When we are out in public, I am always trying to make sure that the dogs are on their absolute best behavior. After all, I consider them to be ambassadors of the Siberian Husky breed. Many people think they are part wolf because of the markings, all sled dog because of Disney movies, or cuddly because of their fur. So I am especially careful to make sure that they represent the breed as well as possible.
And then there is Queen Natasha the Evil.
We were hiking on a fairly lengthy trail and came into a clearing where the park service was constructing a very large shelter. The shelter had several thick poles supporting a large roof. Connected to the thick poles was a series of benches so that people could sit and rest in the shade of the shelter. There are no walls to allow a good breeze.
Because it was currently under construction, there was a significant amount of construction debris – boards, saw dust, and piles of sand. Interestingly, the trail itself actually runs through the middle of the shelter – not around it – so as a through hiker, you literally walk through the middle of the shelter – even if people are sitting on the benches. Plenty of room – just an unusual set up.
So we enter the clearing and there are a couple of families sitting in the shelter. A young boy of maybe 7 or 8 is playing with a toy truck in the sand, another couple of children are playing in another section of the shelter, and the two sets of parents are sitting on the benches talking. Lots of distractions for the dogs as we pass through the shelter.
I am walking Natasha, Qannik and Kiska. Since they all 3 are connected to my hiking belt, I shorten the leashes of both Qannik and Kiska because I want to guarantee their behavior. Natasha, however, enjoys children and is quite well behaved around them. I know that is shocking. But because of that history, I allow her to have the full length of the leash – 6 feet – and the other dogs are short leashed on either side of me.
The families are oooohing and aaaaahing over the pretty Siberians (oh, look, daddy, Snow Dogs and all of that stuff) and we are walking through the shelter. Natasha is drifting behind me and sniffing the sand. I ignore her.
Just as we are about to exit the shelter, the children return to their games and the boy with the toy truck in the sand looks down – and exclaims, “Daddy, that dog peed in the sand!” Yes, Queen Natasha, who had walked on the trails past all of these trees and brush had picked that exact moment to relieve herself. The toy truck was now in Lake Natasha.
So much for Ambassador of the Breed.