And so we wed. It was a blissful time, settling in to that home I had so carefully but inconspicuously planned. It takes some real skill to convince a single, non-cooking, dangerously heterosexual male that he really does prefer the porcelain covered cast iron sink to the stainless steel. Mr. Big Prize actually moved in, with that dog, on the first of July. They spent three heavenly weeks together in their new home, before I decided to intrude for eternity on their domestic bliss.
Once again (do you notice a theme here) had we taken the time to educate ourselves about the breed we would have known that Huskies are not only obstinate and belligerent, they can also be quite aggressive. They are ranked by insurance companies as one of the top five most dangerous dogs to own, followed by their relative, the Malamute. Again, more on that later. While we had no idea of their propensity for violence, we certainly were well aware of their bull-headedness. If Blue didn’t want to do something she simply didn’t, and if she did want to do something, she did. And she did or didn’t do so as she darn well pleased. She absolutely was NOT allowed on MBP’s bed, but each day he’d come home from work, and peak through the blinds to his bedroom, to see that stinky shedding mongrel stretched out completely unconscious on said bed. By the time his key was in the lock, and that lock turned, that dog would be sitting obediently on the tile foyer smiling her goofy smile at him as he pushed the door open. That dog was a veritable Blue-dini.
Another breed trait? Huskies are totally without that most adorable of canine attributes-the desire to please. So, early on, she and her daddy had to have more than a few come to Jesus meetings about her peculiar and often unacceptable behavior. In the days before the dog whisperer, Mr. Big Prize figured out on his very own the best way to deal with a dog such as this. One fine evening I arrived at his less than 1000 square foot apartment, slipped my newly minted shiny key into the lock, and walked in the door-to find MBP pinning that dog to the floor, his mouth on her neck, growling at her. Yes, I know. For a few fleeting seconds I considered turning and leaving and never ever ever coming back. But he saw me too soon. “She needs to know who’s boss”, he said, grinning at me with a literal mouth full of white fur. And she did. From that day forth the two of them had a relationship where MBP was truly the Alpha, and she never even considered questioning it again.
I, however, simply never had it in me to hold the dog down by my shiny white teeth and make guttural noises at her, so she and I slipped into what I considered to be a relationship of mutual respect. She seemed to do pretty much as I asked, and was never openly aggressive to me as I cuddled beside her daddy on the couch, or ate at the table with him, or gave him a kiss goodnight. She’d sit/shake/speak/lay down at my command. She never ever gave MBP kisses, but she developed a lifelong habit of acknowledging my presence by bestowing upon me ‘chin kisses’. She’d put that huge velvety muzzle of hers on my chin and give me two tiny licks, right on the bottom of the chin. So, obviously, she respected me as pack leader number two, right? Ha, wrong.
As previously mentioned, when I married I was a real estate agent, and as such, had very flexible office hours. The first day after we married I decided to stay ‘home’ and finish my unpacking, and basically revel in my newly achieved domestic bliss. MBP kissed my forehead, and cruised off in that tiny red convertible to his shiny office in the Big City. And it was just me, and that dog. The day started well enough. I let her out, I let her in. I fed her, walked her, and then proceeded to ignore her as I unpacked and arranged. I’d spent weeks collecting all manner of wonderful knick-knacks with which to fill our new home, and now was my chance to feed my decorating compulsion.
Then, it happened. I walked into the living room to find that dog spreading all of her then 50 pounds of hair covered girth on my new off white couch. “OFF!” I ordered. That dog didn’t even lift her shaggy head. “Blue, get DOWN. NOW”, I said, in a deeper, more authoritative voice. A deep sigh escaped her, and one ear might have twitched in my general direction, but nothing else. SO, not to be intimidated, I marched up and grabbed that dog by the collar and wretched her lazy butt off ‘my’ couch. HA! There, you mongrel, now we know who’s boss here. Yes, indeed she did. For the first time in our many years together I witnessed “crazy Blue”. That dog whirled on me, crouched with legs bent slightly and spread far apart. With ears pinned back, and tail tucked, she began to spin wildly, first clockwise, then counter clock wise. She’d stop periodically and observe me, ostensibly to see if I’d collapse into fits of hysteria yet. Nope, I stood firm. That dog does NOT belong on my couch. I glowered at her from my 5’6” height, hands on hips, legs spread in an authoritative stance.
So then, it really really happened. That dog whirled off to our bedroom, and jumped her furry self right on up onto our newly purchased queen bed, beautifully crafted from wrought iron and bearing an imposing canopy. She hopped herself right up onto my side of that bed, did a few more crazy Blue spins, then turned to look me dead in the eye, and peed on my pillow. Yep, smack in the middle. And not just a little piddle-no, a HUGE gallon of it, as only a 50 pound dog bladder can create. I guess I was wrong about that whole mutual respect thing. She let me know, quite clearly, that this was HER house, HER man, and HER bed, and I’d better be watching my back. I was all well and good as a mommy from afar, but was absolutely not welcome to stay and certainly not allowed to tell her what to do.
I guess I was just too stupid to know that she was in fact, big enough to rip my throat out, and considering her breed, more than capable of doing so. I was furious- and in my righteous indignation I marched all 110 pounds of me into that bedroom, grabbed up all 50 pounds of her, and tossed her sorry butt outside-where she stayed for the next 7 hours, 59 minutes, staring in the door. As I cleaned, as I cooked, and as I made it perfectly clear whose house this really was. I’d worked way too hard to get myself in there, and certainly wasn’t giving it up for some Christmas tree farm mutt.
After 7 hours and 59 minutes, and right before MBP rolled into our driveway, I let that dog back in. I gave her dinner, petted her fuzzy head, and told her to stay off the couch. She did as told, and she licked my chin. For the next 12 years she and I loved each other quite dearly, and sometimes, I even let her get up on the bed.