Our pal Frankie has asked that everyone take some time on their blogs on July 4th to explain where our names came from. While there are rules to this game, we Siberian Huskies are notorious for not following the rules. So, in our case, we are going to take a post every day this week and explain where each member of The Herd’s name came from. We will, at least, finish on July 4 – the day when everyone is supposed to post their stories. Fair enough?
We should also take a moment to explain that every member of The Herd has his/her own page here, including past members of The Herd. So some of these stories have already been posted, but we still will take the time in the blog to do so.
Today’s entry is Queen Natasha the Evil. Our resident alpha, queen of the entire domain – and don’t ever forget it.
Born June 10, 2003, Natasha is the only member of The Herd to come here as a puppy. We had had a particularly rough summer, having just lost our beloved Ginger on June 23 and received a terminal diagnosis on Cocoa (who passed on August 27), and the hu-dad was reeling. Somehow, the thought of a cute, sweet, innocent 8 week old puppy sounded appealing. Instead, we got Natasha.
The reality was that there was very little debate about her name. As the puppy picture above shows, she stepped into the house as royalty and demanded a royal name. Our first Siberian Husky was named Nikita, a solid Russian name, and we wanted another Russian name. We selected the most angelic name, Natasha, which really means nativity (or Christ’s birthday). Ok, so naming a dog born half way around the year from Christ’s birthday was a given that the dog was not going to act angelic. Shrug. But remember that Russian theme as it will be important when we explain Rusty’s name later this week (honest).
Her full AKC name is Natasha Montagne Gincoa. Montagne for our love of the mountains. And Gincoa as a combination of the names of Ginger and Cocoa, the two dogs we lost so close together, but who created room in our house for Natasha to join.
What surprised us was that Nikita actually showed maternal instincts. She had never shown any desire to be responsible, but she suddenly took Natasha under her paw and taught her everything. One of my great memories, which I have told before on this blog, was stepping out and calling for Nikita to come inside. She came walking up to the house with this puppy, Natasha, clamped to her neck like a pendant on a necklace, her back paws barely touching the ground. Ok, maternal instinct Siberian Husky style, but you still had to give Nikita credit.
And Nikita continued to show her maternal skills as she trained Natasha through that first Christmas season in how to respect the Christmas tree. Because of this close connection, Nikita became known as Mama Bear and Natasha, naturally, became Baby Bear – a name that I still use often to this day. When Nikita passed August 23, 2006, Natasha mourned for several weeks before she snapped out of it and became the Queen of The Herd that she is today. Nikita, we have no doubt, is proud of her protege who rules The Herd with an Iron Paw – Queen Natasha the Evil.