|Husky of the Month|
Congrats Nikita, Archer, and Cheyanne,
our November HOTM Winners!
Thanks to all for this month's entries!
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Our current rescue spotlight is:|
Delaware Valley Siberian Husky Rescue!
Join date : 2014-08-18
Location : Terlingua, Texas
|Subject: Memories of Sasha RIP Fri Aug 20, 2021 2:07 pm|| |
Back in about 2012 I moved from the Houston area to Terlingua. I brought my first Husky, Misty with me and while she was a great girl, I didn’t know as much as I should have about Huskies. Since we were in the middle of nowhere, I let her run and always said that she’d come home when I yelled – until that one time she didn’t. An aside since this isn’t about Misty – this dog would stay out and around all night but when morning came she’d hop up onto my bed, put a paw on each shoulder and “kiss” me till I got up.
I posted Lost notices all over the area and a few on pet sites that hopefully would bring her home. And heard nothing … until I got an email from San Antonio wondering if this Husky they’d rescued was Misty. She wasn’t but after an exchange of notes they explained how she’d come to be with them and that they were going to have to get rid of her – one way or another. So that prompted a six-hour (one way) trip to pick up a dog about whom I knew virtually nothing.
At the time, at home, I had Avalanche an Alaskan Husky and Kiva a small border collie. When I got home, I put Avalanche on his lead and let the dogs out, then proceeded to let Sasha out of the Jeep – and they all ignored each other. So, I let them all do what was needful, took everyone into the house and took myself a well-deserved long nap.
On to mistake number one! I’ve been free-feeding Avalanche in the house and Sasha decided that any food to be found was hers. Reached down to take the food bowl from her and got bit! Nothing really serious but aggravating just the same. Thus ended the free-feeding routine. Avalanche and Kiva were fed on the porch and Sasha got her smaller bowl of food in the house. Oddly, even though they could get into either their food or the garbage, instance where they’ve done that have been rare!
Of course there were some dominance issues. Avalanche has never met a dog with whom he wasn’t best buds and it came as a surprise to him that Sasha thought she should rule the roost. Avalanche, being his normal self, didn’t care but Sasha had to inform him a few times that she was going to do what she wanted … and if he didn’t like it, tough!
Over time she became my walking companion. We’d go out, with her on lead, and she always stayed close, well within the 30 feet length of the lead so I tried her off lead. Pleasantly surprised that while she would wander around – depending on the scents in the air – if I called her, she’d make a hasty appearance. That wasn’t really that hard, when she was off lead, even if she were beyond the 30-foot limit she was always in sight and always checking to see where I was. One of my regrets is that I was never able to walk either of the other dogs with her. They’d wrap their leashes and then fight, or they’d aggravate her since she wasn’t on leash and they were, the fights weren’t serious but enough that walking them together wasn’t feasible.
I’d take one or the other of my dogs into town with me; Avalanche was always his “I never met a person I didn’t like” self while Sasha was more standoffish – ‘course that could have just been me making sure everyone was safe. While I was visiting a friend who works at the community center in town a fellow and his, roughly, 3-year-old daughter come in. The little girl yells “wolf” and immediately runs up to Sasha and gives her a big hug. I wasn’t sure what Sasha was going to do and couldn’t pull her away, there just wasn’t room in the narrow hallway – and Sasha turns and gives her a great big slurp! Dogs and kids do the damnedest things!
I have always liked to travel and travelling with dogs in tow can be really enjoyable or it can be a real pain in the butt. My brother and I had never met; children of the same father and different mothers – so half-brothers. He lived over in central Mississippi which wouldn’t have been that far from Houston but from Terlingua it’s a goodly trip. I often took either one dog or the other with me when I went to town – either Terlingua or Alpine – and the only time I took two to Alpine was when we were visiting the vets for shots and annuals so having both of them in the Jeep was going to be interesting on a two-day trip. They surprised me in that they travelled well together. Sasha was often perched on the console – well, at least her head was, Avalanche stood on the console so he could get a better view when it was his turn – and they took reasonable turns.
I’d planned on spending about a week away, two days travel each way and the proverbial three days at his place (fish and guests have one thing in common, they start to stink around three days.) There was a fence around his place, not too high but enough to keep Sasha in and a long lead for Avalanche kept him in as well, so we put them out and spent the afternoon and evening with me playing tourist. (Didn’t find much as a tourist in central Mississippi.) We got back and brought the dogs in and they explored his place and shortly after we headed to bed. I woke up to find Sasha chewing on a rat poison pack – shit!! Talked to Jim and told him that I’d be leaving ASAP to get her to the vets and he didn’t object too much – we’d had a couple of comparisons of a father I never knew and he apparently knew all too well – I wasn’t impressed by his continual put-downs of dad so it was time to leave before I lost it.
Got Sasha back to Mary’s and after explaining what she’d gotten into and I’m sorry I don’t know how much but had upchucked a couple of times on the way back, Mary gave her a shot of Vit-K (I think) and some pills said to take her home and watch her. If she started acting oddly I was to get back up there quickly. Well, other than being off her feed for a few days which was odd for her, she didn’t act too oddly (but with this dog, who’s to really tell?) and recovered nicely.
I got a note from some people up in the Red River area that they were going to have to rehome their Husky and couldn’t find anyone to take her. We agreed to meet at about the half-way mark and Sky became a part of the household. She came complete with all her medical and owner’s papers – this poor girl, in her three years of life had five (!!!!!) different owners. A couple of them had been military – learned from vets’ documentation – so I could understand being rehomed on PCS but there seemed to be no reason for a lot of them. There’s been a state of “not quite war and not quite peace” between Sasha and Sky from day one. Sky leaks, a minor problem that drugs help with, so she has an odor that Sasha detects and they walk around with Sasha’s nose up Sky’s butt until Sky’s had enough of it and in no uncertain terms, tells Sasha to stop it!
Mom lived in Illinois and I got a letter from her landlord saying that mom had to find another place to live, they considered her a risk to herself and to the other people in the buildings. To be fair, she had left the stove on and set off the fire alarm which brought the local fire department, and … well, we’ll leave that at that. I took a trip up there with Sasha, leaving Avalanche and Sky with a friend since I knew he could take care of them and I wasn’t sure about his ability to handle Sasha. As we were eating a sandwich one day, I had to get something and Sasha got my sandwich. That which goes down quickly, all too often comes up just as quickly – and it did. Went to grab a paper towel to clean up the very liquid sandwich and – yep, you guessed it - she bit me again! That was her sandwich!! Not a serious bite but it made taking things out to a trailer “interesting” and sore!
Before this turns into a collection of “this damn dog bit me!”
I went back on here to see my notes and a year ago, Aug 20th 2020, I was talking about her problems with her legs and getting up and down. I'm having a major issue with "letting her go too early" - she could have stayed with me for another month or two or who knows but I know that would have been at the expense of more pain for her. We were at the max dosage for her weight and all she wanted to do was sleep - side effect of gabapentin. I could have gone to another painkiller but the first month would have been more than half my monthly check, after the first two months the meds would drop in dosage and hence reduce the cost but I have two other dogs and myself to consider. In either case, continuing on with what we were on or switching to a new med would not have had any long term impact on either the arthritis or the failure of the muscles in her legs ... just delayed things.
Over time, all my pups have figured out that I’m going to be in a more receptive mood in the morning if I’ve been able to take care of necessities and get some coffee before bothering me for food – yeh, in that I’m a bad daddy, me waking up comes first. If Sasha really wanted something, normally food but sometimes she’d want out, she’d come over and push the comforter I use as a blanket away and stick her ice-cold nose on my ribs … that almost always got a reaction out of me!!
Somewhere over the past few years she decided that she wanted to be closer to me than she had been in the past. I have a computer set up on the counter between the living room and the kitchen and a small filing cabinet beside me. She decided that the perfect place to be was on the floor beside the cabinet which meant that every time I wanted out to get coffee I had to step over her … can I count the times that she’d set up as I stepped? Nope! Can she count the number of times she (almost) got stepped on? Probably not. I think that my first real clue that she was having problems was, initially, when I’d have to put a foot behind her feet so she could stand up on the tile and then when she moved from there into her crate almost full time.
Everyone has the one cute thing that their dog does that they’ll remember and with Sasha it was the dance she did around my feet when it was time for dinner or the evening treat. It was something between a prance around me and a “I’m gonna trip daddy!” I had to be careful not to step on her or trip myself …
And last evening I realized really for the first time that she isn’t here when I went to cook supper and found I didn’t have a companion in the kitchen just waiting for me to slip.
If you’ve read all this, you’ll realize that there were a lot of good times and some not so good time. While it’s the “not so good times” that seem to stand out I’ve enjoyed her company immensely and wouldn’t trade the experiences I had with her for anything.
Anything beyond this is going to get into her decline and you don’t want to know about that and I really don’t want to write about it. If you have any questions about our experiences as she failed, feel free to post a PM, you may get an answer but it may be “later.”
“Properly trained, a man can be dog’s best friend.”
Join date : 2013-06-14
Location : Missouri
Join date : 2009-05-29
Location : Denver, CO
|Subject: Re: Memories of Sasha RIP Tue Aug 24, 2021 5:40 pm|| |
now that i have tears in my eyes i can't see to type. thank you for sharing about Sasha.
|Subject: Re: Memories of Sasha RIP || |
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