Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Our Beloved Nanuk

On August 21, 1998, a litter of Siberian Husky puppies was born in Texas. Little did I know, how much one of the females in that litter would play such a big part in our lives. 

Jeremy's birthday is October 2. For his birthday, 13 years ago, he decided he wanted a puppy. I was going to go to the pound and get him a cute puppy. My first dog was a "pound puppy" and was a great dog! But before I had a chance to go to the pound, he found a litter of Siberian Husky puppies and bought one. He said he has always wanted a Siberian Husky and wanted to name her Nanuk (pronounced nan-nook).
Jeremy's roommate went with Jeremy and bought one of Nanuk's brothers. He named him Akala. (pronounced ah-kah-la). Akala is on the left and Nanuk is on the right. They were the BEST of friends!
If you have never had to house break a puppy, you may not know how it is done. At night, Nanuk and Akala would sleep in this wooden box. In the morning, Jeremy would let them outside to go to the bathroom. A dog will not go to the bathroom where it sleeps.
Nanuk (right) and Akala (left) were inseparable! They looked alot alike, too. Nanuk had a little bit more black under her eyes than Akala. Nanuk also had more pink on her nose than Akala. In the winter months, her pink nose became more pink and turned more black in the spring and summer months.
Nanuk on the left and Akala on the right.
Jeremy had a friend who had a chocolate lab puppy, named Tendry. Her landlord was building a new fence and Tendry needed a place to live for a little while. So, Jeremy said she could live with Nanuk and Akala for awhile. Nanuk wasn't too fond of that. But she dealt with it. I honestly think Tendry was the reason Nanuk grew to hate Labs! When she was older, she could just look out the window and see a Lab outside and her fur would stand up!
Nanuk (with her head up), Akala (behind her), and Tendry (in the back) all curled up to stay warm.
Jeremy and I went to visit his parents one weekend, where they lived south of Houston. We took Nanuk with us. Jeremy's dad had a small pond out back with goldfish in it. Nanuk liked to stand in the pond and watch them.
Jeremy loving Nanuk. Nanuk was the best Siberian Husky. She put up with so much. She would let us do just about anything to her. 
"Rub my belly!" 
Shortly after Jeremy and I got married, Jeremy's roommate (who owned Akala) was going to move to another town and live in an apartment, so Akala came to live with us and Nanuk. One day, I looked out the window and saw Nanuk and Akala like this...
If you don't know, Siberian Huskies are very prey oriented when it comes to other small animals. But they are the friendliest dogs towards humans. They say if you want a watch dog, don't get a Siberian Husky because they will show the robber the goods. Anyway, I looked up in the tree to see what they were so interested in. It was a squirrel. I watched for a little while. The squirrel was trapped! If it came down the tree, Nanuk and Akala would end its life. If it tried to get away on the nearby telephone wire, a blue jay dive bombed it. I watched this scene for a few minutes because it was quite humorous. But then I had mercy on the squirrel and brought Nanuk and Akala inside so the poor squirrel could escape.

Nanuk had this toy that she LOVED! But the problem with having a brother, is that he wanted to play with it, too. I guess Nanuk had had enough one day and she decided to tear up her toy and destroy it so much that Akala could no longer play with it. It was pretty funny that a dog would do something like that! She made the ultimate sacrifice.
This was one of our trips to see Grandma and Grandpa, aka Jeremy's parents. It was about a 7-8 hour drive. Nanuk was so good to take what little space Mocha left her. 
One summer, Jeremy and I and some friends spent alot of weekends rock climbing. We got this pack for Nanuk to wear so she could help us carry our climbing equipment. We thought we'd test it out with our friend's Basset Hound puppy, Bubba. Nanuk loved other dogs, EXCEPT Labs! So, she didn't mind carrying around little Bubba.
Nanuk chillin' with our friend's Rottweiler puppy, Bear.
It's funny, or rather interesting, where a dog decides to lay. Nanuk liked the curtains. Please note, these curtains came with our house and we did eventually buy more modern ones.

One of the weekends that we went rock climbing, we took Nanuk and Mocha. After all, we did buy Nanuk a pack so she could help us carry our climbing equipment. Nanuk and Mocha were just watching us, enjoying being outdoors.
We had taken the actual pack off Nanuk, and the saddle part of the pack was still on her here. Nanuk was a good "helper" going down the narrow trail, but coming back up, her pack bumped up against something and got caught. This scared her, so Jeremy ended up carrying her up the trail. No biggie, just a 50 lb Siberian Husky, plus about 25 lbs of climbing equipment. 
One Christmas, we got the dogs a rawhide bucket of chews. Nanuk had claimed the bucket as hers. I guess with three other Siberian Huskies around, you gotta stake your claim.
Nanuk was a beautiful Siberian Husky! She had the typical markings that Siberian Huskies have.
Another picture that shows off her beauty! She was a model, not only in looks but personality. Nanuk had the best temperment. She was very patient. She was very well behaved.
Loved her expression! She was very gentle. But she had a way of looking up with only her eyes, which could be intimidating if you didn't know her and know that she was harmless.
Laying on her mat, with a rope chew. It seemed that if she knew you were trying to take her picture, she would look at you, even if she was really tired.
I thought this picture was kinda funny. It looks kind of creepy with Nanuk "sneaking" up on Cyu (pronounced "Kie-you"), but she wasn't sneaking at all. She loved him. She was just checking out what he was doing in the elephant ear plants
Another beautiful picture of Nanuk. This was a perfect pose. Do you know what she was doing? We had our Siberian Huskies trained to not come out into the garage. Garages typically have chemicals in them and other stuff that is harmful to dogs. Our garage was typical. Our Siberian Huskies knew they weren't supposed to come out in the garage. So, we could go out there and leave the door open and they would not follow. They would just wait.
We live in Texas. If you don't know, it doesn't snow very often in Texas. The part of Texas that we live in, usually gets snow about once a year. Nanuk was born in Texas. She only knew what little snow we got. I LOVED capturing pictures of our Siberian Huskies in the snow! Mocha is the red Siberian Husky and Nanuk is the black one.
This is one of my FAVORITE pictures of Nanuk! Beautiful AND in the snow!
I thought it was cool that you could see the snowflakes on her fur. And as I said before, her nose is more pink, because it is winter.
It appears that Nanuk was stuck, but that is not the case. She fell asleep like this!
Our Siberian Huskies were our children before we had human children. We took Nanuk and Cyu to see Santa...
And in February, we took Nanuk and Cyu to the Fur Ball. This is an annual event for dogs and their owners, benefiting Rescue the Animals. We always chose Nanuk and Cyu, out of our four Siberian Huskies because they were the two that were the best behaved. Mocha had been abused or neglected before we got her and was scared of people she didn't know, especially men. Tymbre was, well, we will just say "too energetic".
Nanuk was our Alpha female. In the dog world, there is an Alpha male and an Alpha female. We had three females and one male. Cyu was our only male, so there wasn't really any competing for the Alpha male position. Plus, I don't really think Cyu cared. Nanuk is eating and Cyu is waiting his turn, laying as close to the food as he can, without Nanuk fussing at him.
Nanuk had this bone she was chewing on. Tymbre wanted it...but she knew better than to try to take it from she laid very close...and Nanuk just kind of ignored her.
Tymbre laid there for quite some time, waiting as patiently as she could for Nanuk to tire of the bone. But she just couldn't stand it any longer and got really brave! I LOVE Nanuk's expression looking at Tymbre, trying to get the bone!
I don't remember exactly how Tymbre got the bone, but she did. Perhaps, Nanuk, being the sweet dog she was, finally just let Tymbre have the bone. Nanuk was probably tired of chewing on it and didn't figure it was worth fussing at Tymbre for.
I thought it funny that Nanuk fell asleep with her tongue sticking out.
Nanuk was the most patient dog! She would let us do pretty much anything to her and wouldn't complain. We dressed her in a camouflage shirt sometimes. I am guessing from this picture that she wasn't too happy about it. She didn't want to look at the camera.
Wearing ear warmers that I put on her. She also doesn't look very thrilled, but she didn't do anything about it. She just laid there and wore it until I took it off.
Another picture to show Nanuk's patience. I dumped a basket of clean towels on her. Once again, she just laid there. She was such a good dog with the best temperament!
Nanuk wearing a Santa hat. She may not have looked happy about it, but she wore it. 
We found this sun hat at our house. The lady who lived there before us must have left it.  But it seemed to fit on Nanuk's head. I can thank that lady for this wonderful picture of Nanuk. I love Nanuk's disgusted expression!
One Thanksgiving, Nanuk seemed to be paying alot of attention to what was going on. She watched as we carved the turkey. This picture was captured at just the right moment. This is one of the funniest pictures!
If you don't know alot about Siberian Huskies, they curl up in a ball and tuck their nose under their tail to keep it warm. Nanuk was probably not cold, since she was inside, but this is what it looks like.
I know there are ALOT of pictures in this post, but Nanuk was such a beautiful Siberian Husky. Believe it or not, I did weed out some of the pictures. It was really hard to eliminate some of them. Here are a few more pictures to enjoy...

This one was one of Jeremy's favorites. She was laying in the sunshine from the window and it made her black fur look gray. Really cool!
Peeking over the back of the couch with her beautiful blue eyes...
For the past several months, Nanuk has had a hard time walking. She was 13 years old. Siberian Huskies typically live 10 - 12 years. They love to dig holes and sometimes they lay in them. If you have never seen a hole dug by a Siberian Husky, they can be pretty deep. Nanuk seemed to get stuck in them quite frequently. She just didn't have enough strength to get out of the hole. I don't know if she had arthritis or if she possibly had hip dysplasia. Regardless of the reason, she could barely walk. She never complained about it. She just tried her hardest to get to her food bowl or her water bowl. For months, I said that we needed to put her down because of this. Also, she had an infection on her ear, which eventually spread to the foot that she scratched it with. However, each time I mentioned putting her to sleep, I said that I didn't want to be the one to do it because of how hard it was with Mocha. I didn't want to go through that again. I kept telling Jeremy that he would have to be the one to do it. However, he was not doing it. Finally, I laid down the law and told Jeremy he had to do it. Nanuk had suffered enough. She needed to go home, to Heaven and be with Mocha and Cyu. 

On Tuesday, December 13, 2012, we put Nanuk out of her misery. She is missed, but I feel good about this decision because it was obvious that she was suffering. She was old. She had lived her life. We needed to set her free. 

We are not trying to find another dog to replace Nanuk. It would be tough to find another dog, let alone a Siberian Husky, exactly like Nanuk. We do still have one of our four Siberian Huskies left. I joked that it was going to be a "fight" between Nanuk and Tymbre to be the one to outlive the other one. We had to end the "fight" and let Tymbre win so Nanuk wouldn't suffer anymore. Sorry, Nanuk, but you will always be a winner in my book.

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