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Friday, April 2, 2010

Birds and Hedlund Huskies

Glorious evening on Oake Lake

Phoenix and Topa greeting Wimzi

Goofy Phoenix does his typical "lay down to greet the puppy". The orange mesh in the background is to keep the puppy from jumping off the deck.

All four playing.

Tuloon with "baby" Topa

Wimzi is the focus, as are all naughty puppies

Tuloon reminds Topa to play gently with Wimzi

She's got my cheek!

Wimzi begins to follow Topa around the yard.

More fun

I gotta tell ya somethin

Another puppy bite

Now she's got Topa's ear as Tuloon chews a Nylabone, completely unaffected.

After reporting that the ice went out just four days ago, it has been 80 degrees for two days in a row! The Bald Eagle and his young apprentice have been out fishing in the mornings then again in the evenings on Oake Lake. Two Trumpeter Swans have been spending their days on the lake, swimming slowly by the dog kennels and honking a hello. After hearing the honk, honk, honking of the Canadian Geese ALL day, I'm not complaining, but I'd like to request another tune for tomorrow, please. The Starlings came in droves and I could not hear myself think over their chitter chatter way up in the trees, while out in the dog yard. Having said all of that, I'll take that honking of the Geese and the loud conversation of the Starlings over the honking of impatient drivers and mind numbing freeway noise of rush hour traffic in the cities any day.

On this glorious evening, I watched a remarkable sight. It was Topa and Phoenix's turn inside tonight and Topa's first chance to meet baby Wimzi face to face without a fence between them. We began the introduction outside on the deck as I and Tuloon acted as the referees. It seems Tuloon has softened up to the idea of being a mentor and protector to this new little one. Phoenix did his typical "lay down for the puppy" greeting. I was ready for any rowdiness that could come out of a 9 month old pup towards a 10 week old pup. But none came. Topa was as gentle as a kitten with Wimzi. Tuloon made sure of it, and reminded her how to behave on a few occasions by wrapping her muzzle around Topa's. Fairly soon, all three "big" dogs were gently playing with the puppy and each other at the same time. It was a heartwarming sight. This gentle interaction and behavior is one of the most notable traits of the Hedlund Husky. You don't just find this in any breed or line of dog. It is part of what makes them who they are. Our Hedlund Husky Preservation group has been recently discussing how they seem to have a "knowing" about them that is hard to describe, that sets them apart.

Once inside, Wimzi began to assertively harass Blueberry, our 22lb house dog, as she does every chance she gets. Watching Topa, still a puppy herself, place her herself between the puppy and Blueberry consistently throughout the evening, while gently licking Blue's face was yet another fascinating observation. Wimzi eventually retreated, deterred by the blocking tactic of a very smart and young Topa.

Although Wimzi has only a small portion of Hedlund Husky in her, we are hoping she is able to pick up some ideas about how to behave from the Hedlund Huskies in the Kennel. Poor little Blueberry would sure like to see this happen. Little Miss Wimzi has made a habit out of trying to drag the poor guy around the house by his wispy tail. She's becoming quite a bit less modest in her confidence and quite a lot more cocky. We're working at nipping that in the bud. It isn't acceptable when asked kindly not to bite my hand to then bite it again. Actually, the "asked kindly" is a swift but gentle grab of the muzzle and strong eye contact as I utter the word "no". This request has grown from offering her something else to chew on to a more abrupt consequence as needed. Lately, her answer to my kind request has been "heck no!" as I remove my grasp from her muzzle. And this "heck no!" has come in the form of more continuous snapping of my hands. Oh, the joys of a precious but bratty puppy!

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