Our Samoyed-Malamute Husky cross wasn’t your typical dog. As a matter of fact, Chinook didn’t consider herself to be a dog at all. We got her while I was pregnant with Sydney, our second child, as a focus and companion for Kelsea, our 3 year-old daughter.
Since Chinook literally grew up with our girls, she assumed the Beta role of our pack and cared for the pups, or in this case, the kids. Chinook’s maternal instincts were very keen. When I’d go for a stroll with kids in tow, she’d have to be right near them. If we stopped to chat with a neighbour en route, they’d have to stand at least 5 feet from the girls or they’d get a stern warning bark from her. When the girls napped each afternoon, she’d alert me when it was time to wake them. I’d give her the “OK” and can still hear them giggle as Chinook woke them with her cold, wet nose.
When I began to experience seizures from nerve damage, Chinook could, miraculously, detect them just prior and would jump up on me, unlike her, to indicate I should sit down. Then she’d lie across my lap until they’d pass. In her winter years, I’d let her out in the front to do her business, as usual; she had a spot on the side of our house. Suddenly, she began to refuse to come in immediately afterwards. This was unusual, and I’d go outside and argue with her to come back in the house.
Then, I noticed my neighbour running down the street to the school bus with his daughter. Chinook would stop and watch them pass every day and wait until he returned without her. It hit me; she was making sure the girl got on the bus each morning. Everyday Chinook waited outside while they passed. Soon the girl began to wave her way to the bus. Then, when Dad came back, Chinook would finally come back in the house, content that she’d done her job. This was fine until weekends. Chinook would wait for over an hour and I’d have a difficult time getting her to come in on those mornings. Often, I’d think it easier to go to up to their door and ask them to just jog by as usual, just to get her to come in the house.
She was amazing. Chinook passed away in October 2009 of stomach cancer at 13. We miss her still.
About the Author
Wendy Lee Paquette is a Business Intelligence Analyst Consultant and Canadian Children’s Author of: “A Parade to Remember,” (2007, Trafford Publishing). She lives in Notre-Dame-de-L’île-Perrot, Quebec, with her daughters Kelsea and Sydney and their 2 young Huskies Nanook and Juneau. Her website is www.wendyleepaquette.com, and she can be found on Facebook and Linkedin.
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