Yesterday we had to put down our Siberian Husky. At just under eleven years, it seemed too soon. She was an independent girl, always – she came to us as a rescue out of a home inexperienced in the ways of Northern Breed dogs. She was always wary, backing away from a sudden movement, but she knew her own mind.
She brought new life to our old dog, a Shepard/Husky/Wolf mix. She took care of him, bossed him around, protected him in his later years (he lived to be 19) and generally ran the pack. That is what female huskies do. And in a house of females, she vied for her position in the pack as the puppies (my daughters) grew to women.
Things that I will always remember:
- skunks – she killed one (shaking it in her mouth like a rag doll after we had all been teargassed by the critter) and had a serious altercation with at least two more. Gallons of hydrogen peroxide/soda later, when she was wet, we could still catch a faint whiff of skunk.
- possums – one prehistoric beast facing down another – epic. When one would be sitting in a tree at the yard perimeter, she would sit and watch for hours, like dog TV.
- singing a song of hunger and abandonment with her (she howled, so we harmonized)
- her constant conversations with my mother. They talked all day when Mom came to visit.
- Escape artist – she loved nothing more than to find a way out of the yard and run.
- the car trick – but you could get her back by opening the car door and say, “Sky, come” and she’d look around all casual like, “Oh, my ride’s here.”
- She was a fool for buttered popcorn
- Hair – fur, what ever – she blew her undercoat twice a year, and it was like drifts of snow in the house. She had a beautiful coat – she was a beautiful dog.
- Landscaper – Huskies are diggers, and she was so breed true that she re-landscaped huge sections of the yard.
- Her throne – the Adirondack chair on the back porch was hers. She would sit in it, resting her head on the arm, enjoying the sun.
- She loved Sam. She loved Hannah. The rest of us, she tolerated.
- But she did love to sit on my feet while I worked at my desk. She would insinuate herself under the desk into the cave at my feet and plop down. She would let me tuck my feet under her and keep them warm.