Our Dogs Had Personality Disorders

We often took in animals, usually dogs, who were suffering in the city.

There was overweight, depressed Buster, a Springer Spaniel, languishing in a garage during the day and crated during the night. Opposite in temperament, a German Short-Haired Pointer with A.D.H.D, called Thor,  committed his last crime by grabbing the Easter ham and playing with it like a football.  Neurotic Duke sat crated in a small apartment till his owner returned. Unfortunately this young man trained Duke to play rough games as soon as he was released. Some dogs are bored and act out if they don’t get enough exercise. Usually a combination of freedom and love heals most animals.

images (20)My husband rescued a manic- depressive Siberian Husky from a basement apartment in the middle of the city. When Michael walked through the door, this husky was literally running around the living room, on the backs of the chairs and Chesterfield leaping from one to the next without ever touching the ground. His owners pleaded with my husband to take him off their hands and out to the country. We soon discovered that this strong working dog with peircing, light blue eyes, loved to run for up to 20 kilometres yet thought he was a lap dog.

Four year-old Mary named our male Siberian Husky Leisha because he arrived on her birthday. Our family animal lover was positive our new dog was her birthday present. Who were we to argue? She was thrilled with this gentle but muscular pet who patiently let her ride him like a horse and use him as a pillow. Why he even let our cat snuggle up while they both slept.

However, Leisha was not content to lay around the house like more domesticated breeds. His breed ran, pulling heavy sleds in the artic amd we do not like chain up a dog on a farm. Of course, every time we finally thought we had trained our husky to stay home, he would sneak past us and race for kilometres. Invariably, someone called the animal  control officer and the township would charge us $50.00. Soon everyone for kilometres around us knew our dog. Once he managed to squeeze in through a patio door, push open a bathroom door and frighten some poor woman as she came out of the shower!!!

Leisha was never predictable. When Daniel’s hamster managed to escape his cage, Leisha chased him up the Christmas tree and then pulled our decorated tree down on top of beautifully wrapper gifts in a cunning move to nab the tiny creature. By the time I ran downstairs, several little kids were standing on couches screaming,

“Leisha’s trying to eat Hammy!”

The oldest two were trying to hit the preditor with a broom, scolding loudly while Leisha joyfully barked, jumping up and down on the gifts and sticking his nose between the branches of our ruined tree. He might sleep with our cat but obviously rodents did not rate as fellow pets.

Our dog was not content to simply eat dog food; he loved to steal vegetables from the garden.The kids would run into the house,

“Leisha is eating our zucchini again!” or “Leisha is nibbling corn off the cobs!!”

His worst sin, though, was an inborn instinct to nab our free range Muscovy ducks. Hearing screams for help, I would run outside thinking one of my kids was hurt, only to see that once again, Leisha was trotting around, gently but firmly holding a huge duck in his mouth while the kids tried to swat him with anything handy like a tennis racket, baseball bat, hockey stick or fishing net to scoop up the duck. I swear that Leisha grinned the entire time.

Were we crazy to keep theses canine misfits? Definitely. Perhaps only a family with nine kids, farm animals and wild animal pests could cope.


15 thoughts on “Our Dogs Had Personality Disorders

  1. My niece has a husky that looks just like yours. She was on a “see Europe” trip with her future husband, touring everywhere by road and seeing everything. It was in Greece in a pet shop she saw the husky pup behind a glass window , the sun beating onto it. She took such pity on the puppy that she bought it and brought it home. That was at least ten years ago and now she is the proud owner of a full grown husky, a beatiful dog with such wonderful blue eyes. Oh, and she called it Okra, named after the bean like veg you can buy in Greece.


  2. I think, “freedom and love” work well with most creatures, including human ones too. I also love that your kids had a legit item to blame on their furred friends, “the dog ate my vegetables!” How many kids wish they could pull that off? 🙂


  3. A person has to be nuts to have a herd of children. After three kids, it’s all chaotic anyway (I discovered). A few nutty animals only add to the fun!

    We had a husky/lab/malamute mix named Hogan – a beauty of a dog at 120 lbs. He was coal black on top, with a gold belly, mane, and feathering on the back of his legs and bottom of his tail.

    When we lived in the mountains, he loved to run alongside the truck. He played “tag” with the chickens…which didn’t work out so well for them. No one got near my oldest son (a baby then), without having Hogan come and gently, but firmly, take the by the arm and walk them away from the baby.

    We had to pass him along to another family when we moved into towns. He dug craters in the yard, trying to keep cool. I miss him!

    Thanks for another enjoyable trip down Memory Lane!



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