Hooray for Happy Endings! Meet Skier Gus Kenworthy’s Sochi Street Pu
You might remember Gus Kenworthy’s story from last winter’s Sochi Olympics.
When the world found out that Sochi officials were trying to exterminate the city’s thousands of stray dogs in the lead-up to the games, we were all understandably horrified. Kenworthy, a freestyle skier who eventually took home a silver medal, was on the ground in the Olympic host city and decided to do what he could to help the dogs of Sochi.
Kenworthy came across a mom and four puppies, all strays, during the games and spent an afternoon off playing with them. That was all it took — he was hooked, and he wanted to bring them home.
Russian officials didn’t exactly make it easy: they kept the pups in quarantine for over a month while Kenworthy tried to bring them home to the US. Sadly, two of the pups didn’t make it. One died while still being held in Russia and the other, Rosa, just after arriving in New York in March.
Happily, two of the puppies survived, and have found their forever home with Kenworthy in Denver, Colorado. Mishka and Jake, who were in pretty rough shape after living on the streets, are now healthy as can be and living their new lives to the fullest.
Their puppies’ mother, Mamuchka or Momma for short, also got her own happy ending: she lives with Kenworthy’s mom, Pip, and stepfather in Telluride, Colorado. How’s that for keeping it all in the family?
Mishka and Jake were malnourished when they came to States in March. Now, they weigh a healthy 52 lbs. and 48 lbs., respectively. Kenworthy says the dogs are strong, have tons of energy and are always ready to play. He’s excited to get them out on the snow with him this winter as he trains for the upcoming freestyle skiing season.
He also loves how different the dogs’ personalities are, noting that Mishka loves to cuddle and play all the time, while Jake is a bit more chilled out and sometimes likes to do his own thing.
He says he receives compliments on the dogs all the time, and people are always asking how they can adopt dogs like Mishka and Jake. Kenworthy is sure to tell them to make their local shelter their first stop. “There are so many rescues that need to be taken care of right here in the US”, he adds.
As for Mishka and Jake? Well, he couldn’t be happier that they’re home in Denver with him for good.
“The dogs have become my best friends”, says Kenworthy, “I can’t imagine life without them.”
For a glimpse of Momma, Mishka and Jake in action, check out the video below.
Christina Peden is a lifelong animal lover and avid wordsmith. She lives in Toronto with her boyfriend Ryan where they are proud pet parents to puppy, Matilda and cat, Oscar. In her spare time, she can be found enjoying Toronto, Canada's all-too-short patio season, taking advantage of the city's numerous parks or curled up with a good book.
More by Christina Peden