Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Hot Paws

The temperatures are finally scraping 100 as we move into May, driving the Yankees back home to Illinois or wherever. I consider that a bonus. Big huskies aren’t too happy about that and he minimizes his outdoor time, preferring early morning and evening. He spends the rest of the day seeking out cool spots on the tiles. Little dog doesn’t seem to mind too much one way or the other. Even on the hottest days, she’ll be out on the grass on her back working on her tan. Now is the time we have to be aware of the potential for “hot paws” and only go walkies first thing in the morning or late at night. This gives the pavement and sidewalks time to cool so tender dog paws aren’t burned. There are products such as “cool paws” that are booties for dogs, but attempting to strap booties on an animal with half-inch fangs that doesn’t want to wear them can prove problematic.

We do spoil the pups. ‘Strella Dog has a pillow on the bed and her own futon in the TV room, though Yukon does intrude from time to time. I did see something the other day that made me feel as though maybe we weren’t too over the top on dog spoilification. I saw a woman pushing a stroller. The stroller had a top and some netting across the front closing off the front. I peek in through the nylon screen and there sitting as if a princess in her sedan chair was a Welsh Corgi. Strollers for dogs, now that’s spoiled.

I would like to say our dogs were normal, but that isn’t the case I fear. Austrella (AKA ‘Strella Dog AKA Gadji) came with baggage from her past life. She was originally from a home with 109 animals. I don’t know if she was abused, but with that many animals (not all were dogs) I expect she was neglected. I have heard accumulating animals like that is kind of a disorder – I fear I may have it as well. I can’t look at a stray dog without wanting to take it home. Fortunately, the Mrs. is the voice of reason and keeps a lid on my dog habit. She has also wisely barred me from working at any animal shelters. Any rate, the county stepped in with the owners of the impromptu menagerie and ‘Strella wound up at the humane society.

We had just lost Lucky Dog, a Sheppard/Husky mix and had a large void in our life. Dogs become family members, except in those cases where the poor thing spends its life chained up in the backyard, and their passing is just as traumatic as though a child had died. We often muse that Lucky’s spirit guided us to ‘Strella. Austrella is a very needy pup and very vocal. We get what for when we come home at night -0 she goes to great lengths explaining how she is not very happy with us.

Yukon came later and was an internet dog. Beware if you find a dog on the net, the picture of the dog (if there is a picture) is not to scale. The fact there was nothing in the picture with Yukon to help determine size should have put me on alert. He didn’t look very big. I found him on the Arizona Husky Rescue web site. My wife was suckered in by the picture of a cute “little” boy with his ears tucked back (Yukon, not me). We drove out to the Foster home and saw Yuke n the fur for the first time, but it was too late. Even though we realized he was a huge beast there’s no way we could leave without him. A few shots and a tick dip later (Yukon’s foster home wasn’t too hot) we had ourselves 85 pounds of stupid wrapped in fur. ‘Strella Dog wasn’t too happy about her new “brother” either, but since he was considerably larger she didn’t do much about it. In fact she tried to make him at home – I caught her trying to show Yukon how to use the dog door. ‘Strella Dog would go through the door, sit on the other side and look at Yukon. She repeated this several times before he caught on. The look on her face read “Oh my god, is he really that stupid?” Why yes he is! Yukon probably thinks his name is “Dammit Yukon” because it took a while and several tragedies involving rugs and furniture before we got things sorter, more or less. We knew from experience the huskies have to push the limits from time to time to check if a rule is still valid -“I wonder if I can climb up on the couch yet.” Then again, it may be just a matter of “Did they say I was supposed to climb up on the couch, or not climb up on the couch, I can’t remember – oh well, the couch it is!”

My daughter likes to point out how we reestablished our original family dynamic with a girl and a boy, both with personalities that closely resembled the kids with two legs. There may be a reaction to the empty nest syndrome in play here but I couldn’t imagine not having a couple of dogs around the house. It is tough to be glum when you have huskies, renowned clowns of the dog, world running around the house. I wish I could bring them to work and bring them when I shop (the grocery store wouldn’t be a good idea considering Yukon would do his Tasmanian Devil thing through the meat department). I miss them a lot (not as much as you though, honey) and think that I almost prefer their company to most people.

12 Comments:

At 2:56 PM, Blogger nanuk said...

Our husky can take minus forty 24/7 without a whimper, but I think he'd drop dead in an instant if we transported him to Arizona in summer.

I feel exactly the same way concerning my dogs as members of the family; however, on the wife's side they are working animals that unfortunately can be all too easily replaced.

Give them a couple of pats from me, eh?

 
At 4:46 PM, Blogger fairscape said...

PK

They make those dog mats now out of that Chillow stuff to keep them cool in hot weather.
Maybe your dog Yukon would like one of those. I will always remember the words of Snoopy though;"Dogs were born to sleep in the sun".

 
At 5:42 PM, Blogger Eternally Curious said...

Exactly right TPK! Every word!

 
At 5:52 PM, Blogger Becky said...

Our dogs have got a couple of huge dog pillows but they keep tearing them to shreds, so what does hubby do, go buy them new ones. They've gone through about a dozen since we've gotten them a year ago.

 
At 6:29 PM, Blogger The Phosgene Kid said...

Thanks for the comments! I doubt our dogs could take anything below 55. I hate to think what they'd do if they saw snow! The only work they do is gettign me into the kitchen to get them dinner.

Yukon is very destructive, hence banishment to the bathroom. We tried letting him have a blanket - we got most of it back all through the next week.

Gotta love them dogs!!!

 
At 9:58 PM, Blogger Sarah Letnes said...

"85 pounds of stupid wrapped in fur!" I was laughing so hard Sweetface came in to check on me.

 
At 11:24 AM, Blogger Liska said...

Yeah, huskies. There's one in my parents' house, a grandma of 11 years with arthritis and she must be related to your Yukon in a way. Luckily, she's grown only to a half of a huski, when she was a little puppy, she didn't want to eat, just ran around:-)))

 
At 5:39 PM, Blogger jin said...

Oh!! GREAT GREAT story!! My husband & I are not complete without at least one dog, either!

LOVE the stroller! HA HA!

My golden isn't spoiled in the least...not even when she sits on a chair with us when we have dinner & eats off the nice dishes, too...lolol!

 
At 10:49 AM, Blogger Tea and Books, etc said...

ROTFLMAO X 10!

My sister-in-law had 2 cats, my brother one, when they got together. One of the cats was Tasha (Natasha), whom must have thought her name was Stupid because she was rarely called anything else. A beautiful cat (Persian), nevertheless she was extremely well-matched to her nickname, lol. Your comments re Strella and her incredulity at Yukon reminded me of Tasha, lol.

 
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At 11:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You have a nice site here. I will be saving this page to my favorites for sure. I just visited a site with great articles and products on dog strollers. Check it out if you have time. Thanks. ;)

 
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