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This is the second part of Fate or Circumstance?

This post like all the others has taken on a life of its own. Many forgotten details are floating to the surface as I write.  All of which means it will be broken up into more than the two parts I had planned.  I hope you continue to enjoy.

One Friday not long after the Shadow incident one of my wife’s co-workers asked my wife if we would be able to help out a dog that was in a bad situation.  A relative of this co-worker lived next to this guy who would leave his husky tied up for days outside without food, water or shelter.  It is believed that the dog, out of hunger killed and ate a cat. The landlord had enough and gave the guy an ultimatum, he had to get rid of the dog or leave. 

We had four cats certainly we couldn’t keep a dog that eats cats.  Besides, a husky would never be happy spending most of the day indoors and they always have to be contained which meant not only a dog house but a dog kennel.  Huskies are very active and we live a pretty sedate lifestyle.  When huskies get bored they chew everything and they get bored easily.  Huskies have no guarding tendencies and huskies shed and shed and then shed some more.  However they are big enough, they don’t drool often and are not known for barking, howling is another story.  We needed a plan!

I made a call to Sandra the customer at the bank who, two years earlier had shown me the picture of her husky puppies. It turned out that Sandra was raising yet another litter of huskies, she did have an available kennel and would take in the dog in while we found it a home, (or as she put it, until we decided to keep the dog).  The next morning we would make the 48 mile drive to Avis Pa to rescue the dog, if we got back into town early enough we would bring the dog around to Sandra’s work so she could get a look at her new charge.  Indeed, we had our plan!

Upon meeting the dogs owner it was clear that this guy was not exactly the pillar of society but he signed husky over to us without incident.  What my wife and I found interesting was husky never looked at him and when we drove away husky never looked back.  We had been driving for just a few minutes, us in the front seat, husky in the back when husky put her head on my shoulder and licked my ear.  Some would tell you it was at this point that we knew we would be keeping husky, but let me set the record straight, it was not.  That day was still over a month away.  We did shed a tear or two knowing that this was a great dog and we were not going to be able to keep her.  She eats cats for crying out loud.

We had seen many huskies in our day.  In fact when I was young we owned one for a while (to spare my mother from tears I won’t go into that story) but we had not seen the likes of this one.  She had obviously never seen  a brush, there were tufts of fur popping off her body, it was sad that she had been so neglected but funny as heck to look at.  She was a pale yellowish colour and her coat was/is incredibly thick and soft despite all the tufts.  We got back into town earlier then expected and decided we would run her by the bank and show her off a little, perhaps somebody there would want her, (nobody was in a position to adopt her)  but husky was an immediate hit she rolled over on her back and let everyone rub her belly and of course left a pile of fur on the carpet which remained there for a week or two.  We brought her to Sandra’s work as planned.  You know you have an impressive husky when the husky breeders are in awe.  The plan was for Sandra to come over after work stay for a bonfire and take husky home from there.  In turn we would pick up husky on Sunday and take her to a local pet place and start trying to find her a home. 

Sandra came over that evening and we had fun talking about huskies, roasting marshmallows and eating smores.  We decided that we would keep husky on the weekends,  Sandra assured us that husky would be fine in our laundry room with the cats sequestered in the bed room.  Monday we had to go back to work and we couldn’t leave her locked in the laundry room all day so the new plan was to drop husky off at Sandra’s sometime Sunday night.   Sandra was going to be working the late shift so she told us where the kennel was located and we should just put husky in the kennel.  If we wanted we could let her neighbour know that we were dropping husky off, being husky owners themselves they would be sure and look in on her until Sandra got in that night.

Stay tuned for part 3

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In the early 2000’s I was standing at my teller window when one of our regulars came in to make a deposit. She showed me a picture of the cutest little Siberian Husky puppies one could ever imagine.  Except for the fact that they were adorable and that for once somebody wasn’t showing me baby pictures,  I didn’t think too much about it.  Time passed, another litter of puppies came and went and life continued on its merry way as it tends to do.

Two years later my wife and I are standing in the parking lot of a grocery store in the tiny town of Phillipsburg when my wife tells me she is ready for a kitten, we already had four cats.  “I’m ready for a dog” came my reply.  She told me to start building a dog house.  Building a dog house sounded like fun so why not?  We thought about what kind of dog we would like, we both agreed it had to be big, no drooling, no barking, good both indoors and out, had to like cats and have some guarding instincts.   The doghouse had just gotten underway so we were not quite ready for a dog but we decided to check out the SPCA,  upon entering the dog room the first thing that struck me was the unimaginable amount of noise, it was truly an assault on my ears.  I made my announcement in the middle of the chaos.  “The first one of you who is not barking has a shot at coming home with me.” In a corner kennel was a massive black dog.  It wasn’t barking, it wasn’t paying the least bit of attention to me, the dogs or anything really just lost in his own world.   My wife and I looked at his information.  Shadow was the dog’s name, he was surrendered by the owner with no explanation and it came from our little town.  We asked if Shadow had any issues with cats.  Shadow was then taken to the cat room where a staff member shoved a cat right up into Shadows face.  Shadow could have swallowed the cat whole but he didn’t so much as bat an eyelash, the cat was too stunned to do anything, so far so good.  We put Shadow on a leash and took him outside. The minute he hit the fresh air he came alive and took me for a drag.  He probably knew his name but certainly didn’t care.  He didn’t stop, he didn’t sit, he didn’t even acknowledge our existence and he was amazingly strong, stopping him was quite the issue. My wife would not have been able to walk this dog. There was a mountain of issues involved with adopting Shadow, he had no manners making him difficult to control, he had some health issues as he was loosing hair, but there was something about him that touched both my wife and I so he became a possibility but we were not about to rush into anything, the responsible thing to do was wait, we were not at the point of dog ownership and Shadow was a large handful.

At the end of our road across the highway there is a travel trailer and a dog house which was home to a large black dog.  (At this point we have to travel back about a year from the above story) while driving to work one day we noticed that the travel trailer had disappeared but the dog  was still there, worried that somebody had abandoned the dog we knocked on the closest door we could find.  Turns out the people who owned the house also owned the dog.  That dog was Shadow. (Another jump in time, to our current story) Earlier in the week my wife had commented that we don’t see the dog anymore and we figured the owners schedule had changed (he was a security officer for Penn State) and we didn’t give it another thought until driving home from the SPCA when my wife put it all together.  Once again life in a small town rears its head.

We never saw Shadow again but I think about Shadow often, I feel I let him down. I know Shadow was never meant to be ours, life has a way of telling us what is and what isn’t, all you have to do is listen and in this case there were just too many obstacles being thrown between us and Shadow.  In the end we wound up with the right dog.  Still when I think of Shadow I can’t help but feel a little heaviness in my heart.  I can only hope he found a good home.

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One Second

Ever have one of those ‘oh shit’ moments?  You know, the ones where you wish you could take back that one split second that would make life so much easier?

Here is one of mine.

I was transferring our husky from her zipline to her leash,  only to late did I notice that I had not actually connected the clip to her collar.  I will never forget that millisecond where we looked into each others eyes the clip between us, each sharing the same thought, she is free! Just as the thought formed in my head to reach out and grab her, she was gone. 

I stepped back into the house just long enough to inform my wife of the situation.  I made a dash for the fridge and grabbed a hotdog with the thought of bribery in mind.  I saw husky head off towards the neighbors I was in pursuit,  the neighbor came out and made an attempt to intercept husky but it was not to be.  Up she went around his house and across the street to the famous rooster place (once before she was on the loose and was stopped by a rooster, she thought it was a toy and while playing with it my wife was able to grab her, rooster is no more).  I went around one way, my wife was coming up the other.  There was husky, stopped dead in her tracks face to face with two other dogs.  I put the breaks on, this was my chance as her entire focus was on those dogs.  I moved slowly but once I got within striking distance she was on the run again.  My wife was going to get the car to patrol the street while I followed husky into the woods calling her name and waving my hotdog in the air.  Husky would keep me in sight but wouldn’t allow me to get close, the hotdog wouldn’t even give her pause.  Husky’s run, not away from anything, not towards anything, they just run, and that is what she was determined to do.  Down the side of the mountain we went.  Eventually she disappeared from sight I stumbled upon a small brook surrounded by mushy ground.  My tracking blood, (keep in mind I couldn’t even find a train on the tracks) kicked into overdrive as I scoured the ground for paw prints.  I was not sure where I was in relation to my home except that I had to climb the side of the hill, why is it that home is always up hill?  At least I wouldn’t starve, I had my hotdog.   I climbed the hill calling out every now and again but I knew it was a waste, even if she heard, she wasn’t coming and the hotdog was offering no help.   Finally I made it home no dog, no wife, no car, totally exhausted  I dropped to the ground placing my hotdog by my side, (now my only dog), placing my head in hands trying to catch my breath and just wishing I could take back that one second.

Eventually my wife drove down the driveway with husky proudly sitting in the back seat. I was so happy to see them both, the thought of killing the dog quickly left my head. Turns out while I was playing tracker in the woods husky looped around me and went back to the famed rooster place and settled on one of the deck chairs.   My wife with dog securely in the car spent some time driving around looking for me, explaining to the neighbours she found the dog and was now looking for her lost husband.

Husky

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The big tree

 Magicians (and others I’m sure) will tell you that the magic happens in the details.   Sometimes I get so overwhelmed by what is going on around me (as I’m sure the same is true with you) that I forget to look at the little things, the day-to-day things just life in general and see how good those things can be.   Lucky I have my  dog who can remind me to stop and enjoy the simple things from time to time.  

My dog is terrified of guns and the other day was the first day of buck season gunshots were ringing through the air. It was a cool crisp day we  decided that it would be best if dog went to work with my wife.  My wife also had a doctor’s appointment that day so they would be able to get out and about.  The following is an excerpt of an email my wife sent me.  And it just made me stop at work, look around and realize its not all that bad around here.  Just look at the simple things.

“… Sequoia had a good lunch.  Three doggy treats from the crazy lady at Taco Bell that LOVES huskies which she ate and a soft chicken taco.  She also got to run about in the grass at the doctor’s office and crapped in the grass here at work.  Oh and she got to ride in the car both ways with the window open for her.  So far all good things as far as dogs are concerned.  Now she is ready to settle down for a good nap.

Me too ready for a nap.

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