4.5 Of The Best Therapy Dogs

Yesterday, the Hu-Dad took great comfort in 4.5 of the best therapy dogs. Guess we will have to explain why that is not 5.



Despite her role as the Chief of Security, Kiska is quite the cuddler if she knows you well (though she can be standoffish with new people). She loves snuggling with the Hu-Dad and he loves stroking his hands through her long fur. If you stop snuggling with her, be prepared for The Claw. It is a sweet, but firm, gesture for more snuggling.



Just take one look at Qannik and you know he is a giant cotton ball. We should point out, however, that on rainy days like yesterday (thanks to the moisture from Hurricane Matthew), Qannik loves sitting in the rain and soaking up as much water as possible. Then he is the equivalent of cuddling with a soaking wet cotton ball. On the other hand, he loves giving kisses as anyone who has ever met him can attest.



Cheoah is a hyper snuggler, meaning she will jump from person to person for hugs. But she loves the attention and will stay with you as long as you are scratching. Slow down, and she will move to the next person or woo quite loudly at you.



Frankie is the ultimate snuggler and is proudly a daddy’s boy. Whenever possible, he has his front paws wrapped around the Hu-Dad’s arm to make sure he gets maximum attention. Hu-Dad has developed a great skill in turning pages in a book with only one hand since Frankie has the other arm in a bear hug.



Ok, that is a solid 4 out of 4 dogs. So where does the 0.5 come from? Typhoon, of course. Yes, Typhoon has the softest, silkiest fur that just begs for human hands. Unfortunately, Typhoon is decidedly anti-hugs. Fortunately, he will give kisses to those he likes (and he gave out lots of those yesterday). And his antics makes everyone smile. No hugs, but lots of comfort, so we give him .5 points for effort.

P.S. – We were overwhelmed with all of the notes, comments and emails of sympathy. We sincerely appreciate every single one of them and thank you for your kind words. We miss our Baby Bear, but we will forge ahead.


  1. Melon on October 9, 2016 at 1:50 am

    I’m not so good with comments, but I have been thinking of you since yesterday.
    It was so, so clear how much love you had for your Natasha. I was sure your constant assurances of her evil was also to show how much ‘power’ she had over you.
    I am glad the Herd can bring you some comfort, in whatever way they do so.

  2. Khyra on October 8, 2016 at 10:52 pm

    Siberian Sponges are THE FURRY BEST!

    Princess Rain Khloud

  3. Glenn Ware on October 8, 2016 at 10:36 pm

    So sorry for your loss. I lost my Karyna 2 years ago to cancer. I think of her every day and look forward to your posts each morning, but was heartbroken for you Wednesday. Mere words cannot express how you and the rest of the Herd muust feel at this time. My heartfelt sympathy to you and the rest of your family during this terrible time because I am sure this has hurt everyone and many thanks to you for sharing your kids with us

  4. The Ao4 on October 8, 2016 at 6:47 pm

    Well… yes, but SOMETIMES those antics that make you smile can be JUST as good as a hug. And can be as meaningful. Not that I speak from experience.
    Yours sincerely,
    Margaret Thatcher

    • Susan McManus on October 8, 2016 at 7:22 pm

      I agree. Those antics can be just the thing to keep you going.

  5. Juno's mom on October 8, 2016 at 2:01 pm

    Been thinking of you all constantly and wondering how Kiska is doing in particular. Fighting cancer with two of my pets and losing another in August makes me all the more sensitive to the loss others are going through and understanding the emotions that words never accurately express. I think that the further we move away from their lives here, the closer we are to being re-united with them in the next.

  6. Susan McManus on October 8, 2016 at 10:10 am

    Hu-dad,. I am glad that the herd is giving you what you need. I have been through many tough times lately that would floor a person. My pup, Tokyo, has gotten me through. She knows just when I need to cuddle…and her antics make me laugh when I didn’t think that I could.
    I shared the news with my children and friends who I have introduced to your blog. My daughter’s words were ” no! I wanted to meet her!”
    We are mourning with you. I spent the day reading stories and crying for your special pup…and hugging Tokyo a little too tight, so that she grumbled!
    I am continuing to pray for you and also Iceman’s family. You have become dear internet friends over the shared love for these furry babies.
    How is Kiska doing? I know that the two were quite close. Chris had a very difficult time when Niki-pup passed.
    Much love to you and the precious herd.

    • Susan McManus on October 8, 2016 at 10:17 am

      That is Chira! Autocorrect!!!

  7. Zoe on October 8, 2016 at 8:32 am

    Hu-dad, I owe you an apology

    We like the rest of your loyal followers, were shocked and saddened by the loss of your Queen. Please know that around the country many tears were shed both for our love of Natasha as well as our heart felt sadness on your behalf for her loss. I would like to apologize to you because my first question was …what happened…. that was rude and insensitive of me to intrude upon your time of grief in such a manner. Please know the question came from a a place of shock and sadness, not a sense of entitlement that can come from being part of the family that you so graciously share wth us. I’m sure when and if the time is right you will share the story and if you do not that is also fine. The fact is I like many others held so much hope that she had a good day the day before. I should have known, the Queen would do things on her terms and in her way, including showing by-dad one more time why she is the Queen and that she’s “got this”

    Please know that I do know you do for your herd each and every day what is in their best interest and your actions come from a place of deep love and respect for your pack family.

    When I was young I lost a beloved pet and the next day it rained, my grandmother, who was from Greece told me it was not rain, those were the tears of the angels. For they wept the loss on this side for an extraordinary soul, and tears of joy that she was now whole and healthy and free of pain. These tears she said, were shed for the very special souls… so I know yesterday the angels wept for the loss of “our” Queen.

    I hope you will accept my apology.

    With respect

    Zoe Walsh
    Servant to the Walsh Pack

    • The Thundering Herd on October 8, 2016 at 9:24 am

      Absolutely no need to apologize. The question is quite natural and we take no offense at all. In fact, tomorrow’s post will address this question and a couple of others we have been receiving.

      By the way, we loved the comment about the rain. With Hurricane Matthew down at the coast, we are getting the moisture hitting our mountains and creating some much needed rains. The gloominess of the last two days has met our mood. We appreciate the thought that it is the tears of angels.

  8. Mom 'n Ebby on October 8, 2016 at 6:16 am

    Mom ‘n Ebby say: Of them all, Frankie is still owooooour “special” favorite, I guess partly because he was kind of Rusty’s “replacement”, and HE was my VERY favorite, though I’ve come to love them all.
    Is there going to be a new “leader of the pack” now, or is that going to be left up to the Herd? I still feel “rocked” by ‘Tasha’s death, mainly I guess because it followed so closely on our Iceman heading across the Bridge, though I feel better knowing that BOTH Ayla and ‘Tasha have joined him on the Far Side of the Rainbow Bridge.

    • The Thundering Herd on October 8, 2016 at 6:54 am

      Any decisions of leader of the pack will be decided by The Herd. We like to let Hu-Dad think he is in charge and may humor him with that for a while, but usually a canine will step forward.

      We are so sorry about your loss of Ice. We do expect that Natasha and Ice are having much fun with pack members past.

      • Koda Hazel and Sue VerSchneider on October 8, 2016 at 7:54 am

        Hu-dad I’m not sure how long I’ve been tuning in for my (our) morning blog reading. But I want to say it’s very admirable that you share your babies with us this way.

        If I were to wager a guess on the next pack leader it will be Princess Kiska. She’s been highly trained by her beloved Queen. Q seems to laid back to be in “power” and the younger three seem to enjoy the full time play. Possibly Frankie but I’m still picking Princess Kiska.

        Oh and with tears in my eyes I told my husband about Natasha’s passing. He said is that the one with the initials? I laughed abit thinking of QNTEs antics and said yup that’s her. But I think she’s QNTAB — QUEEN NATASHA THE ANGEL BABY.

        Koda the Sibe told me to say he’s Sending hugs and and kisses. He’s a smuggler on his terms. And Hazel the Fox-CoonHound mix who is the Ultimate Snuggling Baby says to send hours oh snuggles from her but no kisses she’s only given 2 in 10 months and those she says were by accident.

        Saying prayers for comfort

        • Lori on October 8, 2016 at 8:05 am

          Thank you for these very true words Koda Hazel and Sue! I wholeheartedly agree…

        • The Thundering Herd on October 8, 2016 at 9:31 am

          We have already drafted tomorrow’s post which will answer our thoughts of the next potential leader and why (and other common questions we are getting). Our teaser hint would be . . . think Red.

      • Mom 'n Ebby on October 9, 2016 at 4:46 am

        Thank you, hu-Dad, and I’m sure they are, too!

    • Carolyn on October 8, 2016 at 7:44 am

      I am also sorry for your loss of Ice. I always enjoy your comments here.

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