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Conor O'Carey

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About Conor O'Carey

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  • Real Name
    Conor O'Carey
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    Sacramento (California) USA
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  1. This reminds me of a direct experience I had with a lovely rescue Sibe named 'Raki' (who ended up as my all-time favorite, out of 7 or so we've had in the past). One of our Sibes passed on and we were looking for a new pack-member, when we came across Raki at our regional Sibe rescue site (NorSLED.org). His foster person stated that although he was a lovely guy, his previous owner (this is in the hot summer Central Valley area of California, USA) had shaved him! Aghast, we took a closer look at him and indeed, the previous owner, who was apparently a three-brain-cell maroon (sic), had shaved all his fur off from just back of his ears to his tail! The poor guy had an almost embarrassed look on his face in the picture they posted of him, but something about him reached out to me across the ether and I went to see him. The moment we locked eyes on each other there was this almost palpable electro-chemical bonding interaction and I knew he was OUR guy, shaven coat and all. Poor Raki turned out to be the most wonderful and soulful member of our pack and even several years after he crossed the Rainbow Bridge I still miss him terribly. Raki had rather severe 'brittle diabetes' (keytoacidosis), which required daily insulin injection, and eventually had a stroke that affected his mobility. He also developed cataracts bilaterally, but what a stoic, brave boy he was! Raki's fur, when we took him in was, as mentioned, completely shaven and since Siberian dogs have a complex coat comprised of three distinct 'belts', we wondered if he would ever get it all back. It took a considerable time, but he did indeed get his full coat back in all its splendor, the uppermost coarse layer over his back coming in first, followed by the left & right lateral belts. When he passed on eventually, he possessed a most splendid coat that would have made a wolf happy, I'm sure! As a short-hair (as opposed to 'fluffy' or long-hair) husky, Raki amply demonstrated that husky hair WILL grow back, despite the horror of nakedness that makes such a poorly treated Lupus dog such a bizarre sight. As already stated, patience is the only effective treatment for regrowth of your pup's coat. Our experience is that grooming is best left to the concerned, well-informed owner. There are far too many people who think that becoming a self-styled pet groomer is a quick path to $$$$$, regrettably! Caveat emptor, as always! As for Raki's previous owner, in my considered opinion, some people should be barred from owing dogs (just as some should not be allowed to breed and spawn human children), but in a democracy such draconian regulations are not practicable, since despite the fact that people of lowered awareness and perception (read: marginal IQ and social acumen) are often quite irrational about certain things (e.g. the epidemic of husky-acquisitions that resulted from the popular US serial 'Game of Thrones' and the glut of Dalmatians after the release of the Disney movie '101 Dalmations', etc.), one (alas!) cannot effectively legislate intelligence or morality. I have attached a few images of Raki taken within a few days of his adoption (and after about two-months of hair-regrowth, post-shaving), along with several others that show his luxurious 'new' coat. If one looks closely, his 'nakedness' is apparent in several of the pictures.
  2. Another view of some of the local region's huskies and their people at Christmastime.
  3. Laika and Sooka at the Sacramento Christmas Parade in 2012. Even lacking any snow to revel in, they were having a great time!
  4. A great turn-out of many of the regional Siberian Husky dogs and their human pack-mates.
  5. Conor O'Carey

    Major DJ Muttley

    "Maj. DJ Muttley. intrepid canine aviator (now long departed on his last mission), had almost a hundred hours of flight time in his log book and enjoyed flying in anything that offered him a chance (he's flown in a dozen different aircraft types and even flown in a Vodochody L-29 jet trainer). DJ was the offspring of a Canadian working Siberian champion (CKC) and a HUGE guy for a Siberian, standing well over 25 inches at the shoulders. Personality-wise, he was the mellowest dog you've ever met (the only thing he was visibly 'scared' of was strangers smoking cigarettes...go figure!). Since he was too large to qualify for AKC shows, he was relegated to 'pet status', which is how we acquired him. A magnificent companion and simply cool as a cucumber in the air (Tom Cruise in 'TOP GUN' had nothing on DJ in the 'cool department'). We greatly miss wonderful DJ. He is shown here wearing one of my old Air Force bone-domes and 02 masks! Clear skies and favorable jet streams, DJ!
  6. Interesting anecdote about your pup's prey drive, ShepSky5. The husky prey drive is something that far too many uninformed 'impulse husky buyers' know nothing about, so when a husky suddenly reverts to prey drive behavior with regard to the presence of another small dog (or cat, etc.) it often catches them totally off guard. An oft-told admonishment is, of course, "never let your husky off its lead outside the home or yard" (although after a lifetime of bonding with its humans this is sometimes not completely true/necessary), but very often whilst walking Nala through the local park (which has a large ground squirrel & tree squirrel population), she will spot one of these critters and pounce on it before I'm even aware of her having detected it. This sometimes happens with moles & gophers as well. A few weeks ago, she was walking stealthily forward, ears cocked for slight noises beyond my range of hearing (she takes apparent great delight in this stalking game), she suddenly sprang up and pounced upon a poor little pocket-gopher who had chosen the wrong moment to pop its head up out of a hole. Before I could pry her jaws open to release it, it had expired. She's got more than a few of these little beasts to her credit now, despite my efforts to keep her from it. It's just hard-wired into her, naturally, and wolf naturalists have frequently documented similar behavior by wild wolves in the arctic tundra regions, wherein in the absence of caribou, wolves will hunt and snare small rodents just under the snow in exactly the same way. Efforts to protect these innocent little ground creatures notwithstanding, it's always fascinating to see this domestic husky behavior parallel to their wolfish predecessors (and after 15-20K years of genetic separation!) manifest itself. I really had to chuckle at your comment about being dragged across a lawn in pursuit of a bunny. 😄 The picture that comes to mind is so vivid, LoL! I've been there myself, many times, getting pulled involuntarily towards some little creature that has caught my girl's eye! Alarmingly, my girl even focuses momentarily on very small infants we encounter on our walks, although she has never demonstrated an untoward behavior with regard to actual interactions with infants and is extremely friendly with adults and children in general. Still, it is a bit worrisome and I'm always aware of her extreme 'wolfiness' at such moments. Just more evidence that Spitz type dog owners MUST familiarise themselves with their breed THOROUGHLY (and preferably before acquiring such a 'high-maintenance' dog). My other pup (much older), Sooka, is very urbane and nonchalant about such diversions, in marked contrast to Nala (he's just a great big, benign and ultra friendly goof!...VERY 'Omega', like me).
  7. Speaking of your Shep/Husky mix, all the background on these hybrids I've read has been uniformly favorable, especially after considering that (all other things being equal), in genetic admixtures the bad genes tend to drop out and the good genes rise (e.g. the broader the gene pool, the better the recombinant result, generally speaking...something that also favors cross-cultural human progeny). This seems to be rather dramatically evidenced in the introduction of a newly recognized AKA breed, the "Tamaskan", which is a Shep/Husky hybrid. The Tamaskan seems to combine the best of both breeds, with the result that one ends up with a predominantly husky-appearing dog that has positive Shepherd features without the often aggressive nature of the latter (but a dog that will not meet a stranger at the front door with the spare house-key in mouth and take him on a tour of the home's valuables, LoL). 🙂 Since German Shepherds, Siberians, Malamutes, Laikas and closely related northern Spitz breeds (like the Czech Wolfdog and the Northern Inuit Dog...used in GoT to portray Direwolves) all are generally recognized as being the closest to ancient wolf ancestors of all modern domestic dog breeds, such admixtures constitute a whole new (and delightful) area of canine temperament/personality research. I well recall being stunned (as a tender college frosh) to hear that ALL domestic dogs (no matter whether Chihuahua or Sibe) still contain about 99.98% of their original wolfish ancestral DNA (after 15-20 thousand years of separation)! Hard to believe on the initial hearing of this, that even the tiniest 'tea-cup' or 'purse-dog' shares that same percentage. We recently sent off Sooka's and Nala's DNA to be analysed (by the EMBARK canine DNA project, affiliated with the Yale Veterinary Institute) and were unsurprised to hear that Nala has what they termed an 'unusually high titer of 'wolfiness'. Judging by her observed behavior, that appears to be true, even if she's still 100% pure Sibe. Since I love wolves, this really pleased me to hear that from them. At any rate, people who identify with the need to protect and preserve much-decimated wolf populations can certainly appreciate the Sibes (and their relatives) that we all love so much! They're about as close as we humans can safely come to the archetypal Lupine critters they emulate.
  8. Greetings to all the others on this forum from myself (Conor, card-carrying human and honorary Omega dog of Irish/German/Hawaiian extraction), my wife (from China) and my current two pack members, 'Nala' (black & white) and 'Sooka' (black & white, also spelled 'Suka'). Nala is, by the way, our Alpha. Both are rescues, obtained through the Northern California Sled Dog Rescue (NorSLED.org). A bit of background on us: Wifie and I met about 30 years ago and have kept Siberian Husky dogs ever since, all obtained through NorSLED, as rescues. Not including our present pack-mates, we have had the joy and companionship of 5 other huskies over that time, each absolutely unique and delightful. I began my association with huskies in Berkeley (CA), back in undergrad days, but at that time kept Alaskan malamutes. One day, a couple of good friend introduced us to their unusually well-trained huskies ('well-trained husky' is probably an oxymoron, LoL), with the emphatic caveat: "Never, Never, but NEVER spoil a husky!"). Sadly, that bit of ethereal wisdom didn't take and I have had nothing but terribly spoiled huskies from that point on! 😋 Our life with huskies has been one non-stop learning curve, despite the fact that when in Berkeley, I was greatly taken with wolves and studied them both formally and informally for decades. Konrad Lorenz was, needless to say, one of my early inspirations in that regard. Naturally, the SPITZ breeds are about as close to their original wolf ancestors as any of the modern dog breeds come, so an interest in Malamutes, Siberians, Laikas and so forth was only natural. Amusingly, despite all my scholarly efforts to understand wolves and Spitz breeds, when it came to actually living with and working with Sibes and Mals, all my book-studies were probably worth less than a typical day spent with my dogs! After 30 years of this sort of learning, I am STILL surprised by all the unique nuances and aspects of these delightful dogs and I can state with utter truth that I firmly believe that a life without them is not a life worthy living! Actually, it is a peculiar habit that my Alpha has of picking the absolutely hottest summer days to go outside and stretch out in the sun on the grass (sunbathing!), that I stumbled across this husky venue. Today, the temp is in the vicinity of about 106 F and sure enough, Nala is nonchalantly soaking up rays out there in the sweltering heat! After years and years of observing this trait in my other Sibes, I finally posed a question about that on-line and OINGO-BOINGO, up came a whole forum full of references by Sibe owners to their sun-bathing huskies! Small world, isn't it? Among the huskies we have had (now crossed over the rainbow bridge, sadly) are LAIKA, DEEJAY, RAKI, PEARY and WALTER. All were rescues (Walter & Sooka came to us as brothers) and all were fantastic pups! I've always felt that husky names should be short, no more than two syllables and audibly distinctive (so as to make no mistake when they are called) and of course, our first Sibe was named after the Russian space dog ('Laika'), who rode to international fame on Sputnik-2 as the first living earth creatures to orbit around the earth in 1957 (3 Nov 57). Space-dog Laika wasn't a purebred, of course, and was a small mixed-breed mongrel female, but as we all know 'Laika' means 'barker' in Russian, and so the world came to know and honor little 'Kudryavka' (her original name) by her last name. I'm convinced that many others like me watched 'Game of Thrones' as much for the 'Direwolves' as for all the other spectacular effects, but it continually saddens me to be aware of how many simple-minded souls watched that series and then had to immediately go out and get Spitz type dogs that would quickly prove to be 'too much dog' for them, causing the poor pups to end up in rescue! That's one of the worst effects of today's 'popular entertainment' for the masses, unfortunately. 😕 That's about all for the moment. I am a retired aerospace life support person, writer and aviation historian and wifie is a former resident of Fujian Province, China (we're both members of the 11.5 Mile High Club, LoL!). We look forward to some entertaining interactions on this venue, in common appreciation for our 'wolfy' pack members! Attached are some images of Nala & one of Sooka.
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