Fifth Picture Tag

Our good friend Maverick tagged us in a game going around the internet, so we decided we needed to play.  The rules, in case you missed them, are really simple – Open a file folder, click on the fifth folder and then the fifth photo.  Post the photo and describe it.

First, we had a minor challenge.  We are Mac people.  So we use IPhoto which does not really use folders, but we decided to go with events.  That allowed us to pick the following photo:


On the left is Mama Bear Nikita, so named because she adopted young Natasha and taught her how to be a Siberian (i.e., made her into the Queen Natasha the Evil we all know today).  Before Natasha, Nikita never showed the first maternal instinct at all.  And, at the age of 10 years old, we asked her to suddenly take on this 8 week old puppy fluff.

About 3-4 weeks after Natasha came to live with us, a raccoon entered the yard during the night.  Nikita immediately defended “her” puppy and killed the raccoon, a very good thing since it was probably rabid.  When I let Natasha out of her crate in the morning to go to the bathroom, she walked out, saw the raccoon, and looked in total awe at her Mama Bear.  Hero worship was born.

A week or so later, I called Nikita and she can walking over to me.  Hanging from her neck was Natasha who had clamped on and was dangling like a pendant.  Nikita’s look at me was one of, “Please remove this obnoxious object that follows me everywhere.” 

Another week or so went by and we were sitting in the den.  Natasha was, surprisingly, acting like a total pain.  Nikita turned and corrected her, firmly but in a very appropriate way.  Nikita looked at me for guidance and I simply stayed quiet.  You could see the dawn in her eyes – “Ah, I am supposed to teach young grasshopper!”

And the mothering began.  Natasha mimicked everything Nikita did and learned tremendously from her.  When Nikita passed away 3 years later (2006), Natasha became the queen of the pack.

So this picture makes us smile because it shows how Natasha copied Nikita in every possible way, right down to laying in just the exact way on her bed (wrong front leg hooked, but learning).  Close enough to follow her if Nikita moved, but out of reach of that correction when it came.

Ok, so we have lost track of who has and has not played the game, but consider yourself tagged and go do it!


  1. Steve and Kat on January 29, 2009 at 7:28 pm

    Great stories! That is very funny that Natasha hung on Nikita’s neck. Mom says someday we will get a puppy and I will have to teach it. Dad thinks I will just beat it up. I suppose only time will tell…


    PS. We have a mac too and had to cheat a bit on the photo tag!

  2. The Army of Four on January 29, 2009 at 5:43 pm

    LOVE the picture and the story! So very sweet!
    We are new iMac users – so we know exactly what you mean! Dave got tagged by Team Husky, so we need to do a post, too!
    Play bows,

  3. Princess Eva on January 29, 2009 at 1:59 pm

    The lessons passed from pup to pup are always the best lessons learned.

    Princess Eva

  4. The OP Pack on January 28, 2009 at 6:20 pm

    Fantastic pic and story. This has been such a great game to play – we have learned so much and seen some wonderful photos.

    Aren’t synchronized pups fun? So Nikita lives on in Natasha.

    Woos, the OP Pack

  5. Huffle Mawson on January 28, 2009 at 5:14 pm

    Lovely picture (synchronised sleeping – I love it) and great story. Mum says let hear it for the mac! I don’t know about her sometimes.

    Huffle Mawson, Honorary Husky and Explorer Cat

  6. Biloxi on January 28, 2009 at 4:35 pm

    What a great memory of Nikita! Maw says it’s great to look at udder pictures from time past and remember the happy faces dat cross our paths.

    Husky kisses,

    PeeS: My brudder’s name is Nikita but he a boy.

  7. Ozzie on January 28, 2009 at 8:01 am

    What a good story! I wish that I had a sibe-mom to show me the ropes. I know that I would worship her!


  8. Khyra on January 28, 2009 at 5:56 am

    What a great story!

    It is always furry interesting to see the dynamikhs that develop and the pawsonalities too! Mom’s Banshey is the supreme Beta/Den Mother/Troop Gatherer Upper yet in the beginning of her days with ‘them’, she was furry sketchy and khaused khwite some tensions.

    Tank Woo fur the great images – both on the post and in our heads!


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