Sunny Boy's owners can rest easier now thanks to the generosity of Mid-Columbia hunters.
The red-blond Siberian husky has acute inflammatory bowel disease and can't digest regular dog food, beef, pork or chicken. Instead, the lovable pooch dines three times a day on a mixture of mashed sweet potatoes and shredded and diced elk and deer meat.
Those meats are hard to come by.
Which is why Barb Winckler of Kennewick put up posters last week appealing for meaty donations. The Herald ran a story Saturday on Sunny Boy's plight. The first e-mail hit Winckler's in-box at 6:30 a.m. that day and they kept coming, as did the phone calls.
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"As of this afternoon we've received about 45 e-mails," Winckler said Monday. "The answering machine is nearly full again too, so that's another 30 to 40 more calls plus the ones I've already heard."
Hunters already had dropped off 200 to 225 pounds of venison and more was on the way.
Winckler said she was a bit overwhelmed by the hunting community's response.
"I knew there are animal lovers out there, but I underestimated how many," she said.
Now her problem is finding enough freezer space to store the meat. One person donated a used freezer, though Winckler said she's hoping to find one that's a little newer. "My big concern is if I don't find something a bit newer, it could fail and the meat could spoil," she said.
As for Sunny Boy, he and his housemates, fellow huskies Shadow and Rowdy, were eating up the attention. "Everybody who drops off meat wants to meet him," Winckler said.
To donate some elk or deer meat now or later in the year, contact the Wincklers viae-mail at email@example.com. Or call 783-8785.
w Loretto J. Hulse: 582-1513; firstname.lastname@example.org