Monday, November 17, 2014


 I  have always been partial to Nordic dog breeds and in particular, Siberian Huskies.  I find them to be spirited, energetic and very fond of people.  My love for them started when i was about 8 years old.

At that time, I had just read "Call of The Wild" and "White Fang", by the author Jack London.  I immediately fell in love with the idea of adventures in Alaska and the Klondike and in particular, the strong, determined and loving sled dogs that were the main characters in these stories.

Since that time, I have had the pleasure of enjoying two wonderful Siberian Huskies.  The first, a dog named right out of "The Call of The Wild"...Teek.  He was a strong-willed, close companion of mine some 20 plus years ago, and was part of a 6 dog sled team in Germany.  The second Siberian was a sweet and loving dog named Luna.

Almost twelve years ago, my wife and I went searching for a pet for my daughters 8th birthday.  We came across a female Siberian Husky pup that had been returned to the breeders because the owner found the pup too "challenging" and "difficult". (This is a VERY willful and spirited breed!)  We hung out for a bit, as it was a nice summer day and we played with the cute little puppy for a bit.  We were able to meet the Mom and Dad dogs as well.  The male was a very large framed, strong and majestic looking Siberian...outside of the standards for a Siberian Husky, but simply beautiful.  The female was smaller, more slender and had a gentleness to her expressions.  (We would find out later that Luna would take after her Father in stature and her mother in demeanor)

We scooped up the little puppy after explaining to the Breeders that we understood the extra challenges that a Siberian Husky would present and that we would give her a safe and loving home.  We headed home with the newest member of our family and as i recall, Sandi was quite skeptical of the idea of a new dog.  Me?  I was certain that this new puppy would be a blessing to our family.

We presented the puppy (Later named Luna) to our daughter, who immediately took to her new, little friend.


It was all very exciting until later that night when Luna, likely still missing her Momma, began to cry and howl.  This was pretty normal behavior for a new puppy, sooooooo I grabbed a ticking clock and a small blanket and hung out in the laundry room next to little Luna until she fell asleep.  This went on for a few weeks until she got cozy with her new home and surroundings.  Sometimes, as i would be quietly sneaking out of the laundry room...she would catch me!!...and back I went...until she fell asleep again...usually on my leg making it even harder for me to escape to my own bed!!

We enjoyed Luna for years...her begging for food, and her demand to be walked at about 5 pm nightly characterized by her half growling and half howling.  In short, she was an ever present part of our family and daily life.  Even Sandi, who was constantly at war with Luna over the trampling of the plants and flowers in her large garden, (Luna apparently thought it was HER garden!) came to enjoy the positive and loving effect that Luna brought to our family.

When Luna was about 6-7 years old and going through one of her "heat cycles", she found a way out of our heavily fortified back yard. (Another Siberian trait...escape artist)  I found out while at work and was immediately alarmed as Siberian's like to wander and run...they are NOT prone to returning home.  I was unsure we would get her back.

I went about putting up large, poster board signs throughout the neighborhood and some days later, at the suggestion of a friend, I placed a Craigslist ad.

                                              The Craigslist Photo                                                 

About ten days and a ton of my daughter's tears later, I received a phone call from a lady in Federal Way.  She said that she had responded to a Craigslist ad several days earlier that described a "Found", black and white Siberian Husky.  She told me that she had recently lost her Male, black and white Siberian and thought perhaps her dog had made it the 20 plus miles to Tacoma.  (Which would not surprise me!)

She said that she responded to the ad, and after hearing the description of the "Found" Siberian, she drove to the woman's house in Tacoma to see if it was her dog.  She said that while the dog looked very much like hers, she discovered it was a female, and not a male dog.  She told me that she was told by the woman that no one else had replied to the "Found" ad and that it had been several days.  She said that the woman told her that if she wanted the dog, that she could take it, as she only kept it to hopefully find the owner.

The lady from Federal Way told me that she took the Siberian and drove back to Federal Way, and decided on the drive home to name this "Found" dog, Luna! (Yes really!)

She told me that the very next day, she received a call from the woman in Tacoma, who told her that she had located the owner of the dog, and asked her to return the dog to her.  She said that she then drove back to Tacoma and dropped the dog off, so it could be reunited with its owner.

Now, she had told me this rather long story with some concern, as she told me that she had seen the ad I placed, as well as the photo I posted and she immediately recognized the dog as Luna.  She asked if I had been contacted by the woman in Tacoma and I told her I had not.  She gave me the address to the woman' residence, as she had kept it on her GPS from the day prior.  Turns out that the address was about 4 miles from our house.  I thanked the nice lady and Sandi and I drove to the woman's house.

The short story is...we were able to get our Luna back.  Apparently the woman in Tacoma had seen our ad, which included a 200.00 dollar reward, and had gotten Luna returned so that she could collect the reward. (We offered it to the lady that had called from Federal Way, but she declined)

We simply could not believe that after two weeks, we had found our dog!  It was a happy homecoming and my daughter was elated.  Other than a few scratches and some torn nails from what looked like a fight with another dog, Luna looked just fine.  Me?...I was out tearing down the 20 large poster board "Lost Dog" signs!

A few weeks later, I commented that Luna looked a bit "chunky".  Sandi thought it was just her winter coat coming in.  A few weeks later we took our chunkier dog to the Vet, who examined her...gave her an x-ray and then smiled and told us that Luna was pregnant with at least 6 puppies!

Are you kidding me!??! 

We set about preparing a "Den" for Luna, (Closet under the stairs) and several weeks later...we welcomed 7 brand new puppies into the world!:)  Luna needed no assistance and after a couple hours of labor, she was exhausted....but feeding and caring for her babies and gently licking them clean.


I watched Sandi grow much closer to Luna during this time.  She developed a strong bond with Luna the way only another Mom could....and she fell in love with every single one of the puppies....we all did.

8 weeks later, we had found homes for all of the puppies and after a few more weeks, Luna had re-adjusted to her human family...though it was painfully obvious that she missed her babies.

We enjoyed Luna for the next four years...her begging, her nightly walks, her sleeping next to my daughters bed each night, and her sweet and gentle kisses when we knelt down to pet her.  Luna even enjoyed a brief friendship with our Grandson, Landon...who was not afraid to pet her and offer his 2 year old face to be licked! (As well as sharing any and all of his snacks with her)  Luna was also part of Veronica's Graduation pictures as well as her Graduation Announcement.


We recently noticed Luna slowing way down on her nightly the point of her laying down.  She would then get up and try her best to finish the walk, but I could tell she was very very tired...very out of character for a Siberian.  I knew something was wrong.

After a few visits to the Vet and a few tests...I realized that our 11 year old friend was dying.   She was very ill and so very tired.  It weighed heavy on my heart.  I knew that we would have to let her go and I wished I didn't have to make the decision.

We spent the last few days just being with Luna...talking to her, petting her...and just loving her.

We went as a family to take our sweet Luna to the Vet for the last time.

Veronica looked up at me with tears streaming down her face...barely able to speak...and said, "I'm losing my best friend".  Each of us put a hand on our beautiful and cherished companion, petting her.  It was very, very difficult to watch my daughters heart break as she lovingly held Luna in her arms......until she passed.

As anyone who has lost a cherished pet knows...these are special creatures.  They are here for a short abbreviated life....but that short time is no less fulfilling and no less enjoyable.  We will miss Luna...each in our own way and we will treasure our time with her...and our memories of her.

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