Genetics: A Helluva Drug

I’m going to make a brief foray into Semi-Tangent Land before I talk mushing. I want to first talk dogs a bit.

Out of all the generalizations I could make right now, it suits my tangential purpose to make this one: There are two types of people in this world, those who already know what Alaskan Huskies are and those who don’t. My novice explanation for those even less knowledgeable than I am is this: Alaskans are a sort of sled dog gumbo that started off with a husky base and had a number of different breeds mixed into the pot, including sighthounds and pointers (among others). They’re more of a type or tribe than a true breed in the way we usually think of breeds. Racing dogs built for speed, they are the kings and queens of races like the Iditarod and typically smaller, leaner, and not as long-coated as the Siberian Huskies and Malamutes that most people picture when they hear the word “husky”. Although… I cannot tell a lie, I admit that I sometimes picture Bobby Hill when I hear the word “husky”.

Anyway, this is an Alaskan Husky:

In fact, this is a very particular Alaskan Husky: Linney, Squash’s mom. Isn’t she lovely?  You can see how I would think to myself, “This will do nicely. I already have two dogs around 50#. A Linney puppy, since she is also around 45-50# and quite breathtaking, will therefore complete my small pack of medium sized dogs just perfectly.”  Oh, silly human. Nature can’t help but drool at the opportunity to tear down such best laid plans.

This picture was taken the week he came home, in February 2011:

This picture was taken when he was about eight months old, in July 2011:

 (Don’t judge my messy floor… an 8 month old puppy leaves toy guts everywhere!)

And this picture was taken today:

These days, at just over a year old, he weighs in at about 85# or so. So he’s kind of monstrous for a sled dog, especially for an Alaskan. Still, even if I knew then what I know now about what was lurking in his paternal DNA, I still would have chased a massive snowstorm to bring Squash home. He’s an amazing boy and I have found that I quite like having a big-ass sled dog and at the same time have fallen hard for Alaskans.

Besides, it turns out that Squash and I are uniters: We bring both kinds of people in this world (those who already know what Alaskan Huskies are and those who don’t) together over the shared experience of a skeptical sidelong glance and the certainty that I have no idea what the hell I’m talking about when I answer the question “What kind of dog is that?” with a cheerful “He’s an Alaskan Husky!” So I’ll just go ahead and pencil in World Peace here on his list of accomplishments next to “being an Alaskan Husky” and “Somehow peeing on the agility tire while jumping through it” and call it a day.


This entry was posted in Dog Talk, Squash, Wayback Machine. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Genetics: A Helluva Drug

  1. Lisa says:

    Squee! You gotta know I’ll be following this blog, and sending frequent nose kisses to your puppies through the intarwebs.

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