Saturday, June 13, 2009

k o h a n a

Kohana has been our most interesting and difficult rescue. Shortly after we adopted Baxter we decided we would go back to the shelter... again, just to play with the dogs.

We were in the process of moving me out of my university dorm. Bags were packed, the U-haul was full, all we needed was to get Baxter and the last few things and hit the road! But, we went to play with the dogs anyway. We took several of them out into the enclosed area to play. I had, of course, already fallen in love but DM was adamant that we were not getting another dog. He definitely had logic on his side given our current situation (young, had one puppy, moving back to our hometown to live with our parents for the summer... you get the idea).

While we were there we found a beautiful bundle of white and red fur to take outside. He paid me very little attention whatsoever but immediately ran and laid his head in DM's lap. DM was sold! We loaded him up with the rest of my stuff and made the trip back to our hometown (to the dismay of my parents).

The first nights were terrible. He screamed throughout the night. (For those of you that don't have much experience with Huskies, they literally scream. I remember when we moved into our first apartment in Raleigh I was always afraid people would hear him scream during his baths and call the police because it sounded like we were severely abusing small children!) He had to have surgery within the first month (unfortunately not his only surgery) to remove plastic shards and an intact half tennis ball that he had consumed before we adopted him. He had endured a difficult life prior to us and was very skittish and fearful and to say he was distrustful would be an extreme understatement. Let me just sum up and say he was very difficult. When we were filling out the adoption application we learned that he had been surrendered to the shelter due to his inability to obey and his propensity to escape so we knew that it wouldn't be the easiest. He was much worse than we had imagined. All of that being said, I would not trade him or our past experiences with him for the world. He has turned out to be a fabulous dog. We still have to be very cautious with him and he is not now nor will he ever be an easy dog but he is worth it! He has so much personality and I think that working with him has been unbelievably rewarding.

We absolutely adore Kohana. Through a lot of patient work he has become one of our sweetest and most loving dogs. That being said, I would feel irresponsible if I did not warn others about Siberian Huskies. They are beautiful and it can be very rewarding to have one as a part of the family but they are extremely difficult. Please do your research before you take one home to make sure you feel like they would be a good fit. Huskies are very independent (more like a cat than your ordinary dog). They don't have the need to please like many breeds (meaning training is difficult). They are absolute masters of escape and are extremely intelligent. If they are not entertained or if they are left alone it is likely you will come home to utter destruction. They LOVE to dig- whether it be random holes in the yard or to escape the fence. They are very athletic and fast! If your husky finds his freedom it is likely that you will never see him again. Obviously I don't need to mention the shedding. DM and I had no idea what kind of dog we were bringing home that day in May. Kohana has done more damage to himself and to our belongings than all of our other dogs combined. He has been one of the most expensive shelter dogs you can imagine. I have always been so happy that we were the ones that took him home that day because we were willing to deal with everything he threw our way and I'm not convinced he would have had the same outcome had he gone to another family.

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