One of my best friends and her hub wanted to go away after the NY to the family bach out Western ways. However, there was the small – well, rather large – hold back; their uproarious, unruly year-old Husky, rightly-so christened Riot.
Riot is a beautiful hunk of canine. The sleekest silver (well, white, but alliteration always sounds so much smoother), with icy cool blue eyes, he is exceedingly handsome. And you know all that tosh about how dogs look like their owners? He actually does look eerily similar to Abbey, his “mummy”.
Having the weekly sleepover at my pals’ happy home out in the country has had me and Riot hanging on occasion. We were always chummy, what with him mounting me as I dozed in slumber and knocking me off my feet (literally) whenever I made an appearance at their place. So when Ab poised me with perhaps looking after him and their feline Mavereick so they could take a few day vay-kay, I was all in.
“Absolutely,” I enthused. “Of course I can! And it’ll be swell for me to hermit out and nut out some writing as well.”
Which is why January 2 saw Riot, Mav and myself seeing in the new year as a trio on the farm.
And what a serene setting! Twenty minutes out of town, at night the milky way stretches out above in all its twinkling glory; I am woken by a rooster crowing each day at dawn (lovely the first few risings; a bit of a bother on day number three). Very Sound of Music-esque, obviously minus singing blonde Austrians and a nunnery of habits (aside from my own that the resolutions haven’t quite shot away; gettit?).
But by cripes, Riot has been rather rollicking.
A rather boisterous boy, he is a great one for leaping upon myself at random moments. Sure, when I arrive back from a quick flit to the service station for some coco H20 or a trek up the farm tracks, I expect a good old leap-to-licking. But the sudden spurts also take place when I have been sitting side-by-side with him for more than an hour or so. He suddenly goes stiff, looks sideways at me with a cheeky glimmer in his eye, and before I can aptly prepare myself (i.e., fold into the brace position) he is upon me like a teenage boy upon a funnel at Rhythm and Vines. Adorable, lovable one though he is, I’m not so enjoying my facial adornments (i.e., three scratches across my eye, lip and nose bridge. His paws pack plenty a punch).
Yesterday afternoon I was going out for the afternoon to Tauranga for my great uncle’s birthday, the first time leaving Riot for more than an hour or so since he had been in my care. I was carefully arranging his treat toys in the hallway when he pranced up to me, his paws dyed a reddish hue. I instantly flew into panic mode; was he bleeding?! What had he killed?! But thanks cripes – or alas? – neither; he had only murdered the Poppy Passion organic lipstick I had pining over that Santa had gifted me for Xmas, which I had placed on the table by the door in a bid to not forget it. (To be honest, he could really pull off the colour, he looks good in bright pinks). After a frantic Googling of the ingredients, a call to the emergency hours vet and a search for the remains (unsuccessful; I think he consumed it case and all), I finally felt semi-OK to leave him on his own and take off for the rest of the day (though when I returned home I was terrified I would find his limp, lifeless bod and have to have a tearful convo with Ab over the phone. Luckily he was well, alive and halfway through desecrating my left-foot slipper).
After an attempt to take him for a walk the other day in his harness and being catapulted face-first into the gravel (cut above right eyebrow), I decided that Riot’s strength was a tad tumeke for myself and unfortunately, trots amongst the country roads would have to be on my lonesome. When I arose for my 60-minute wander this AM, Riot would not go back inside to his back area (does that even make sense?), instead playing silly buggers amongst the front yard. After carefully checking the property was fully fenced in (and it appeared so), I took off for my hour leaving him behind the locked gate.
Imagine my surprise upon return when said Husky met me at the letterbox, an evil gleam in his icy blue eyes. “Cripes!” I exclaimed when I realised his placement; he was in a paddock cavorting amongst the bobby calves, them all trembling and terrified in the corner as he leapt around barking and terrorising the herd. After a fun-filled half hour chasing him about the lush lands (well, fairly flourishing; it is summer and a decent drought is going on), I finally got a hold of his collar and managed to haul him inside, only to find he’d weed a lovely long lacey trail of urine about the lounge.
And Maverick hasn’t been without his fun as well; I was awoken by the carcass of a dead bird on the 3rd. I’m still plucking feathers from the carpet and the place of life taken.
It’s pretty exhausting; I thought having a kid would be full-on, but I feel all to-be mothers should have a week alone with a Husky. “Cripes!” They’d declare a month into having their new born. “I may be four weeks sleep deprived and my nipples are cracked to buggery, but this is nothing on caring for an Alaskan-originated canine.” (Well a bit of a stretch maybe, but you see my point).
But in all honesty, it’s a lot of fun. Riot and I have been having a grand time Netflix-and-chilling each evening (starting way back when with the first ever episodes of How I Met Your Mother) and waking up with a dog laying his head on your thigh and a cat nestled in your arm pit is good for the soul.
Even if you are being run the Riot act. (Sorry. It had to happen).