I’m reluctant to move Wild from the “pet dog” category to the “not forgotten” category. I guess I’m in denial and still think she’s going to come home and I’ll see her smiling guilty face; but I guess I’ll commence her memorial.
We got Wild (formerly known as Beaut) from Voyageur Outward Bound (OB) in Ely, Minnesota in around 2001. I remember Wild, before I brought her home, from when I was an OB instructor. She was quite beautiful, but very timid, and she didn’t let strangers, including me, into her circle. I had thought at the time that if I had her as a pet, I’d be able to work with her. A year or two later, we were adopting Dudley, and someone at OB said “Hey, why don’t you take Beaut.” I jumped at the chance.
When we brought Beaut home to North Carolina, we realized what a handful she was. Bosco and Wild had horrific fights; both Greg and I were bitten by both dogs, on different occasions, trying to break up the fights. We learned that we needed to tie Beaut up during dinner time because otherwise she’d eat everyone else’s food and fight with them. She was also quite interested in cats.
We were watching out house sitter’s cat, Squeakers, when the first cat indecent happened. I was at the firehouse, but Greg was home. Apparently, Beaut (and probably Dudley) attacked Squeakers. Greg brought the kitty to the emergency vet, and it turned out that she was going to be okay! I think she was in kitty ICU for a while.
The second cat incident was more traumatic. While we were on vacation, on the day of our anniversary, Freckles was killed by Beaut and probably Dudley. Even though I had Freckles for 7 years, and Beaut for 4 months, I couldn’t get rid of her. That’s what Huskies do– they kill things. After Wild ate Freckles, she gained 9 lives.
I don’t remember if I changed Beaut’s name to Wild before or after Freckles died, but I had read that changing a dog’s name may help with behavioral problems. I chose the name Wild, not because I fully understood the extent of Beaut’s evilness, but because I was really into Shackleton at the time and Wild was Shackleton’s navigator. Wild was a dog of many names, besides Wild, we also called her Creature, Evil Creature, Creature from Hell, Wild Creature, and other variations of the evilest dog in the world. A Native American woman once told me that dogs with one blue eye and one brown eye are psycho; I believe this to be true based on my experience with Wild.
Eventually, the fighting between Wild and Bosco calmed down, but Wild still was “Wild.” She mellowed out a little bit in her old age, and she really enjoyed her time in Alaska. The first year we moved here, I took her and Dudley skijoring. Wild really loved the snow and she was great at breaking trails. After around two years in Alaska, Wild wasn’t able to skijour anymore, and enjoyed being mellow (for a Wild thing), and just went on morning and evening walks with us.
Wild went through many of her lives while in Alaska, and cost us a fortune in vet bills. There was the time she ate half a bag of energy pack and her girth increased instantaneously. Eating energy pack and drinking gallons of water is like creating a brick in your stomach. She needed enemas to get all of the stuff out. Note, this actually happened more than once. Wild was very good at breaking into the shed and eating piles of energy pack and dog food. When she did that, her body would always expand– it was pretty funny to look at.
Another life was when she ate a pound of grapes and I gave her IV fluid all night. Grapes are toxic to some dogs, apparently not to the Creature.
Wild had two episodes of Breast Cancer. She lost a lot of weight the first time. Once the lump was removed she gained it back. Her second lump was removed, and she seemed to be okay.
Less than a year ago, Wild was attacked by most of the sled dogs in the yard. She didn’t walk for three days. And in Dec. of 2007 she woke up pretty lame and wasn’t able to use her front paws.
So here are her 9 lives in a list.
- Fighting with Bosco = 2 lives
- Eating bags of Energy Pack/Sled Dog food = 2 lives
- Eating a pound of grapes = 1 life
- Getting beat up by all of the sled dogs = 1 life
- Breast cancer (twice) = 2 lives
- Waking up lame and unable to use front legs = 1 life
I guess since Wild didn’t have anymore lives, she wasn’t able to return home. I’ll surely miss her. In her old age we became good friends. Eventually she let me pet her, even snuggle with her on occasion, and she even slept on the bed at times. Everyone in the house, except for me and possibly Neptune, despised Wild. She’d growl at everyone, steal food from the counter and my lunch bag. I remember just recently I went to the store just to buy apples. I bought 10 organic apples and put them in the sink. I figured they didn’t smell, so I went outside, came back, and all of my apples were gone, except she saved me one. What a thoughtful creature! She really like her fruits and veggies, carrots were one of her favorite foods.
Well Wild creature, I don’t know what happened to you and I don’t understand how you got lost and why you didn’t come home. I miss you and love you.