We first reported the story of Beaver, the Alaskan sled dog, who ran from her handler as she was being transported to Maine to find a new forever home, back in March of 2021.

Beaver, Courtesy Denise Lawson

The ordeal captivated many in the greater Bangor area, as folks from all over were keeping an eye out for the skittish dog. Beaver ended up evading capture for the better part of a month. She bolted across Bangor, only stopping long enough to be coaxed and rescued when Denise Lawson, the woman who was helping to facilitate Beaver's transport to Maine, brought up some reinforcements (retired sled dogs of her own) and made Beaver feel like she was part of the pack.

Beaver and some pals make a pit stop on the way to her forever home. Photo courtesy of Denise Lawson

The story was so neat, Lawson thought it would make a great addition to the children's book series about her own sled dog, Black Bear, who came up from Virginia to Maine to help find Beaver.

So Lawson wrote and illustrated "Black Bear Goes To Bangor to Find Beaver; Another Black Bear Sled Dog Adventure.

Black Bear Goes To Bangor to Find Beaver, by Denise Lawson, author/illustrator. Published by Brown & Lowe Books.

Lawson's "Author's Note" from the book explains:

"This sled dog adventure is based on a true story. Like Black Bear, Beaver is a real sled dog from Alaska. Beaver stayed with us for a little while when she first came from Alaska, and Black Bear told her all about life in the lower 48. Beaver really did get lost at the airport in Bangor, ME and was on the run for 22 days. Some people thought she might never be found. We drove to Bangor from Virginia with some of Beaver’s sled dog friends (Black Bear, Copper, Topa, and Brush) to join in the search. We found Beaver three days after we arrived with a little luck and a lot of help from our dogs and a dedicated group of people who live and work in the Bangor area."

excerpt from: Black Bear Goes To Bangor to Find Beaver, by Denise Lawson, author/illustrator. Published by Brown & Lowe Books.

"The book now shows upon Amazon and Barnes and Noble. All proceeds go towards rehoming retired sled dogs!"

Beaver and her pals with Denise Lawson, courtesy Steve Knapp

Lawson says she got involved with rehoming sled dogs years ago.

"I adopted Black Bear after going dog sledding at Bush Alaska Expeditions way out in a remote wilderness area along the Yukon River near the border of Canada. Sled dogs are an essential method of transportation in this part of Alaska. It’s hard to find homes for them when they retire. The bond between the dogs and the mushers is so remarkable. We ended up adopting Black Bear, and I decided to write a children’s book called Black Bear Goes to Washington and use proceeds to help fund the transport and veterinary bills for other retired dogs from Alaska."

Black Bear, courtesy Denise Lawson

"Through the voice of Black Bear, this story conveys the essence of sled dog life in Alaska and lightheartedly suggests that we could all learn a little something from some old sled dogs. We started doing school, library, bookstore, and pet store visits with the sled dogs. More people started asking about how to adopt a dog or how they could help. One book led to another book, and another and now, there are six Black Bear books! The books are a great method of educating the public about sled dogs and are an important conversation starter in addition to being a fundraiser for helping to rehome more dogs."

As for Beaver, Lawson says she's doing really well now...

Beaver, happy and running, photo credit, Denise Lawson

"Beaver has since retired to a wonderful home in upstate NY where she enjoys the outdoors and still gets to run like a sled dog with her new pack!"

Beaver, courtesy Denise Lawson

 

For more information on what Lawson does with these retired sled dogs, you can check out this video. 

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