There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face. ~Ben Williams
The little blue eyed devil above met my acquaintance back in September of 1997. He was one years old - and he was my first baby.
I graduated from college on August 27th of that same year and was hired by a television station the following Monday morning. My boyfriend of many years broke up with me two weeks before my new job started.
Talk about life changing events hitting all at the same time. New job - new apartment (living on my own literally for the very first time) and living on a shoestring budget. When I got my first official paycheck (probably the most money I had ever made in one check (sad)) I remember sitting on my used love seat in a partially furnished apartment on the "wrong" side of town and thinking.. okay.. this is it. THIS is my life. I am alone, I have a degree, I have a job.. now what?
I decided to pay a trip to the "pound." Yes, not the Humane Society but the actual Animal Control. My intention was to look for a kitten or a small dog. I walked through the cages very slowly.. and as I round the corner I saw this dog looking at me out of the corner of his eyes. His BIG blue eyes. He looked nervous, skinny and not exactly friendly. I stood very still.
When I was a girl, we had a Siberian Husky named Pasha. Pasha ran away or was stolen when I was little. It remained my favorite dog breed.
Here I was.. standing nose to snout with the most beautiful (yet frail) Siberian Husky I had ever seen. He was clearly not a baby, I was not sure what his age was. I walked outside of the shabby cages and found a woman sitting at the desk. She was not thrilled to be there and hardly even looked up.
I said, "Hey, I would like to get the Husky. Could you tell me how old he is?"
She did not even bother to look up, "Suga, we don't know those things.. this ain't a pet store."
"Can I get the dog?"
Then in a shrill voice, heavily accented with very little education - "Mike.. there is a white girl out here wantin' one of those dawgs."
Then this guy came around the corner and asked, "Hey there. Which one do you want?"
"I would like the Husky.. I think it's a Husky."
"Ah.. that's Nanook. You sure you want him?"
"Yes, I do. Do you know anything about him?"
"Not so much. He was found, possibly abused.. he is actually scheduled to be euthanized tomorrow. "
"Is he friendly?"
"As much as he can be."
"I'll take him."
And $50 later I had a full blooded Siberian Husky (around 1 year's old.)
As soon as I got home, he seemed so nervous. He just sat perfectly straight up and apparently he was not used to laying down to sleep. (His pen was full of dogs.) He kept dozing as he sat there. - I felt such a sadness for him. I think he could sense such a sadness and loneliness in me. I remember as soon as I was getting ready for bed, he just looked at me with these intense blue eyes - I went to my bedroom, and shut my door. It kind of freaked me out. I cracked the door and he was still sitting in the same place staring at me. I shut the door, praying to God he was not going to attack me in my sleep. LOL
A few days later, Nanook began to eat and to play. About one month later, we were inseparable - and two lost souls had found one another.
Nanook would literally sleep in my bed, with his head on a pillow next to me - and stretched out like a person. He loved his kibble & bits and eventually grew to be a strong and healthy little man dog.
One day, a new guy came into my life (my ex husband) and Nanook lost his spot on my bed.
A few years later, my ex and I got a house with a large enough backyard to put fencing. Nanook was moved outside - and this is where his depression and my worry began.
A few years later I would end up moving to Birmingham. The house we had was a garden home, and the neighborhood association would not allow us to erect a fence for the dogs. Nanook ended up moving to my parents backyard. That was September of 2005.
I came home at Thanksgiving and Christmas. May of 2006, I came home from work and took a long, hard nap on the couch. I woke up suddenly and thought about Nanook. It was an odd feeling. I immediately called my parent's home and my father answered the phone. He informed me that when he went outside to feed the dogs, Nanook came toward him.. staggering and dropped dead right in front of him.
I told him thank you for telling me. I went into my bedroom and cried.
The thing is.. Nanook was scheduled to die in September of 1997. I brought him to my home when I was alone, sad and scared. He never left my side. Then a few years later, a man comes into my life, and Nanook faithfully stood by my side, but allowed room for someone else (even though he began to withdraw a little.) Then when he went outside, and we hardly played together anymore - he withdrew even more. Then I moved to Bham to follow my ex for his job, and I left him behind.
In Christmas, I hardly spent anytime with him outside at my parent's home. It was cold. I figured by spring, my husband and I would move and bring him over, and we would reconnect. May of 2006 - he died.. without even as much as an apology from me.
I still think of him to this day. I have never replaced him. There will never be another Nanook. Never.
His last year inside the house. His healthiest and Happiest!