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.
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.
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.
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.