Letter: For the love of Whopper

Whopper lived in fear. His head shook uncontrollably and he drooled uncontrollably. He went blind in one eye.

The day I met Whopper at the Aspen Animal Shelter, I questioned his eye injury. That was nine years ago. It is hard to prove this was due to his beatings, but I know it was, as owners can often understand over time.

Also at the shelter one day, I ran into two former Krabloonik mushers that told me how Whopper got his name — by being beat over the head all the time. It is common knowledge that Krabloonik staff uses “whoppers” as training “tools.” The mushers knew because they remembered Whopper. He was the lead sled dog. He was small and compact, with very little fur on him to keep him warm in the cold outside weather. He also was chained. I know this because all of his life with us he stayed in one corner under a table, or someplace similar to that, and never walked around the house. We could never change him in many ways, but we tried so hard to make him feel safe. Anyhow, this gets me so emotional because Whopper had a second life with our family and my daughter. Whopper was adopted when my daughter was eight years old. She fell in love with Whopper. She saw the beauty in him and I know he couldn’t wait to hear my daughter’s voice even at the end of his life when he couldn’t use his back legs to get up. All animals have feelings in them.

We need to respect and care for them. Krabloonik needs to be shut down.

Sommer Hayes