The Bullet

This is the kind of bullet I was given and used to shoot Hope.


Well there are many reasons i keep it. I went through a serious phase after i was told all the dogs might die. i was asking everyone at the kennel, and my friends “Why don’t we eat dogs?” Seemed like a huge waste to shoot 250+ dogs and all that meat go to waste.


I found out my answer on my own, shortly after killing hope. We don’t eat dog because it would be taking too much. A dog is extremely loyal, if you are lucky enough to have a dog in your life that loves you, you know it will love you unconditionally. Unconditional love is something I have only experienced with dogs. It’s true they have personalities, they have emotions.. their feelings can get hurt, but they will love you with all their hearts.


To add that another level, to a sled dog . A dog that spends most of its time on a chain.. its life is used to make money in the tourism industry. yet it still loves us unconditionally. That can be argued that we are taking too much, it’s not a fair trade-off between humans and dogs… unconditional, it’s value is immense, and not something we attach a dollar sign too.


That bullet represents not only a significant change in my understanding to certain aspects of this world, It is one of the only material objects I have to show that this experience is real.


Not only is it real, but I had taken part of something, that looking back, I would never do again. I would never shoot a dog again. I look at my own and know that, when the time comes, I trust that a medical professional will help my dog transition, if that’s what it comes down to.


I look at the bullet, I know I am still processing..( Wait what?? I wrote about this here.)



This bullet in this picture, puts me in a different place in the spectrum of people who love mushing, and people who hate the idea of mushing. I can’t deny what I have witnessed, because I have fully participated. I know that with all the stresses and circumstances, I shot  a dog because it needed to die, because if I didn’t then other dogs had to be chosen to die too, I did it because I knew that my intentions for Hope was to alleviate her of her pain, at a time where calling a vet was, for some reason, not even something we considered doing. Maybe this would prove to my employer that I was loyal enough, and could keep my job…


Now I know, that these dogs deserve more.


I know I am filed Ministry of Labor, Workplace Safety and Insurance Board and the Human Rights Tribunal,  I did that for me, but who will help the dogs? Many mushers are making profits from dogs on chains. Can they all be trusted to choose ethical options when there is a more cost efficient way of running the kennel? My experience says no. We shouldn’t trust any industry to self regulate itself.


Allot of people assume pets already have those protections and a lot of people are starting to recognize that animals deserve protection: farmed animals, whales and dolphins, animals being tested on, animals used for entertainment, animals used for trophy hunting, sled dogs…


Well, as someone who has used this bullet, I can tell you that none of the animals have adequate protection.


 I truly believe, bringing awareness and telling the truth is something that I can do to help those dogs.  Speaking out in hopes to  show that there are problems with the laws that are set in place to protect the animals, and those whose job it is to take care of them.
Things need to change, the laws need to change to fit the changing expectations of the public.
Animals are sentient beings, and should be recognized as such by the law.


Chantal Dostaler

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