Posted: Nov 5, 2012 7:18 PM by Melissa Anderson - MTN News
HELENA - While many of the 161 malamutes rescued from Mike Chilinski more than a year ago are still awaiting new homes, others are just now beginning to fit in to their new environments.
One of them is Teddy, who is now part of Audrey Todd's family.
As a puppy, Teddy was allowed to be adopted out prior to Chilinski's trial, and landed in the perfect spot.
Audrey recalled, "The first day I seen him I just fell to my knees and started to cry. My heart went out to the animals and what they'd gone through and to know that I was able to rescue one and make a difference in one's life...I am just so blessed to be able to have him. It's very touching to my heart."
Teddy is an off-breed malamute called a "wooly" due to the nature of his furry fluffy coat.
Teddy is the second Chilinski dog that Audrey has come to know. Her son adopted a malamute from Chilinski several years ago.
While Teddy appears to be healthy and happy now, he wasn't always that way. Because Teddy was unsocialized to humans, Audrey changed her hours at work just to let him know he's safe.
She explained, "I'd sit in his kennel for hours with him, I'd hand feed him. I'd sit and talk to him and it was just baby steps, everything was baby steps with him."
Teddy has a daily routine of fun, play, and exercise, but may have inherited some unwanted health issues.
Audrey said, "So if he's got a heart murmur he may not live as long as we would hope, but they have to have love so it doesn't make any difference."
And like most of the other confiscated Malamutes, Teddy was malnourished.
But in a year's time he has nearly doubled his weight.
Audrey realizes it may take some time for Teddy to become acclimated to his new home, but for now, she feels blessed to be a part of it.