BEREA, Ohio — I wanted to share my story of the two buffoons who are the loves of my life.
Let’s begin with huskies. I love huskies. They are stubborn, love nothing better than to run, are avid campers and hikers, and are so very affectionate toward ANYONE who so much as looks in their direction. I have had four purebred and one mixed-breed (we call him our huskador) rescues over the course of the last 18 years.Â
When you get a husky, you have to have two. They love companionship and hate to be alone. If left alone, they can become destructive.Â Â
When our third husky died at the ripe young age of 16, we stated, “no more dogs.” We travel a lot and it just wasn’t fair to the dog to constantly be put in and out of a boarding kennel. Then, our two adult sons decided it was better to live at home, so then came pleas of “let’s get another dog, PLEASE?!?!” I was very hesitant, but agreed to give it some thought.
In June 2014, my husband was covering an event (he’s a photographer and theater reviewer) for the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo called “Meet Your New Best Friend.” The zoo invites shelters from around the area to bring their adoptees to the zoo to see if they can find forever homes.
I tagged along because we had a luncheon to attend afterward. As we walked among the many cages and talked to the participants, we met this incredibly beautiful black dog named Presto. He turned out to be a husky/lab mix (thus the moniker huskador) and was 3 years old. I was dead set against adopting any dog, but this guy had these incredible brown eyes that just melted your heart.Â
As I turned to walk away, he placed his paw very gently on my leg. That was it. I was hooked! We paid the fee and picked him up the following day. We didn’t like the name Presto (he didn’t respond to it anyway), so we renamed him Buddy. Everyone who saw him said, “Hiya, Buddy!” and he seemed to like it
Three months later, we got a call from a member of our church. He had his sons’ husky and it was constantly running away. He had heard we had experience with them and begged us to take him. He said that if the dog got away again, the animal warden told him it would be euthanized because it was a menace.Â
The dog was a purebred and was also 3 years old. We took Buddy to meet Togo (for more on the name Togo, read up on the Alaska Serum Run of 1925, the forerunner of the present-day Iditarod Dog Race. Balto was the PR dog, but Togo was the true hero!). Togo and Buddy got on famously!
Both dogs came from very different backgrounds. We know nothing about Buddy’s past except that thunderstorms and fireworks upset him. Togo was well loved and cared for. Both dogs take long walks with Alpha Dad (as we call my husband) in the evenings to use up their excess energy. They are never alone, sleep wherever they want — the couch, our bed, their beds — and are loved to the moon and back.
If anyone is considering a dog or cat, please, PLEASE consider adopting from your local animal shelter. The love you get in return is amazing! And do your homework: Read up on the breed you’re considering. Be sure your lifestyle is suited for the type of dog you want.
Do you share your life with an animal that is near and dear to you? Tell us something about your pet – all species are welcome – and send along a photo of the two of you.Â Be sure to tell us which Greater Cleveland community you live in.Â Send everything to Ann Norman atÂ firstname.lastname@example.org.