Duke

One year ago today, we welcomed our precious baby boy to the family.  We had been discussing getting Katya a playmate for a while. We wanted to make sure she was good and comfortable before we got another dog.  We had had her for about 6 months when we started looking for another husky to rescue.

Our boy, Duke
Our boy, Duke

We looked at the local shelters like we had done for Katya. But we didn’t find anything. We wanted a dog at least a year old and male. We work too much to have thought about a puppy and we thought male would balance Katya out better.

We found Husky Haven of LA. It was great. We saw several males that we liked.  So we contacted Husky Haven to see when we could go meet their dogs.  We went down there with Katya on the first day of summer.  We wanted her to meet any potential new dog. We had to make sure they got along before we brought a new dog home.

The first meeting2
First sniff

We meet a few males there. They were all very sweet, but we had seen Duke on the website and wanted to meet him as well. We were told he could be a handful because he liked to jump.  That didn’t bother us. It took us at least 2 weeks before we could sit on our couch at home without Katya jumping on our heads.  So, she brought Duke out.

Normally, she said he would shoot out the gate into the open field and run around like a mad man.  But when she opened the gate to let him out, he stopped and sniffed at the gate we were behind curious about us.

This was promising.  We brought Katya over so they could smell each other and they were both immediately fascinated by each other.  Phil and I each went into the exercise yard to meet Duke separately, and without Katya, first.  He seemed to like us. He did jump up, but it wasn’t too bad – definitely not as crazy as Katya had been.

Next, we introduced the two dogs without a fence between them – it was great.  They sniffed and then played together.  It seemed a perfect match.  So we took Duke home with us.  As soon as he walked in the door, he found a rawhide bone, settled down in the middle of the living room rug, and got comfy gnawing on it.  He was home.

First outing together
Resting at the park with his new family

The next day, he got to explore his new home and surrounding area. We took him to the park to meet the rest of his extended family and he got to cool off in the river.

He had some nervousness about certain things at first.  He didn’t like water, especially moving water.  He was petrified of the bath.  That was easily fixed.  A couple pounds of boiled chicken as a treat all through that first bath and he loves it now.

We’re all water lovers so we had to do something about his aversion to water outside the house too.  We took the kids to the lake one summer day.  It was very hot. We took both dogs running along the shore; and once Duke was really into running and playing, we ran him into the lake before he could realize what we were doing. He stopped once it got to where he wasn’t running anymore, he was swimming.  The look on his face was priceless once he realized what he was doing and then realized that he liked it.  Now he runs straight for the lake and/or river whenever we’re near either.

We found out he’s the better puller of the two as well.  Katya likes to run, but she’s very easily distracted so she never runs a straight line.  Duke, on the other hand, gets in his harness, puts his head down, and he’s on a mission – pull, stay straight, and go! That’s not to say that he’s serious all the time.  When he decides it’s time to play, he is the goofiest dog I’ve ever seen. It hilarious to watch a 95 pound behemoth like Duke prance about with a goofy smile on his face chasing a tennis ball.

Duke has completed our family unit perfectly.  We have a beautiful, crazy girl and our adorable, goofball boy20141002_123926

Katya

When we were first discussing getting a dog. We didn’t think about huskies. Phil wanted a German Shepherd. I had never had a dog before so I just wanted something fluffy to cuddle with:)

We looked at all the shelters within a 100 mile radius for a German Shepherd.  We found a puppy at a Bakersfield shelter. We went down to look at him and see if he wanted to come home with us. But when we got there and took him out to the “meet and greet” yard we noticed something wrong.  He had a lop-sided run;  his right back leg kicked out when he walked or ran.  So, we investigated and asked the people that worked there. They had no idea what we were talking about, but when they felt his leg they said, “huh, that’s weird.”

We thought so as well, especially that they hadn’t noticed – it was very pronounced that the hip joint was not where it was supposed to be, So they had their vet check him out and it seems that he must have had some sort of injury and his hip never healed right.  Now, we’re both very active people so we knew we were going to be taking our dog hiking, swimming, running and such.  This puppy would be uncomfortable with that much activity so we, sadly, said goodbye.

We continued our journey at the Bakersfield SPCA.  Here we found our girl, Katya.  Of course, the shelter volunteers had named her “Snow”. I wanted to call her Katya, and she answered to it immediately:) Phil liked her shepherd ears:) The ears!

When we first saw her, she was literally bouncing off the walls of her 6×8 cell.  It really is sad to see all those sweet animals at the shelters.  When we told the people there that we wanted to meet her, they grinned.  The volunteer assigned to get her out for us actually complained.  He said “I hate that dog”.

1. He should not be there

2. Now I really wanted her.

Anyways, they led her to an exercise yard where she proceeded to head butt the snotty volunteer and split his lip! It was awesome and I started falling in love with her right then.

We decided she liked us, and we liked her energy – and man was there energy! As soon as we had signed all the papers and I took her leash – she immediately calmed down. It was fate.

We packed her up in the back  of the Jeep. We then did something that is probably not advisable for just getting her out of the shelter – we took her in PetSmart:)Where are you taking me

But she was SO good. We were already getting compliments.  Once we got her home and she checked out her new digs – it was nap time.  Getting adopted really takes it out of a girl.

Laying in her bed her first night home.
Laying in her bed her first night home.

 

She’s a character. It took us a couple of weeks to train her not to jump on our heads while we were eating – not exaggerating. And her antics will make anyone smile.  One of my proudest moments with my Krazy Katya is when our niece, Maylee – she’s four – hugged her.

Maylee was always scared to death of dogs.  If we were at a park and a dog came within 20 feet of her, she began screaming in terror.  She was scared of Katya at first.  I was a little worried myself. Katya is not the calmest dog, or the quietest. Oh, She of the Donkey Howl.

But once she saw how scared Maylee was, she immediately took a very non-threatening pose.  Maylee didn’t care, she was still terrified. Katya seemed to understand and left her alone.  Now, we take our dogs everywhere we can with us, so Maylee saw a lot of her. After a couple more meetings, Maylee stopped hiding from her. Katya still left her alone.  After a couple more meetings, Maylee tried petting her and then ran away. It progressed like this for about a month until…tWP_20131228_004hat’s Maylee playing Doc McStuffins, and her brother, with Katya in the corner being “operated”on.  (Can you see her little white paws on the floor by the chair?)  My Krazy Katya calmed the nerves of a scared toddler and now Maylee falls asleep at our house with a doggie’s head in her lap.

Maylee being guarded by her boy, Duke, while she naps
Maylee being guarded by her boy, Duke, while she naps