Local ‘Irish’ husky is a dog lifesaver


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The local dog Fionn regularly donates blood to the Canadian Animal Blood Bank, which is used to help other dogs in need of transfusions

Pets are known to bring health and happiness to some people, it turns out they give this power to other pets as well.

This applies to a local puppy, a husky named Fionn, who, as a regular blood donor, has helped save the lives of several other dogs.

“His story is interesting,” said Alison Glussich, who Fionn owns with her husband Doug. “It also sheds some light on dog blood donation and the effects it can have.”

For Fionn, it happened by chance.

Glussich had Fionn to his veterinarian Dr. Justin Levy was taken to Thornbury Veterinary Hospital for his annual checkup when she overheard Levy asking the receptionist to find a blood donor to help a very sick dog.

Glussich intervened worried: “Well, Fionn is here and he’s fit and strong … would he work?”

To donate blood, the dog must have a calm and friendly temperament, be a healthy weight of 50 pounds or more, be between one and eight years old, be in good health, and keep up to date with any vaccinations.

Fionn ticked all of these boxes.

“So that was the first time that he became a donor,” said Glussich. “We were just there at the right time.”

For a dog like Fionn the side effects are minor and the benefits to the other dog have been life saving.

On a personal level, Glussich is anemic and has had multiple blood fusions herself, so the ability to help was very important to her.

“It became a way of giving back,” said Glussich.

Afterward, she thought if Fionn could save one dog’s life, then he can probably save several more. Fionn has now donated blood three times and a fourth is planned for the end of the month.

“When he first did it, I think he was a little confused about what was going on. But now it’s almost as if he knew, ”said Glussich.

He now donates blood through the Canadian Animal Blood Bank (CABB), a nonprofit that collects, processes and sells dog blood for veterinary use across Canada.

Dog donors can not only help other dogs in need, but also receive benefits from the CABB if necessary.

Fionn is one of two dogs in the Glussich family. His “brother” is called Faolan.

Both names are Gaelic, a tribute to Glussich’s legacy, and together they make up the Irish Husky Bros (who even have their own Instagram page!).

“They protect each other,” said Glussich. “The four of us, we are like a pack.”

Glussich always knew they wanted a husky, and when they found a breeder in Singhampton five years ago, Fionn was the only one left.

“But he was the one for us,” she smiled.

Shortly thereafter, they came across little Faolan, who had been rescued from northern Ontario. Faolan was born with only three legs, and Glussich said they call him their “little tripod”.

For this reason they have decided not to have Faolan as a donor as well.

Although connected like brothers, Fionn and Faolan are very different. Glussich said she can tell that Fionn is from a breeder and calls him her little drama queen, while Faolan is a “rough, fun little fighter”.

The Irish Husky Bros are also very popular customers of other local businesses, MegWalks Canine Services and Dogs at Blue, and The Dog Club in The Town of the Blue Mountains for their overnight services.

“What we love most is the pack atmosphere. I think they think they are our equal, ”laughed Glussich. “But they are very loyal and loving and also very relaxed.”


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About Clayton Arredondo

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