Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Two more items for my CV

I can now be officially labeled as a Wrangler of Huskies and a Husky Buzzkiller.

I live in a relatively rural area. I can see my neighbours' houses, but they're far enough away that I don't know what they're having for dinner.

Just up the road, there's a small rental property - a little house, and two cinderblock apartments. In one of those apartments lives a beautiful male husky. I often see him out front on a long chain. This morning, as I was sitting in my cozy parlour, a streak of black and white flashed through the field across the road. The husky had broken off of his chain, and was enjoying his freedom. He was running at full speed across the light dusting of snow, grinning as he fulfilled the niche for which he was bred.

I grabbed a leash, and set out to return the husky to his (pathetic) domicile. He ran eagerly towards me when I whistled, and I was able to tether him with a minimum of effort. As we walked the 50 metres or so back to his place of confinement, my long-standing suspicions were confirmed. The dog had no leash manners whatsoever, and clearly does not get to go for walks, let alone runs, with his human.

I am a firm believer in Cesar Milan's approach to dog ownership. All dogs need exercise, discipline, and affection - in that order - and huskies have an extraordinarily high need for exercise. Over twenty years ago, my family welcomed a husky named Gatwick into our home. He needed to run, and we met that need by biking with him. Gatwick would essentially pull the human for the first half of his run, as he sprinted flat-out for a kilometre on our country road, smiling the entire way. A few dislocated shoulders, and countless cases of road rash resulted when Gatwick got distracted by a squirrel or rabbit in the bush. Despite the injuries, those exercise sessions were absolutely crucial to the dog's well-being. He lived 15 years, which is a startlingly long lifespan for a husky.

I know that returning the wayward dog was the right thing to do, but I feel badly for curtailing his freedom and wiping that unique husky grin off his face.


Anonymous said...

Maybe you should offer your experience and knowledge of huskies as a dog trainer/walker - for a reasonable fee of course.

val said...

You are truly a wonderful person, Rose!!! You have so many talents and are so giving!! I did have to laught, though, when I read the words "Husky Buzzkiller" - what a funny phrase! You were definitely doing the right thing. But I bet, even for just a second, you thought about bringing the dog home to your house...

I believe in Cesar's approach, too. I want to be the leader of the pack! lol!

Did you speak with the owners?