This week I had a great yap with a poocheroo who could be a model: you know, like those dogs in TV dog food commercials, who bound across fields and leap over fences – in slow mo. Way cool. Anyway, Juneau Radecke (named for the capital of Alaska) is a white Siberian Husky with ice-blue eyes, pink nose and freckles. He lives with his Mom and Dad, and he’s Big Brother to three human sibs.
He was at the door for the Wag-and-Sniff, all suave and fluffed up. “Welcome! It’s a pleasure. Come’on in. This is my Mummy, Jenna. My Dad’s Jason. He’s at work. And I have human sibs Coleson, Camden and Charlesten, they’re kinda still puppies. They’re Pawsome!” And he let out one deep, impressive howl.
“Delighted to meet you! I’m eager to hear how you found your Forever Family! By the way, great voice you got there!”
“Thanks! I don’t bark much. Just the occasional howl, like my ancestors did. I’m ackshully pretty laid back. Get along with most everybody. Mom calls me The Mayor cuz, she says, I meet someone, shake hands, say hello, then I’m gone.
“I’m One Lucky Dog, Bonz! Mummy and Dad were livin’ in Baltimore and visitin’ his folks in South Carolina. They hadda friend who was a Siberian husky breeder with some puppies still waitin’ to get adopted – ME and two littermates – three goofy little fluff muffins. WELL, Mummy and Dad decided to go see us. Dad said just to browse. Mummy said they’d probly go home with a puppy.
“The other two scooted over, bouncin’ and woofin’, doin’ their Adorable Puppy Routines. I just sorta held back and assessed the situation. Even as a pupster I knew those two humans were Special and might be making a Big Decision that would Change My Entire Life. Turns out, I was RIGHT. Mummy somehow knew I was figuring stuff out and she realized I was Very Smart. So, when they went back to Baltimore, I was with ‘em!”
“Brilliant!” I exclaimed.
“I was an Only Dog for three years. I had a BFF in Baltimore, Roxie, a Boxer. We had lotsa adventures. Like, one time when we were pupsters, Mummy and Dad were doing some work on the house. One day, me and Roxie were just hangin’ out by ourselves, and we happened to notice this BIG bag labeled G-R-O-U-T. It looked real interesting. We thought maybe it was food, so we very carefully nibbled holes in the edges. And the top. And the sides. It wasn’t food, but it was still pretty fun: soft an powdery an kinda floaty. Mummy got home and opened the front door and there we were, covered with G-R-O-U-T tail to nose, and tryin’ to look innocent. The whole place was sorta covered, too. I thought Mummy’d be MAD, and she was really trying to make her face look Serious. But then she said, ‘I’m SO glad you don’t know what I’m sayin,’ because I’m tryin’ not to laugh.’
“Then Mummy and Dad had their own puppies. I was real interested in the teeny little humans they brought home, soft an pink an wiggly. I’d sniff ‘em and give ‘em kisses. I was always real gentle. We get along great, ‘specially me an Coleson.”
“Was it hard gettin’ used to Florida, comin’ from Up North an all?”
“Not too hard. Back in Baltimore, when the whole inner city’d be shut down cuz of a snowstorm, me and my dog buddies would RUN all over the snowy streets making pawprints and rollin’ in the snow! Dog! That was Totally Cool Kibbles!
“When we moved down here in 2012, I noticed you guys don’t have a lotta snow. I was bummed till Mummy and Dad took me to The Beach. It was like – whaaaat? I LOVED it right away. I don’t swim but I wade. I’m still tryin’ to catch a fish. I chase the birds and crabs, too. Ya know, Bonz, much as I loved snow, I love the beach more. It’s my Special Place. Sometimes I just chill-lax and think about World Peace. And cheese sticks.”
“Well, you obviously get lotsa exercise. You’re in great shape!”
“That’s true! Us Huskies are used to workin’ hard. I grew up exercisin’ with Mummy. She’s a Runner! Ten miles is nothin’ to us. Now we run mostly on the beach, cuz its easier on our joints, Mummy sez. And she KNOWS, cuz she and Dad are Medical Professionals. Dad’s a DOCtor an Mummy’s a speech pathologist.”
“Ah, yes,” I said, making a note to Google when I got home. “Any pooch pals?”
“Yup. There’s Breeze, a Portuguese Water Dog; Ziggy, a Labradoodle; an my BFF, Sam, a German Shepherd. We have a play date every Sunday; and Jake, he’s not a pooch, tho, he’s a cat. We’re kinda Frenemies, we met when his Mom and Dad came over to our place during the hurry-cane.”
“Cool Dog Biscuits, Juneau. I have several cat pals, too. Gettin’ to know ‘em’s really changed my World View.”
“I hear ya,” he nodded.
“Do much travelin’?”
“Some. It’s lotsa fun but kinda a production with six of us. I get the back seat or in between the suitcases. And, when we stop at MacDonald’s, I get My Own Cheeseburger!”
“Is that your favorite treat?”
“Pretty much any kinda cheese. When I hear Mom open the cheese sticks bag, I’m Right There! And I practice good oral hygiene with a daily Denta-Stick.”
“Do you sleep with your Mom an Dad?”
“Back when I was a puppy. Now I have my own bedroom, and my own king-sized bed.”
“Shut the Doghouse Door” I blurted.
“Every night, after dinner, I participate in the kids bathtime. WAY fun! After that, I sprawl on my bed and nod off.”
Heading home, I was thinking about Juneau, with his Far North heritage, going from snow dog to beach pooch. And wondering what my chances are of Santa bringin’ me a king-sized bed.