Name Game – Qannik

Time for the next to last installment of the Name Game with Qannik.  If you want to participate, check out Frankie’s blog and the rules of the game.  We bent the rules and are taking a post every day this week to explain where each member of The Herd’s name came from.  We will finish on July 4 – the day when everyone is supposed to post their stories – with Cheoah the Cheesewhiz.  And don’t forget  that every member of The Herd has his/her own page here, including past members of The Herd.

One of our favorite Qannik pictures - Being Serious.

We explained to you how Natasha came to us during a difficult summer of losing two members of The Herd and how Rusty came to us to be a companion and playmate of Natasha since our matriarch, Nikita, was getting older.  And then, with the loss of beautiful Nikita, we added both Kiska and Kodiak to help fill that huge void.  We had never planned to have more than three dogs, much less four, so we were really not looking to grow The Herd any further.  But fate stepped up in the form of our local all-breed rescue, Sarge’s Animal Rescue Foundation (still looming, our announcement of how The Herd will be taking a special role in Fifth Annual Downtown Dog Walk on August 7).

Scootering with Natasha.

We were driving down the road and stopped at Sarge’s just to chat.  No Siberians were on display, but one of the volunteers asked if we would do them a favor.  Of course.  There was an all-white Siberian Husky at Haywood Animal Control that was an owner surrender.  Sarge’s was working on foster space, but asked if we would go by and check on him and make sure he was doing ok in the shelter.  Totally not fair, but ok.

Exactly who could resist this face?

Upon arrival at the shelter, out bounced (literally) this bundle of white fur, sparkling blue eyes, and wide grin.  His name was Snowflake (go ahead, Brice, and laugh) and the shelter knew little except that he had been turned in by his owner.  Closer inspection revealed things that broke the hu-dad’s heart.  The tips of his ears were hairless from fly bites.  Fur had been rubbed off around his neck to reveal fresh wounds where a rope had been tied around his neck and dug into the skin.  Missing fur on the side of his nose and worn teeth indicated a dog that had spent a lot of time chewing on a wire wall.  And his paws were mangled, scarred and furless (this is a common sign of a dog who lives standing on a wire floor, with the wire cutting into the paws – often found in breeding dogs in puppy mills).

Three years later, the only visible scars are on the back paws where hair has never fully recovered.

The hu-dad was crushed, angry – and determined.  Snowflake was not waiting on a foster space to become available.  And, as nice as the people who work at Haywood Animal Shelter are, Snowflake deserved better.  Right then.  And so he was adopted on the spot, July 14, 2007.

Snuggling with the hu-dad

Vet checks revealed roundworms, a urinary tract infection, and a very nasty case of Kennel Cough.  It took several vet visits and rounds of medications to cure his physical ailments, and he had to be neutered (all members of the Herd are spayed or neutered).  He was totally clueless on dog interactions and had to learn how to play (and is still a challenge in meeting other dogs because he wants to meet them head-on, a challenging physical approach despite his sole desire to play).  He had never learned bite inhibition and had no clue how to walk on a leash.  This was simply a dog who had never spent a day being a dog or being socialized with other dogs.

Enjoying a cool mountain day.

But despite the mistreatment, despite the medical issues, and despite the abandonment, Snowflake simply kept smiling that silly grin of his.  Snowflake never had fear issues of humans or seemed to resent his prior life at all.  He simply wanted (and still wants) to be cuddled as often as possible.  In fact, he is the only member of The Herd that sleeps in the humans’ bed every night – nestled tightly against a human.  He loves to wrestle and play with The Herd.  And he talks as much as the rest of The Herd combined (well, he did until Cheoah arrived and battled him for the title of most talkative).

Playing with Picket Line partner, Rusty

The name, however, needed to go.  The solution turned out to be really simple.  In Inuit, Snowflake is Qannik (for all of those who ask, pronounced Ka-nik).  He is now 58 pounds of solid muscle, the happiest (and sometimes most clueless) soul in the house, and happy to be the Omega dog in the herd – because he is a part of the Herd.

Smiling in the snow.



  1. Lisa on July 10, 2010 at 3:12 pm

    Reading this brought tears to my eyes. Qannik is so beautiful and so lucky you found him. glad i got to read his story! Thanks for sharing!
    Lisa (mum of Kodi) x

  2. Country Corgi Pups on July 8, 2010 at 6:08 am

    Qannik is one of the most GORGEOUS dogs I’ve ever seen! He also sounds like a real sweet snuggle bug! What a blessing that he came into a home with so much love to give!

  3. Mochi on July 7, 2010 at 2:06 pm

    Another great story! Qannik is such a happy pup! 🙂


  4. Eva on July 4, 2010 at 7:03 pm

    I like reading your blog because it always makes me smile, but today, I got a bit misty-eyed thinking of the condition he’d been left in, but all he wants is a human to cuddle him. Wish my own nature were so forgiving!

  5. Lorenza on July 4, 2010 at 12:46 am

    Qannik’s story made us feel sad at the beginning but sure we are happy that he is now a very important member of your family!
    Thanks for sharing it!
    Kisses and hugs

  6. The Luke on July 3, 2010 at 10:32 pm

    Qannik… I am touched once more by a wonderful story of second opportunity and a well deserved Forever.

    Isn’t it just grand to discover the comfort of the big bed wif your back up against a human??? I am lovin it for the boaf us!

    And I am lovin your very special peoples for the Second Life they so lovinly provide you and the rest of the Herd.

    wif MUCH love from the Luke

  7. Sagira on July 3, 2010 at 9:07 pm

    What a beautiful story. Thanks so much for rescuing him.

  8. Twinkietinydog on July 3, 2010 at 8:06 pm

    Yeah, well, and we never planned on having 9 cats either. When you want to rescue animals, it’s not a great idea to set low goals 🙂
    Owner surrender? QanniK? OMD what am I going to read next? And you went just to “check” at the shelter, huh? Suckers!
    Snowflake is wrong for Qannik, just plain wrong. You really saved him. What a mess, poor baby. I would have adopted him on the spot myself. Love this.
    And now he’s a bed sleeper… a smiling happy safe and healthy white Qannik with his blue eyes.
    After reading this, I want to belong to the herd!!!

  9. The Army of Four on July 3, 2010 at 3:27 pm

    Qannik is simply irresistible!!!

  10. Kari on July 3, 2010 at 12:41 pm

    nothing wrong with a clueless dog 🙂 makes them that much more endearing

  11. Houndstooth on July 3, 2010 at 11:37 am

    I’ve never seen a picture of Qannik when he didn’t look like the happiest dog on Earth. Now I can guess why. I couldn’t have left him there, either. I think all members of The Herd are adorable, but he’s the one that I find just stunning in his looks. He’s also the one I suspect to someday see a picture of with a lampshade on his head, although I couldn’t tell you exactly why. Good on you for doing what was right for him!

    Did you have to keep him separated from the rest of The Herd when you first brought him home? I can imagine that being quite a challenge!

    Really? You don’t bring The Herd to parties? I’m shocked!

  12. Kira The BeaWootiful on July 3, 2010 at 11:34 am

    Woos! Another wonderful story and another wonderful heart we have seen, growing daily to match each dog…
    ~husky kisses~
    -Kira The BeaWootiful

  13. Khyra on July 3, 2010 at 11:20 am

    My mom is sitting here holding bakhk the leakies –


    I’m sitting here smiling knowing that inspite of how poopyheaded humans are, we khanines furgive –

    We are always looking fur the good in the human herd – even if it takes a while to find it –


  14. brooke & darwin on July 3, 2010 at 10:25 am

    Love Qannik’s story! Makes me sad hearing about his former life and the conditions he lived in, but it was fate that brought you to him to give him the best life ever!

  15. Sam on July 3, 2010 at 10:12 am

    What a great story!


  16. The Road Dogs on July 3, 2010 at 10:09 am

    That’s a cool story! Our Mom loves snowflakes so we’ll have to tell her about this. And that’s a cool way to tell everybody’s name story – we didn’t think of that.
    BTW, is there a way to follow your blog other than Facebook? We’re not on that yet. Just wondering.
    The Road Dogs

  17. Moxie Paws on July 3, 2010 at 10:01 am

    Hop hop hop…what a wonderful and heartwarming story about Qannik. He seems to have adapted well and deservedly so to such a loving home. Happy 4th!

  18. Wild Dingo on July 3, 2010 at 9:29 am

    You are so correct. WHO could resist that FACE? i laughed out loud when I read that. Poor Q! I would LOVE to cuddle him whenever he wanted! 58 lbs? i guess there is no junk in his trunk like i always say. Must be the white pantyloons are deceiving me.

    Infuriating what he lived prior. Rightful that he ended up in a little spot of heaven on earth known as Chez Herd. 🙂

  19. Pip on July 3, 2010 at 9:09 am

    What a wonderful story! I am so glad Qannik is safe and sound – and happy with the herd!

    Your pal, Pip

    P.S.: I have enjoyed all your posts this week!

  20. The OP Pack on July 3, 2010 at 9:06 am

    Why does Mom have such a big smile on her face? Beautiful Qannik – another great rescue story, so glad he is a part of your wonderful pack.

    Woos – Phantom, Thunder, and Ciara

  21. Huffle Mawson on July 3, 2010 at 7:56 am

    Stories like that make me sad, but then happy!

  22. tula on July 3, 2010 at 7:27 am

    Hu-dad & t-herd,
    woo are killing my mom with your special, heart-felt stories of the herd. how wooonderful! Qannik, i can especially related to not knowing how to play or greet.. furry lucky to have a herd family!!

    luv ya lots,
    tula & dee

  23. Ruth on July 3, 2010 at 4:30 am

    Wow, what a great story. Poor Qannik – he’s been through the wars.

Leave a Comment

Read Another Story

← Back One Story ◊ OR ◊ Forward One Story →

Hu-Dad's Latest Musing

Our Hu-Dad shares the latest updates on his writing projects, the books he's reading, and other details in random musings posted on his website. You can check out his novels there as well.

Mama Bear Warning

July 12, 2024

Mama Bear crashed through the underbrush, growling and snorting with her eyes locked on her targets—us. Her warning was clear.

Hu-Dad's Novels

His books pay for our food!