My photo
mother of josh, richard, and mutt. lover of books, yarn, and the quiet places. spinner, knitter, kayaker, survivor, vandweller, warrior.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Mutt part 1: snownose

a baby picture, the first day home

what a face. ya gotta love him. this blog entry is about my better half and constant companion, Mutt. people ask alot of questions about my buddy, especially why i never tell his story. so here it is, as best i can tell you.

mutt is not his real name. he was named "duke" before being surrendered to the spca at the age of 4 months. i was at the spca on business, a quick stop at the main desk, no "shopping" the kennels full of sad and hopeful dogs. as i turned to go, a young girl came in the door leading this gangly puppy on a length of clothesline. he had an enormous head, and looked like a cartoon character. he made a beeline towards me, sat kerplunk in front of me and grinned. as i paused to pet him for a moment, i heard the girl telling the workers "he is very destructive and a terrible house soiler". (hello, honey, he's a BABY) but i mind my own business, and turn to leave.

he follows me. pulls the clothesline right out of her hand, and velcroes himself to my heel like he was born there. there is an awkward moment while he is extricated from my side, and i turn again to go. i pause at the door, looking back. he peers expectantly over her shoulder, aware of something i do not yet know.

i can't keep him out of my mind. a few days later, i return to the shelter with a toy, expecting that he had been already adopted. he slammed his skinny little body against the wire door to his kennel, and attempted to ooze through it. we spend time playing and snuggling, but the truth remains that i am not looking for a dog, can't afford a dog, and cannot take him home. i leave with reluctance.

i make several more visits over the next week, telling myself that i can at least be supportive of the poor thing until his new owners find him. on the last visit, a worker tells me that if i'm interested in this pup, i'd better make up my mind, because the shelter is crowded, and his days are numbered.

i immediately go to the desk and fill out the adoption papers. he will have to stay overnight to be neutered, and i will pick him up the next day. but he is mine, and he knew it all along.

the interesting thing about mutt is that he was listed as "sharpei" as his primary breed. i questioned this, but the workers said they knew the litter, and parents. it will always be a mystery to me, his true lineage. one breeder at a show said he definitely had "saluki" in him. he certainly has shepherd and collie traits. but the biggest giveaway is the racing stripe on his nose. it's called a snownose, and is supposedly only found in northern breed dogs like husky or malamute. no matter what it's origins, i find it terribly endearing. i call it his "little pink pig snout" in a squeeky voice and thoroughly piss him off.

so this dog is not a "duke", i know that right off. no wonder he was destructive, he was having an identity crisis. he looked a bit like a tiny coyote or wolf with a big fat nose, so i named him "ameowok natangamuk mtimmea" which loosely tranlsated means "little wolf stung on the nose by many bees". i call him Mutt for short.

there is a hue and cry from my brother and sister-in-law. avid dog lovers, they are horrified i would call him mutt. not them, no sir. they call him "bighead" instead.......

this little pup is a delight to have. he never chewed anything up, and was almost instantly housetrained. we spent every minute of the next few weeks together, sleeping, eating, playing, and simply looking at each other. all he wanted out of life was to be at my side. all i wanted was to be his.


ShanaRose said...

you are both precious

WendyTheWanderer said...

Awwwww....Mutt is very lucky to have you.

I understand your worry if anything should happen to you. I'm often hospitalized, but luckily Zeke gets to stay with me since he is a service dog. I just asked at the Saranac Lake hospital this week...they assured me if I show up there, Zeke and I get a private room together :-)

Anonymous said...

Kate, you have told me this story several times, and yet, I enjoy it EVERY time! I loved reading it and could hear your voice as I read. I miss you and your sweet boy-dog. You are one-of-a-kind and I am thankful to God for bringing you into our lives.

SST said...

Always wondered why someone would name a dog mutt, but understand now. Thanks for sharing.


Scott said...

Thanks for giving Mutt a forever home.

hoboknitter said...

thanks to Mutt for giving me his forever heart :-)

AlaryicJude said...

I cried, reading this! So beautiful! And I know the feeling of finding your soul animal/familiar/ best furry friend and family member. May you enjoy countless years together!

Anonymous said...

pass the tissues! beautiful story.
love to you both from me and boom :)


hoboknitter said...

thank-you you guys! i still shiver when i think of the narrow window of time in which we would cross paths. it was meant to be!

tippy said...

Took me this long to this post. You have a heart of gold. (((Hugs))) to both of you.

hoboknitter said...

thanks for reading, Tippy! hugs back at you!