When a Minnesota couple, Elaina and Cody, visited Alaska a few years ago, they got an adventure that wasn’t on their itinerary. Hiking in the Hatcher Pass area, they found a dog and a kitten, with no humans in sight. With a no-pets AirBnB as their vacation base, local help was needed. Elaina’s colleague Jacqueline here in Anchorage offered up her home as a temporary shelter, making sure the foundlings were safe and cared for. The vacation turned into an effort to reunite them with a family, but all attempts failed. These kind-hearted people dubbed the pair Hatcher and Wally, and reached out to Friends of Pets for a rescue assist.

We initially promoted them as an adoptable pair. As we got to know them better, we learned that Hatcher was overly playful with Wally, so we opted to find them separate homes. A wonderful family reached out to adopt Hatcher, who was everything they were looking for…and they happened to live at the base of Hatcher Pass, so he now lives where his new adventure with us began. We’ll let him tell the rest…

Hatcher and Wally - David Jensen Photography

I’m Hatcher! I’m a McNab collie/shepherd mix with lots of energy. I am most happy when my body and mind are busy – there’s no job I can’t do! (But my mom Karen is helping me write my story.)

First, I’m a great herder. I round up everything! Children, other pets, you name it and I can fetch it up. I’m also extremely bouncy – like Tigger from Winnie the Pooh – although not everyone appreciates how high I can jump.

I’m also incredibly clever. It only took me moments to learn how to open the kitchen cabinets, or turn the doorknob when I wanted to go outside. My new family quickly learned all about my intelligence and put an extra deadbolt high on their door. (Is that fair?)

Willow and Hatcher

My new boy Kyle comes with me on hikes in the mountains or bike rides around the neighborhood. I also love to go to work with him – we are outside all day long and it’s great!

Last year my family got me the best present ever – another kitten of my own! Willow is my baby and my very best friend, and often joins us on our walks.

As you can see from these photos, I absolutely love the snow, and now that it’s melted I love swimming in the river too. I could not be any happier!

I am so very thankful for the kindness of strangers, for the love and care from Friends of Pets, and most of all I’m thankful every single day for my new family, who I love from the bottom of my heart.

See you on the Dog Jog trail!