Miss Wic grew up in a dog-less home in Toronto, Ontario – not by choice, of course, but because of severe allergies in the home. Nonetheless, her parents supported her obsession with dogs as much as they could, usually with books and outings to see dog-themed things. When she was thirteen she was tasked with training her grandmother’s new shih tzu puppy, and using the aforementioned books, she was able to successfully train him to meet the requirements of therapy dog volunteers for St John’s Ambulance. Not too shabby for only thirteen.
A Passion Realized
Of course, like all those with big dreams, Miss Wic wanted more from life. She began to network with other dog fanciers, passing her time frivolously on virtual dog simulations and attending dog shows to broaden her knowledge. After graduating high school, she went away to university, continuing to research and broaden her knowledge in between classes. She acquired her first dog at this time, a rescue lurcher (Smooth Collie x Greyhound) and she got her first taste of what severe, intervention-resistant separation anxiety can look like. Despite aggressive treatment – both medical and behavioural – Miss Wic’s sweet lurcher never did manage to recover from her separation anxiety, though she was a perfect fit for the House in every other way. She passed away in September 2016 from osteosarcoma, and with her passing, Miss Wic realized that what she wanted to do more than anything in the world was work with animals, particularly the greyhounds she had fallen hard for. More research and volunteering followed, and Miss Wic got involved with her local greyhound rescue.
As House Headmistress
Starting off simply attending local greyhound walks, Miss Wic eventually worked her way up to volunteering as a foster family, and Miss Wic’s Halfway House for Hounds opened its doors. As the House Headmistress, Miss Wic works to integrate retired racers straight from the track into a home setting. This integration can take many different forms, but just about every hound needs to learn how to navigate stairs, walk on a leash, and accept being alone, in addition to a multitude of kitchen stimulation and noises they are never exposed to on the track. More than anything else, Miss Wic’s House serves as the hounds’ first venture into their new life, and the place they call home before they find their forever family. It’s a tough job (both emotionally and occasionally physically) but someone’s got to do it!