!!!  Flushing toilets, hand washing, and the ability to do dishes... it can be pretty exciting.  Gotta say it, 9 women, 1 house.. the ability to flush is a wonderful thing.
We spent the remainer of our afternoon checking out the gift shops and looking for some of the artists in town for souveniers to bring home. 

Day 8 - Our last working day!  It started off earlier than usual as we had an appointment to go out to vaccinate and deworm another team of 9 sled dogs.  The vast majority of the sled dogs we have seen have been great to work with.  A little nervous, perhaps, but their owners are great at handling them, and the dogs are pretty cooperative.  We only needed to muzzle a few the whole time we've been here. 
Our vaccination clinic was jumping today - at one point we had 10 pets waiting to be vaccinated!  We got everyone seen, and things tapered off after lunch - until it was announced over the local radio station that it was our last day and we'd be closing at 5:00.  We ended up getting 41 dogs and 3 cats vaccinated and dewormed today.
Since we are flying out early the next day, and therefore won't be around if there were any post-operative complications, today was a minor-proceedures only day.  We did one dog neuter and removed an oral mass from another dog.  This was also our last time to check up on our patients and make sure they are all doing well before we head out.  Thankfully, everyone appears to be great - healing well and we are thrilled. We had two people who wanted to get their dogs spayed today, and it was very disappointing for the whole team to have to turn them away.  However, our first priority is always the health and safety of these pets, and we couldn't ethically put them at risk.  So we'll just have to do them next year!
After that it was time to break everything down, clean up, and pack. 
Then, it was time to party!  Just a little.  We has a small soiree at our house, and invited many of the people who had helped us out so much.  It was a great evening of fun, food and laughter. 
Of course we couldn't actually be done working - we heard about another team of 4 dogs that needed to be vaccinated, so Sue and Laura got back into their grubby clothes, dug out some syringes from the supply bags and headed out.  Then we had Katie stop by for a check up before we left, who we are happy to report is no worse for wear after her post-spay chilly swim.

Day 9 - the flights home.  The trip home started early, and we got one last good dose of Baker Lake wind and rain getting to the airport.  The plane was pretty empty, so most of us got to sleep at least a little on the way down.  Once we got to the Winnipeg airport, it was time to start saying our goodbyes, and making promises to keep in touch (Facebook!).  We were 9 strangers who have shared some great times, some sad times, many funny times, and hopefully some lifelong friendships have been started. 
Team Baker Lake 2011, you ROCK!

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