Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Conor O'Carey

WOOF! (Husky dialect for "Hello")

Recommended Posts

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.

Nala_and_the_Gray_Wolf_14NOV18_1000res-1.jpg

Nala_August_2017_under_my_desk_1000res.jpg

Nala_Christmas_Day_2017_1000res-A.jpg

Nala_dog_edited-1_Dec15.jpg

Nala_October_2018_900res.jpg

Nala_wearing_Mayas_pin.jpg

Sooka_and_Nala_Feb-2012_food1_900res.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

9F05ED33-0596-4111-9052-4C9ACB1B3F18.jpeg.0c04107e24fdabb64a6b1feda805999d.jpeg   TO.  201C75D1-26E8-474E-9F0D-D52AFF8223F0.png.adfb7991b1d94e201f56278d8a7d91fb.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ha ha, in the past photo...the look on the left...now why is that so familiar!?
Welcome and hope you will share your many years of husky wisdom here.
I think wolves are fascinating, too! 

We have a rescue also, husky/GSD, adopted when he was already 5 or 6.
He seems to have gotten more of a german shepherd temperament and more of the husky looks
(translation - people think he is fluffy and and beautiful and want to pet him...until they are on the receiving end of his growl).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, Shepsky5 said:


We have a rescue also, husky/GSD, adopted when he was already 5 or 6.
He seems to have gotten more of a german shepherd temperament and more of the husky looks
(translation - people think he is fluffy and and beautiful and want to pet him...until they are on the receiving end of his growl).

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, the stuff they find out via DNA these days is pretty amazing! 

I love watching the wolf nature specials - the pack cooperating in a hunt, their social hierarchy, etc. It's really fascinating.

And I can see my dog's behavior in their behavior - for example, in the prey drive sequence. 
My poor dog never gets to successfully hunt down his prey and eat it, but I see those behaviors in him!
( unfortunately because he's on leash, I have to train/suppress them so he doesn't drag me across other people's yards to go eat a bunny! )
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, Shepsky5 said:

Yes, the stuff they find out via DNA these days is pretty amazing! 

I love watching the wolf nature specials - the pack cooperating in a hunt, their social hierarchy, etc. It's really fascinating.

And I can see my dog's behavior in their behavior - for example, in the prey drive sequence. 
My poor dog never gets to successfully hunt down his prey and eat it, but I see those behaviors in him!
( unfortunately because he's on leash, I have to train/suppress them so he doesn't drag me across other people's yards to go eat a bunny! )
 

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).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.