#ARCTIC. #SIBERIA. THIS IS TAIMYR. Our story is about the dog whom the owner brought to the distant gas field along the winter road and left there. The dog gave birth to six puppies from a half-wolf tundra dog. And it would have died of hunger along with the offspring in the cold snow, if not for kind people.
The puppies were rescued and yesterday, together with their mother, they were delivered by helicopter to Norilsk. The further path of the family goes to Krasnoyarsk, where the topic of dog sledding is actively developing.
We learned the dog story of the first-hand – from Inga Shnitulenko, an electromechanic of instrumentation and automation, working at the Pelyatka gas condensate field. It is located 170 kilometers northwest of Dudinka, a helicopter flight takes 1 hour 20 minutes, in winter you can drive there along the winter road. It was this way that the poor fellow, whom Inga named My Sweetie, got to the field.
Tundra hardened dogs, accustomed to spending the night outside, are necessary at the gas site. They warn by barking when strangers drive up or wild animals come close. The dogs’ pack almost tore the uninvited guest. Inga rescued the dog and took it closer to the control point of the gas treatment complex – this is a kilometer from the residential part of the village and the canteen.
Inga found out that the story has a continuation when she flew to the watch again.
“The weather was bad, stormy, while walking I saw something crawling along the road. A dog. She was whining, all in tatters, thin – my heart almost broke. Stroking her, I realized that she had puppies. Together with my colleague Vitaly Dedushev, we were looking for them for two days”, said Inga.
Suddenly, behind the fence, where wooden pallets are stored, we noticed how the dog stuck its head out. We dug and dug snow for a long time and saw puppies: small, palm-sized, wet, squeaking. Mom herself was shivering from the cold: after all, tundra dogs have an undercoat, but this one doesn’t. The wind blows the coat and the skin is visible.
Inga and Vitaly first took five puppies into the warmth, then after a long search they pulled another one out from under the snow, made a bed of old sweatshirts in a secluded place where the dogs could not reach, and surrounded them with hot water bottles.
“A good girl, she held on like grim death, felt that we would find her with the kids”, Inga says respectfully.
According to her, female tundra dogs dreamed of tearing apart the visiting guest. The yellow-eyed shaggy black Mishka with powerful paws, on the contrary, gave her his favor, as a result of which six puppies were born. These kids are special: Mishka is the son of the half-dog, half-wolf Umka.
All puppies went through natural selection, did not freeze in the snow, did not die of hunger. Dog breeders also assure that such hybrid dogs, having the grip of a wolf, remain gentle and obedient towards humans. Jack London’s White Fang is proof of that.
Gas workers also need dogs, but in a certain amount. Therefore, the question arose of taking the puppies and their mother to Norilsk. Then they will go to Krasnoyarsk, to the charitable foundation for helping northern sled dogs.
Text: Tatyana Rychkova, Photos: Nikolay Shchipko, Vitaly Dedushev