By: Peter Chipkin (President of Ease Meditation)
How I spend my Friday nights these days: Watching Huskies on YouTube. Not many of them being particularly obedient. Lots of escape, howling, digging, throwing temper tantrums. All breeds are special in some way. I have owned 2 Border Collies and a German Shepherd so I know intelligent dogs. The degree of idiosyncrasy in Jack and his breed is startling I find it hard to accept that the collies or the shepherd were more intelligent.
I feel guilt for not sending Jack to a school of some sort. He is the most amazing problem solver – provided the problem is ‘the rapid reverse engineering of items such as dog toys’. In watching him dis-assemble his latest toy I see a conscious being who loves the puzzle – how to extract the squeaker – for example. He does is for entertainment, sitting at Carol’s foot. She is doing her puzzle on her tablet. He is so happy when he gets a new toy. And he gets several a week. Maybe 2-5 toys. Maybe I should adapt the PlayStation controls so he can play computer games with the chopsticks he has for arms.
Seeing how much pleasure he gets from these toys it now feels odd that wasn’t something we did when we previously had dogs.
He barks in an intelligent way. Once. One short sharp bark. Its for particular reasons. I want to go out. I want to come in. Play with me. My ball is under the couch. Screw You. I won’t. No.
We have never fed him by hand or given him any of our food except with a delay and always via his bowl. He still believes he is in with a chance thought. I give him full marks for his attentive sentry work as we eat. Watching us. Watching. Waiting. Maybe, Maybe one day… You would think he likes eating so keen is his attention. So rapt. No. Not true. Give him a bowl of food and he does that husky thing – Hmmm, maybe. Probably not. I am pretty sure I throw away most of the food he is served. But when he his hungry he will eat two full meals in a row. We offer the 2nd because you can see from the way that he finishes the first bowl that he wants more.
One of the common husky things is their love of spaces that they have grown out of. In Jacks case it was under the black sofa. He can only get in and needs help to get out. There is also a low easy chair in our room. That is his favorite spot. He spends hours under it. He looks up at you from floor level with those mad eyes and raised eyebrows. At Janine’s house, he gets under the bathroom furniture.
Jack as a husky is the worst guard dog you could imagine. It’s another breed trait. He isnt sensitive to unusual sounds. like people coming to the front door – except for certain people. He loves everyone; Or he is indifferent to everyone. Depends whether he feels like standing up. He isn’t 1.5 years yet and he knows routines. Like Saturday at 9:30 it’s the dog walker, so he doesn’t bother to see who is at the door before 9 on Saturday. That could be because he is not really a morning person – He often sleeps in. Sometimes, after we are up, we hear him on the stairs. He sits on the top step with his feet on the step below and he looks through the banister. He looks at us for a minute and then he goes – ah fuck it – and goes back to bed.