Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Zodiak got a reprieve from the last decision to get him neutered in April when Journey was spayed. Not this time. At Points Unknown, we've got a very aggressive spay and neuter program. We don't do it lightly and put a lot of discussion to it before the decision is made. We want to make certain that those we do keep intact have the most well rounded temperaments, are exceptional workers and are the best representatives of the traditional line we are trying to preserve.
Zodiak has an excellent work ethic. He is part Hedlund Husky and part what we call our "Zulu line" which has village dog roots. He received the short coat from his grandmother on the Zulu side which is not a desired trait. He is an excellent people dog and loves just about any dog we meet during our Canicross Hikes or obedience classes. Then why fix him? Well, he's got a brother, Oken, that is a better representative of each line who has a more traditional coat and who is much more eager to please, making him a lower maintenance leader candidate. Zodiak has also had some issues with dominance with other dogs in our kennel and not too many of the dogs in the kennel can handle his unbridled energy level so he sometimes gets a kennel to himself so the others can get a break. He's 22 months old and although the argument can be made that he could grow out of some of his undesirable behaviors, there is no need to take the chance when we have the more desirable Hedlund/Zulu genetics in his brother. So he was fixed.
He's spent the last couple of weeks with an "E" collar on, living a very sheltered life either in the house in a crate or in a small enclosed outdoor area so he can heal properly. With this boy's energy level, you can only imagine how he has been coping. (And how we have been coping!)
Yesterday he got his first very short Canicross Hike since the surgery. The "E" collar was taken off and the harness put on. Neil volunteered for this job thankfully, because I'm not certain I would have had the strength to have dealt with Zodiak after almost two weeks of trying to keep him "sedate". It was all Neil could do to keep Zodiak on course as he lunged in the harness uncontrollably at the start. He did eventually settle down and actually looked a bit tired after his hike. Thank goodness.
He's now back in his old kennel in the dog yard but won't be allowed to play with his friends for another couple of days.