Fifty shades of grey - Siberian husky style.

He was an older man, experienced in the ways of the world.

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She was a younger woman, enchanted by his intensity... at first.

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He was demanding, wanting her exclusive attention. She wasn't signing any confidentiality agreement, and started seeking ways to escape his constant demands.

(Does this make Frankie the José of this story?)

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There were dog collars, funny looking toys, but no sex - they had both been desexed - this was all about domination... and pack hierarchy... And having fun... And lots and lots of grey husky fluff!

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Last weekend we were asked to help out with a neighbour who had a 10 month old husky that was causing a lot of havoc. The neighbour had taken on the puppy without knowing anything much about Siberian huskies, and was trying to balance moving house, small children, another dog with health issues and work pressures against the needs of the husky. That's how we came to have Mia come and stay for 24 hours, as a short respite for the family. And Czar thought Mia was the best thing since sliced bread. Frankie was pretty keen too. Everyone had lots of fun chasing each other round the backyard and Mia fitted into our routines really well. It was a pretty successful visit and we hope that it helped Mia's family catch their breath.

Why was such a sweet puppy causing such chaos? This is the phase that I call (mostly in my own head) the husky terrible twos. Unlike in humans, its not from two to three (although it can be followed by a threenager), but from about six months to two or more years of age. The energy and attention required by a husky at this point lead to a HUGE number of them getting rehomed at around 12-18 months. 

Most of Mia's issues were really familiar to J from his time running the SHCV Rescue - he says nearly every young dog he was called about was described in the same sort of way. Mia cried for attention all the time, to the point where neighbours were complaining. When she didn't get enough attention (for instance when her people had to go to work) she ripped palings off the fence or dug her way out. When she was locked in the house because she couldn't be trusted in the backyard, she destroyed furniture, pooed all over the house and cried at every shut door. When the family did try to give Mia the attention she needed, she was so bouncy and excited that she was unsafe around their small children. Tensions were rising within the family, between the family and the neighbours, and the situation was reaching boiling point.

Once Mia was introduced to some playmates at our place, she immediately had plenty of exercise, bouncing and chasing around the yard. And she only cried briefly at bedtime, the rest of the time she was happy to be with the other dogs, even when we went out. And teaching Mia some basic manners was easy after all the work we'd done with the others. Firm growly voice for no, lots of happy praise for yes. 

Fortunately, Mia's family did get some help. First they rang the SHCV who put them on to a member who does dog walking and training. That member then asked us to help out with some advice on the yard, and we offered some doggy day care as well. J has been sourcing fencing components like pieces of a hotwire and a pen. After her 24 hours with us, Mia was picked up by Dishlickers, an experienced arctic breed boarding kennel, who, amongst other things, have been working on figuring out the best diet for Mia who had reactions to some foods. Its all still a work in progress, but hopefully we can sort out the best solution for Mia and her family soon.

In the meantime, Czar is hoping she'll return... just like Mr Grey.